A suggested checklist for your end of year planning efforts.
End of year planning checklist to prepare for 2024
This is the season to think about next year! It’s time to assess what has worked well in the past year that you want to build on, where to cut your losses, and what new things to experiment with in the coming year.
2024 offers a very big opportunity to improve or tweak your business. It involves creating a comprehensive roadmap for your business’s future and outlining your goals, strategies, and action plans to succeed.
Snapshot of where you are today
Start by tracking where you are today. It is a good way to figure out what needs to be improved. Here are the things I track:
- Number of customers
- Size of mailing list
- Number of website visitors
- Number of new articles & video added to the website
- Number of request for demos
- Number of events held or attended
- Number of Linkedin connections
- Number of press announcements
- Top and new referral streams (partners, websites, …)
- New information sources
My simple example: :
Working from the answers to these questions I then asses:
- What has worked well? What can I build on?
- What has not worked and needs improvement? What needs to change or be discontinued?
- What experiments do I want to try next year?
From there I make my plans. I look at what I want to increase, decrease, stop doing, and ideas for experiments.
How can you double your business?
Define specific and measurable goals for doubling your business. This could involve doubling revenue, profits, customer base, or market share. Having clear objectives will guide your efforts.
- How do you build awareness?
- How do you reach prospective customers?
- What trends are you leveraging?
- What will prospects say yes to?
- What is the smallest offering that they will buy?
- What is the fastest way to get a yes?
- What is the purchase process?
- What did they love?
- Do you gather testimonials and case studies?
Initially we really only look at the number of customers. If you currently have no paying customers, how can you get to 5 customers? If you have 5 customers – how do you get to 10 customers? Later you can look at revenue per customer and ways to upsell those customers.
CAUTION: I can have a goal of doubling my business, but all I can control are the actions I will take that I believe will lead to the outcome I want. If you have been in business for several years and are now less of a startup, it’s less realistic to think about doubling your business in a year. But you can still use this “doubling blueprint” as a framework to scope out a two to three year plan for growth.
There are lots of ways to build awareness and generate leads. But they boil down into four key areas:
- Speaking – small groups, large groups, videos, webinars, conferences, …
- Writing – emails, blogging, newsletters, articles, answering questions on forums, …
- What other people say about you – referrals, testimonials, case studies, …
- Getting found when and where buyers are looking: adwords, trade shows, SEO/SEM, …
My promotion plan includes key items from these four groups:
- Speaking engagements
- Email blast
- Case studies
- Advertising (adwords, banners, print)
- Website improvements
- Website SEO
- New information sources to target
- Memberships/ Directories
- New to target
- Joint announcements
Here are two examples you can use:
Executive Summary (condensed version)
Full detailed planning version