Planning for a Profitable 2023
December 28th 2022
Have you started planning out your next 12 months yet? With the start of the New Year next week, now is the perfect time to think through how you want 2023 to go.
Look Back First
Before looking ahead, take some time to reflect on what went well in 2022 and what did not. For example, for the high points, you might list:
- Hitting a revenue target
- Landing a big contract
- Launching a new product
- Reaching a social media follower milestone
As you reflect on these wins, think about what enabled you to hit these milestones. Did you approach situations differently, delegate more, invest in coaching or training, increase your fees, modify your product? What were the most important changes that netted these results?
And for your list of where improvements could be made, you might include items such as:
- Working more hours than you’d like
- Systems needing improvement
- Obsolete technology
- Underperforming employees
These are your bottlenecks, as Rachel Rodgers, author of We Should All Be Millionaires, calls them. They are what are holding you back from even greater success. Zero in on the improvement opportunities that would make the biggest impact on your business. What are they?
When you are clear about the highest impact changes you need to make, you’re ready to plan out how you’ll approach 2023.
Setting Next Year’s Goals
It’s always a good idea to set an annual revenue target to use as one metric of success. It doesn’t need to be your only metric, but sales are one way to measure your progress.
Then you’ll want to refer back to your improvement opportunities. Which of those on your list are having the largest negative impact on your company’s growth? What do you need to do to address them?
That’s your next step: Determining how to best clear those bottlenecks.
Depending on your challenge, you may need to:
- Hire new employees
- Eliminate current products or services
- Invest in new technology or systems
- Create a new lead generation process
- Design new products or services
- Secure funding
Once you’re clear on what needs to happen to achieve your revenue target, you can now start to break those projects down into smaller and smaller tasks. If one project is to hire new employees, for example, your smaller tasks might include:
- Identifying which roles need to be filled
- Drafting job descriptions
- Creating qualification lists
- Retaining a search firm or registering on a job search platform
- Scheduling the new hire start dates
The next step is breaking any tasks down even more and then scheduling them. For example, before you can register on a job search platform, you may need to schedule a couple of hours to investigate which will be the most effective for your location, industry, and job. Then you may need to schedule time to set up the account, set a budget, and type up the job details.
Break each larger task down into 10 to 15-minute to-do items.
Schedule Your Action Items
Then assign tasks to months based on when you need them to be completed in order to have the biggest impact on your company’s operations and your budget.
For example, you may want to implement all of the projects on your list in January in order to hit the ground running in 2023, but you probably won’t have the time or the budget to cross them all off at once. Instead, spread them out over the next 12 months in sequential order, meaning, in the order in which they need to be completed. For example, you can’t outsource tasks until you hire a new employee, for example, or you can’t start a pay-per-click campaign until you’ve had the digital ads designed.
Choose your highest impact projects for 2023, break them down into tasks, and then schedule them by quarter or by month. Then, track your progress during the coming months in order to recognize when you need to pivot or make strategic adjustments to your plans.
Research has shown that entrepreneurs who take the time to write down their plans and refer to them throughout the year are, on average, many times more successful than people who make big plans and never refer back to them. So don’t just file these plans away until 2024.