Wake Up from Your Holiday Hibernation with Strategic Planning

by Kerry Martin

For many, last month’s Christmas and New Years’ mid-week arrivals helped put a two-week hold on any kind of year-end productivity.  Now that it’s the middle of January, it’s time to wake up from the holiday hibernation with some goal-setting.

I’m not talking about those overarching and overly generic New Year’s resolutions like “be a better listener” or “spend more quality time with family.”  January is the time for full-out strategic planning with detailed objectives, itemized tactics and scheduled timelines.

Set aside some time where your team/colleagues/friends can help you work through a brainstorm and strategy session to make your business better in 2014.  Consider these to help guide your discussion:

What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing your business?  Developing a SWOT analysis can identify gaps in your business plan … especially if someone views challenges that you might not have thought were an issue.

What’s one thing that you could do each month to help enhance your marketing strategy that you don’t already do?  This can be something small or something that you build over time.

If we had a crisis happen to our business, how would we respond?  For those that don’t have a crisis plan in place, this is a great exercise.  If you already have something that was previously prepared, it may be time to update it.

Is there a process, method or service that we don’t use that might help strengthen our business?  Maybe this is streamlining a system, upgrading your software to an online cloud-based service or rolling out a new reporting process.  Developing a plan for how to roll out a new system will prepare you for the necessary transitions.

So don’t let January fly by in a flurry of post-holiday lethargy and gloomy weather.  Take the time to set the course for success in 2014.

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