Business Consulting

Effective Annual Planning In 3 Simple Steps

It’s the fall season, so we have started working with our Accelerator members to build 2018 strategic annual plans for their companies.


At first, everyone grumbles about the work it’s going to take, but then as they get into it, they all say the same thing: “Why in the world haven’t I been evaluating some of these questions all year?”


And that right there is the reason why we make women going through the planning process—because otherwise you end up somewhere you didn’t mean to be, and it can be hard to course correct.


So how do you start when you want to put together a plan for the year ahead?

How simple or hard does this really have to be?


Good news: it’s simple. It’s not easy. But it’s simple.


And guess what, here at Her Corner we’re making the planning process even easier for members!


There are three steps to effective annual planning.


  1. Complete your SWOT analysis. The single most important place to start when working on your strategic plan is with a SWOT analysis. It’s a simple tool that asks you to identify your strengths / weaknesses / opportunities (in the market) and / threats (in the market).


Once you’re crystal clear about what you do better than anyone else and where you have weaknesses or opportunities, you can then know what to lead with.


  1. Identify your ideal customer. The next step is to ask yourself about your ideal customer—not who you thought they were, but who they have become. How would you position your strengths and opportunities to them?


  1. Evaluate the market. Finally, make sure you’re on top of market changes and competitors. Has anything changed that you need to adjust to? Are there any new products you should launch?


Okay, there’s a fourth step. Once you’ve gone through these three simple steps, build a vision statement. While a mission statement is what the world hears about what you do, a vision statement provides an internal message for you and your team. It says: “This is what we’re going to achieve.” With that clear vision in place, you can then create the goals to achieve it.


Et voila! Now you have a plan for the year.


How can Her Corner help in this process?


Come January, all Her Corner members will receive the first issue of The Bottom Line, our new electronic publication. Each issue will include worksheets with real-world application to help you grow your business.


And the first issue is all about annual planning. You’ll get the worksheets you need to create your 2018 plan. So if you’re not a member, now is the time to join to help you get 2018 off to a great start!

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