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Creating Success For the New Year! – by Dean R. DeLisle

“Creating Success for the New Year” By Dean R. DeLisle

Your Annual Business Planning Session

One of the most important events for your business is an end-of-year annual review meeting. No, not “tax planning”, business planning! This review should be the held before the end of the calendar year and all key personnel should be present. While the meeting does not have to be “big corporate” structured, clear objectives should be defined beforehand. The key is to take your goals and objectives and make sure that everyone is properly aligned to make it happen. This meeting is the best place to start.

Listed below are some suggestions on the structure and logistics of an annual review meeting:

Purpose: To clearly learn from the prior year and create a clear path to the business objectives and goals for the next year. This is the time when businesses reflect on what was done right and what could have been done better in the past year. Business owners and principals define necessary adjustments and align the business units toward a common goal for the upcoming year.

Duration: Ideally the annual review meeting should be no less than a full day event. How important is it to reach your goals for the coming year? How important is it for all stakeholders to be on the same page and aligned to the same objectives? Justifying the time for this critical task should not be an issue.

Location: It is best to hold the meeting off premise and away from normal business operations. Regular breaks should be scheduled and cell phones turned off during the session. It is critical to have the brain trust and focused attention of everyone involved. Many companies schedule the meeting over a weekend and allow spouses to attend. This format may involve a social event as well.

Who: All key personnel should be present and be allowed to participate in the development of the agenda. This sharing of knowledge engages the key departments and/or divisions of your company.

Agenda : The agenda should reflect the areas of your business that require attention in order to ensure success for the upcoming year. Typically there are department level objectives that must be clearly aligned with the overall direction of the business.

Forward Progress, Inc. Copywrite 2007

CHICAGO, IL ● MUNSTER, IN

PH (877) 59-COACH ● FX (219) 365-7886

www.forwardprogress.NETA sample agenda might be as follows:

From Prior Year

  • Lessons learnedOpen issues (unresolved)
  • Accomplishments

New Year Goals and Objectives

  • Top Line Goals and Objectives
  • Economic OutlookDirection of the Business

o   Structure – Organization Chart

o   Roles and Responsibilities

o   Management Growth and Development

o   Employee Growth and Development

Marketing

  • Structure
  • Goals
  • Action Plan

o   Position

o   Targets

o   HurdlesBarriers

o   Competition

o   Strategy

o   Budget

  • Measures
  • Commit
Sales  
•Structure
•Goals 
 oRealistic Budgets
 oForecasts
  • Measures
  • Action Plan
  • Training Programs
  • Management support
  • Commit

Forward Progress, Inc. Copywrite 2007CHICAGO, IL ● MUNSTER, IN PH (877) 59-COACH ● FX (219) 365-7886

www.forwardprogress.NET

Operations

  • Structure
  • Goals
  • Action Plan
  • Management support
  • Commit

Accounting

  • Structure
  • Budgets
  • Action Plan
  • Controls
  • Management support
  • Commit

Event Celebration

Celebration: Do not leave this part out! Each year as we meet with our clients we hear comments such as “we don’t do enough of this!” regarding social events within the business. Celebrating successes along the way helps us to see the big picture. If you only have one social gathering a year, include it at the end of this annual planning session.

Execution: The meeting was the easy part. Now you must ensure the commitments that came out of the annual review are realistic and carried out immediately. This is critically important. Include action plans. Revisit the fundamentals of your power plan if necessary. Have accountability checkpoints and clarify that everyone understands when defined measures are expected. Then measure, adjust and execute throughout the year.

With a clear plan, your goals can be achieved. Companies do this successfully every year.

Is this your year?

Regards,

Dean R. DeLisle

Business Advisor

Forward Progress, Inc.

Forward Progress, Inc. Copywrite 2007

CHICAGO, IL ● MUNSTER, IN

PH (877) 59-COACH ● FX (219) 365-7886

www.forwardprogress.NET