In my last blog, I discussed how we each need to have a plan for the success of our business. Guess what? Now is the time! It is late in the year, and I personally find that this is the most optimal time of year to complete this process.

There are several reasons for this. First, you have a fairly good feel for what the current year’s results will be. This will provide you with insight into the areas you want to improve. It will also guide you to set new objectives for next year.

Second, it is nearing year end, and your banker will be pleased to know that you are planning for next year. Why not share a copy of your plan with him or her? This is especially important if there may be new financing required…

Finally, any expense involved will be deductible for taxes this year. With that in mind, let me provide you with several ground rules:

1.)    Establish what planning tasks you want to accomplish while you are doing this process. What is most important to you for next year?

2.)    Know “Why” you want to accomplish a certain objective next year. If you know your why, the how will become much more evident!

3.)    Get offsite to do this planning.

4.)    Yes, I did say offsite! This will minimize your distractions and interruptions. Besides, you don’t work for “Corporate America,” so you don’t need permission to do this. In fact, I believe your expenses should be deductible. Ask your Accountant.

5.)    Stay focused (another advantage to being offsite). Stay on task and push yourself to set higher and more challenging goals.

6.)    Plan an agenda before you go, and follow it closely.

7.)    I suggest that any business owner do this at least once per year. Having a mid-year checkup is not a bad idea either.

8.)    Best wishes for a successful planning session.

Follow these steps, and I believe you will be well on your way to achieving higher levels of success, your reward for Next Level Thinking!