January is an important for every successful, growing business. As every runner knows, the start and finish of the race are critical to winning. Assuming your fiscal year runs concurrently with the calendar year, here is a 9 item checklist for this month:
- 3-Year Strategic Plan (rolling 3 year revenue forecast, expense projections, goals & objectives, priority projects, etc.) reviewed and updated. Make sure all assumptions are still valid.
- 2018 Revenue Forecast complete and approved (by product/service, by month, both units & dollars)
- 2018 Expense Budget by month finalized and distributed to all departments
- Sales quotas finalized and distributed to reps at a Sales Kickoff meeting
- 2017 annual performance reviews for ALL full time employees complete by the end of the month.
- 2018 Compensation & Incentive plans approved; 2017 bonuses paid; Payroll adjusted for raises awarded following performance reviews.
- 2018 meeting calendar complete and distributed to all managers.
- All financial reporting tools (weekly, monthly, quarterly) in place to track progress (actual vs. forecasted results) in real time.
- Company –wide “All Hands Meeting” scheduled to review 2017 results, communicate 2018 goals, and key initiatives, and pump up the entire team (i.e. build Energy, Excitement and Enthusiasm) for the coming year.
Ideally, the annual planning process starts in mid-October, and is complete by December 20th, just before the holidays. That’s the best time to do it…The second best time is right now! Don’t just muddle your way through another year without a documented plan in place. As I’ve said before, failing to plan is planning to fail. Don’t start your journey with a dirty windshield and no road map!
Once you’ve completed the above tasks, your planning is done. You can now concentrate on Execution…that is, moving the ball downfield, month to month, until you reach the goal line on December 31st.
My Best Wishes,