3 Steps to Create a Great Plan for the New Year


John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

New year, new you!

Isn’t that what they say?

Well, perhaps a better way of phrasing it would be, “New year, new business.”

As we get ready to ring in the new year with fireworks and champagne, it’s also time to begin thinking about your plan for the upcoming 12 months.

While W5 Coaching wants you to enjoy a well-earned holiday rest, once the festivities end, it’s right back at it so we can make your business bigger and better than ever before.

To do so, you’ll need a 3-step plan.

It looks something like this:

  1. What happened in the past year?
  2. What environmental factors are affecting my business in the present?
  3. What do I want the future to look like?

Let’s get ready for the year ahead with an annual plan for 2022.

You only get 365 days to make an impact. What about this year’s plan will be different?

Motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar once said,

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”

And he’s absolutely correct.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, you get the same amount of time as everybody else, but the demands placed upon your clock each day can far surpass that of a regular 9-5 employee.

That is why it’s so important to come up with an annual plan.

To ignore the planning process is the fastest way to crumble, lose track of time, and miss golden opportunities.

So, how exactly do we do that?

Step 1: look at the past

First, you must look back.


What happened last year?

And the year before that?

While no one predicted the world to change like it did in March 2020, it’s now possible to view the past with fresh eyes and a more informed perspective.

This is Step 1 of a New Year, New Business Plan.

Step 2: consider the present

Next, think about the present.

The acronym SWOT can help.

Evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats as each relates to your annual business plan.

For example:

  • Supply chain issues
  • Rising interest rates
  • Inflation
  • A labour shortage

Each is influencing businesses like we’ve never seen before.

These are economic conditions we don’t really have any control over. And yet, they’re going to have a material affect.

Thinking about what environmental factors you’re dealing with currently is the second part of mapping out a great plan for the new year.

Step 3: visualize the future

Focus on future results.

Long-term objectives and goals become more attainable when we define what success is, in concrete terms.

Does that look like $____ in revenue?

Hiring four new employees by summer?

Finding a different supplier to minimize supply chain interruptions?

Be specific in your goals.

Together, these 3 steps can be used to create a simple plan to guide your next year.

Set the tone during the first 90 days

Getting excited about a plan is easy.

Sticking to it is much harder.

Those first 90 days are a critical time for your business; setting the tone of success and buckling down for the long-haul is a must!

If your past track record shows that you don’t follow through, you might want to add “get a business coach” to your plan.

A coach can help you stay accountable and make sure you do the equivalent of “more and better” push-ups for your business.

You can schedule a 15-minute consultation call here: book 15 minutes with John

Happy New Year from W5 Coaching!

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Business Owner

become a better owner

If an owner wants a better business, first the business needs a better owner.

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Business Owner. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you with:

  • Mindset. Thinking like an owner and seeing the big picture of your business.
  • Planning. Deciding what you want, setting a goal, and making plans to get after it.
  • Habits. Changing your behaviours to help you get what you want.
  • Learning. Getting new information and developing new skills.
  • Growth. Facing your fears, stepping outside your comfort zone, and doing what it necessary to create the business of your dreams.