Make a better plan for next year by doing this first

W5 Year End Review Featured Image

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.

Around this time of year, most business owners start to think about planning.

  • What do we want to achieve next year?
  • What are our goals?
  • How will we get there?

But before diving into planning, I suggest you take a few moments to conduct an annual review.

An annual review will give you an opportunity to step back and gain a larger perspective on your business so that you have the key insights you need to make a solid plan for next year.

Here are some questions to get you started.

What did you achieve in business this year?

As business owners, we often focus on what’s wrong and what needs fixing.

Whether this past year was your best year ever – or it was more on the challenging side – take some time to review what went well.

What wins did you have?

What goals did you achieve?

What projects did you complete?

What improvements did you make?

What did you achieve personally?

At W5, we say that if the owner wants a better business, first the business needs a better owner.

What steps did you take last year to become a better owner?

What new habits did you create for yourself?

What skills or strengths did you build?

What lessons did you learn?

What are your obstacles and challenges?

What’s not working in your business?

What problems do you have that you haven’t solved?

What’s getting in the way of reaching your goals?

What areas of your business need improvement?

What do you need to work on personally?

What are you grateful for?

According to Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.”

A large body of recent work has suggested that grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships.

They have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and self acceptance – they even sleep better because they think more positive thoughts before going to sleep!

As the final question in your review, consider: what are you grateful for? Make a list!

A review sets the stage for better planning

Reflecting on last year will give you important insights you can use when creating your plan for next year.

When you review both what went well – and what didn’t go well – you can apply what you’ve learned in the past to create greater success in the future.

If you’d like some support creating (and implementing!) a plan for next year, book a 15-minute call to discuss coaching here: book time with John

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.