10 Ways to Prepare for the New Year

2008 | Nov 19 in Home Page News , Management , Leadership

By E-Myth Business Coach,

I know, I know...how can we be thinking about the New Year when it's still November? Well, now is the perfect time to be thinking about how to leverage your business for 2009. It's time to start thinking strategically about the year ahead.

Here's a list of 10 steps you can take right now that will pay dividends in the next year:

1. You are responsible for the direction of your business. Now is the time to revisit your life goals, your purpose, your innermost driving force. At E-Myth, we call this your Primary Aim. Your Primary Aim is about leading a life that is consistent with your core values and beliefs. With a solid Primary Aim, you will build a business that serves and supports your life. Does your Primary Aim still "ring true?" Are you satisfied that you are remaining faithful to your best self?

2. If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there! Think about what your business will look like when it is fully developed. This is what we refer to as the Strategic Objective for your business. With a clearly defined Strategic Objective, everything your company and your employees do will move the company toward that vision. What strategies could you develop for the following year that will get you that much closer to your Strategic Objective?

3. Look at the numbers. What are the statistics you can measure that will tell you if you are on track to achieve your Strategic Objective? We call these Key Strategic Indicators. It's critical to the health of your business that you fully understand and use these indicators. Which indicators do you want to focus on next year? Which indicators-if systemized-will help achieve next year's goals?

4. Meet with your accountant. Set up an appointment to review earnings and projected profit/loss for your business. Consider tax-minimizing strategies like: an advance payment of next year's bills, or equipment purchases. Will you pay year-end bonuses? What about IRA accounts?

5. Budget, budget, budget. Budgeting requires you to think about your basic objectives, systems and resources on a regular basis. It keeps you current with what's really going on. It's critical that you establish a budget for next year. You could even plan quarterly budgets, to allow for a more detailed view of your revenues and spending.

6. Cash is king. Cash is to your business what fuel is to your car-if you run out, you stop. Build a cash plan that will help meet your goals. Just like with the budget, you might want to identify quarterly cash plans to allow for a micro view.

7. Work on your time management. Start to plan your strategic work for the year. Build a strategic calendar by booking appointments with the necessary people (including yourself-see #8) who will help you reach your new goals. Make an effort to book and confirm your meeting schedule through at least the first quarter of the new year.

8. Schedule strategic business development work. This may sound a lot like #7, but I'm trying to make a point here. You absolutely must schedule strategic time with yourself, if you want your business to survive and thrive. Are you a better strategic thinker in the mornings or in the afternoons? What days of the week are you more likely to get strategic work done? Be sure to allow yourself enough time for any "catch up" work.

9. Create a to-do list for the first week of January. Taking the fist step is often the hardest. So why not start now with a to-do list for Monday, January 5 through Friday, January 9. Jump start that first week with a clear commitment to change.

10. Set your goals for 2009. After you have reviewed and completed the nine steps above, determine which goals you need to complete in the next year. How many sales do you need to reach your revenue goals? How many prospects do you need to talk to in order to make that many sales? How many advertisements do you need to do in order to get that many prospects? How many systems do you need in your business to reach your goals? Which ones? Prioritize your needs and your actions based on the Strategic Objective for your business. Make a personal commitment to reaching your goals and taking the necessary actions by scheduling what needs to be done and by when.

Remember; this is a golden opportunity to start fresh in the new year. Make a commitment to yourself to make 2009 your best yet.

Why not get started right now by posting a comment and sharing with us the top three things you're absolutely committed to do as you prepare for the new year?

And if you need help with accountability, if you want to be sure that 2009 won't become just another year of good intentions and little change, consider enrolling in one of our programs. We want to help you succeed!


  1. .JOEL D. says:

    This is a great time of year to reflect on your accomplishments for this year, but an excellent opportunity to start planning for next years goals. Thank you for the outline to achieve help that.

    Submitted Nov 20, 2008 9:37 AM

  2. .NIkos T. says:

    Thanks for the great advice. I think the most powerful of all is a reminder to make time to plan, to schedule clear, uninterrupted time to not only envision what your business looks like when it is developed, but to dare to dream how big and beautiful it wants to be with your direction.

    Submitted Nov 20, 2008 10:06 AM

  3. .Bob P. says:

    Once again the team gets ahead of the crowd. This has always been a goal, you know, to plan ahead... often it's the end of the first quarter before I've got past a first, rough draft. My thanks for a clear and concise approach that I can apply NOW! We're away without loosing site of today.

    Submitted Nov 20, 2008 11:22 AM

  4. .Lorraine R. says:

    Thanks for this timely reminder to take action now!  There's no better way to get ahead of the chaos curve in 2009 than to create/revisit your business plan now.  It's also important to remember to review, clarify, and/or validate your plan through the lense of an objective perspective - - doing so will help keep you on course towards a clear horizon!

    Submitted Nov 20, 2008 1:23 PM

  5. .Sandy W. says:

    The statement "You are responsible for the direction of your business" is so powerful; yet we get wrapped up in the day to day and don't make time for the future.   Thank you for these simple yet empowering reminders.  I recently put a recurring entry in my calendar for strategic planning and told my staff that this is 'do not disturb' time.  So far I've been able to keep my promise to myself and my business and it feels great!

    Submitted Nov 20, 2008 2:06 PM

  6. .Steve w. says:

    As the economic situation globally realigns, I think this is a perfect time to pause, take a breath and reassess the lie of the land and address what needs to be done to position your business for the upcoming year. Remember small changes in key areas can make vast differences....

    Submitted Nov 20, 2008 3:24 PM

  7. .Chad G. says:

    It is so easy to put off planning until tomorrow and then something else comes up. I'm going to take Sandys advice and put in a recurring time every Wed afternoon.

    Submitted Nov 20, 2008 4:28 PM

  8. .Scott P. says:

    I recall the joy of this year's successes. It would be a shame not to reflect and dream how much greater next year will be built on top of this year!  Doing what you love is pure enjoyment, but it doesn't mean I have arrived. The joy of the journey is experienced one year at a time.

    Submitted Nov 20, 2008 7:21 PM

  9. .Bill E. says:

    Eymth is really helping make my dreams and goals become a reality. Cannot wait to see what 2009 brings. If it wasn't for Eymth, I would be retired and you know  they say that business guys only live 5 years after retirement. Thanks for the new lease on life and really enjoying the journey

    Submitted Nov 21, 2008 3:02 PM

  10. .Vi W. says:

    It's definitely a good time to smell the roses of last year, and plan to grow even more in the next year.

    This kind of advice is always easier to appreciate than it is to put into action.

    Here's to action!

    Vi Wickam

    Submitted Nov 23, 2008 2:44 PM

  11. .Barry E. says:

    Thanks for the timely advise. Their is no better way to prepare for the new year than this piece. The Emyth Worlwide is a business resource for everyone. Thanks

    Submitted Nov 28, 2008 1:17 AM

  12. .PATRICE P. says:

    Thank you very much for the heads-up. There is no better time than the present.

    Submitted Nov 29, 2008 2:54 PM

  13. .Michelle G. says:

    These are wonderful tips -- my favorite is #9, making a to-do list for Jan 5-9.  This is brilliant!

    -Michelle | http://www.thebizboutique.com 

    Submitted Nov 30, 2008 6:03 PM

  14. .Robert G. says:

    Reflection on our inner self is not only refreshing but imperative to the nature of our growth and development.  As we develop our golf game we break it down step by step to find what's causing that slice or cut.  Most importantly how to reduce our score!!  Time spent on the details can only create change.  It is how you spend the time and in what areas that spell good or bad change.

    Submitted Dec 1, 2008 10:03 AM

  15. .mark e. says:

    This time of year as we get a little closer to christmas, we have to stop and look at our lives and family, freinds are we enjoying the relationships, I set my goals always this time of year, be more organized, time management, work to the schedule you set for self and do all the above. This works for me for about 6 months, by the end of the year I am at full pace. Working longer hours and much to available for the people who demand your time, your main suppliers, banks etc. Lets do it right, slow down and delegate work to the departments that can do it for you. Great Article

    Submitted Dec 6, 2008 10:26 PM

  16. .David M. says:

    Again, great information.  It's an excellent time to reflect, plan and see opportunities ahead. I'm just starting Mastery (my 2nd week) and I can feel my mindset changing. Looking forward to 2009 being our highest gross and net income year.   

    Submitted Dec 17, 2008 6:32 AM

  17. .Sunday O. says:

    I really do enjoy 10 Ways to Prepare for the New Year. It's simple and easy to do, not ambiguous and it helps you to know what/and how to do what to do in 2009.

    Thanks a million.

    Merry Christmas 2008 and Happy New Year 2009.

    Submitted Dec 26, 2008 2:45 AM

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