January is officially behind us, and February is well underway, and with that in mind it's the ideal time to check in with your business plan for 2016 to see how you're doing and check that you're on track with where you expected to be by the end of the 1st month.
Your business plan should ideally be an active document that you refer back to regularly and adjust as necessary. Whilst writing one at the beginning of each year is a great discipline to have, there will always be elements that were subject to guess-work when you wrote it, or unforeseen opportunities and distractions that come along - especially in a newer business. It's important to continue to update your business plan as you go along so that it remains a relevant and useful reference document to keep you on track as you move forward throughout the year, rather than leaving it to become so out of date that it sits in a draw untouched for 12 months, that's no use to anyone.
Your business plan details your overall business vision for the year, and should help you break that down into clear action steps and progress markers throughout the year, so now that we're 1 month into 2016's 12 month journey the question is are you where you wanted to be?
If you've smashed your targets for January then congratulations! That's a great start to the year, and based on that do you want to up your targets for the rest of the year? What was it that worked so well for you? Is it something you can replicate over the next few months to continue to exceed your original targets?
If you haven't achieved as much as you hoped to in January, it's especially valueable to take the time to look at why not? Was it something you tried that didn't produce the results expected? Could you tweak or develop it to produce the desired results this month? Are you procrastinating on doing your key actions? Or is your list just too long, are you trying to focus on too many different areas and producing an ineffective scattergun result?
Now is the perfect time to check back in with your business plan and your end goals for 2016 and just adjust your course to compensate for anything unforseen to make sure you're staying on track to hit your targets for the end of the year.
An airplane has a course heading that it follows to get from A to B, however throughout it's journey it will actually be off course 95% of the time. Despite this, by continually reviewing it's position relative to where it wants to be and making small, consistent course corrections it will end up exactly where originally planned.
If January hasn't gone as expected, whether that's for good or bad, don't worry, just review your "flight plan" make some course corrections, and start heading back in the right direction, you've got a whole 11 months left to make sure you achieve your goals for 2016.