Cobblers' Collective: Planing for 2017

"September is the new January."

Fall always makes us want start fresh with new pencils and notebooks.  It has a clean slate feeling.  The crazy, hectic, hot summer is over and now it is time for schedules, order, and getting some work done!  We are not alone in this; the phrase “September is the new January” is being bantered around more and more often. 

So, where do you start planning for next year? 

Here’s what the Cobblers said:

  1. Set aside some time to sit down and plan.  Yes, this can seem silly if you are a solopreneur, but even if having a meeting with yourself is too formal for you, there is a lot to be gained from carving out the time to work on your business.  So, pick a time, put it on your calendar, and yes, you must give it the weight you would a client meeting.
     
  2. Start with the calendar.  Put in the big events for 2017.  Think about the changes you want to make.  Will you add to your product line?  Will you hire additional employees?  What about changing some systems?  If you get these things on the calendar they are much more likely to happen.  (Put some vacation time in there too while you are at it.  Work/life balance people, it’s a thing.)
     
  3. Go to the numbers.  Are you hitting the sales and/or revenue marks you want to this year?  If not what can you change for next year?  Is it time to adjust your pricing?  Do you need to cut your expenses?  And, even if you are making the numbers, you can’t rest on your laurels. Forecasting is critical to smooth cash flow.

    Also, consider if you have any large expenses that you should squeeze in this year or if you should wait till next year.  This is an excellent time to talk to your tax professional, they’re less busy now than in January.
     
  4. Review your processes.  Can anything be streamlined or outsourced?  Have you gotten bogged down in with something you could foist off onto someone else while freeing up more of your time for revenue making?  Is your client pipeline working the way it should or do you need to change some part of that to make it flow more smoothly?
     
  5. Archive.  Really.  If you are planning for 2017 and you still have 2015 at hand put it away.  Clean out your files, both the physical and the digital ones.  If you don’t have a long-term storage plan, now is a great time to create one, and then use it!
     
  6. Set your goals and theme/intention for the next year.  You’re wrapping up your previous year, and this is a great time to address what you want to tackle next.  Frame the goals, write them in your planner, tattoo them on your forehead so you see them every day.  Find an accountability partner who will ask you about them (Pro tip: we do this at Cobbler’s, ask us about it). 

    The theme/intention is a little different than a goal.  It’s something you want to focus on as a general idea, typically it’s a word or two.  One of
    Cobblers said their focus for 2016 was “Community,” so they joined Cobblers this year!  We think that’s lovely!

Remember, if you need help or guidance.  The Cobblers are here! 

Cheers to an amazing 2017!