Your job as the visionary of your business is to brainstorm all the ideas. The ideas that help you in your growth and help you get to where you want to be.

And while 2018 isn’t over yet, it’s not too early to start planning out 2019. However, before you get started, know that in small business it can be difficult to plan long-term. Instead, use smaller planning cycles that allow you to see success while still keeping in line with your business mission and vision.

How to outline your goals for next year

Find Time for Planning

You have to spend time to work ON your business, instead of just IN your business. When you work on your business, you’re creating new programs, innovating products, managing team members, taking care of your finances and, yes, strategically planning out what’s coming next.

Thursdays are the days I work on my own business, but planning out goals can be more intense. Find a way to get out of the house so you can really hone in on where you want to focus your time, efforts and money next year. You can make this a multi-day retreat, block off a few afternoons in a row or plan out some quality accountability time with your biz besties. If it helps, hire a coach to walk you through the goal-setting process.

Just be sure you don’t wait too long. You need to start planning now so you have all the pieces in place you need to make 2019 wildly successful.

Go Back to Strategic Objectives

Knowing your priorities is key to a successful 2019 plan. You’ve heard me talk about strategic objectives before, and the same rings true today. When you have objectives that help you strategically move toward your big goals, you’re more likely to be successful.

Here’s why strategic objectives work. If you know that you need to work on creating new products and services for your audience in order to get where you want to be, you’re much less likely to get side-tracked by that new visibility tool or by creating a new logo. Instead, you can laser-focus on what you need to do now in order to get where you want to be tomorrow.

Setting Long-Term Goals

In small business, I’m not a fan of setting big long-term goals. You’re often the only person in your business, or you have a very small team. If your personal life is off-balance due to illness, an accident or just a crazy time of year, you risk not meeting your big goals. And if you’re a Type-A personality, that can be a mindset challenge.

Set some loose long-term goals–like what you want to earn next year or a vision of what you’d like your business to look like–but don’t map out exactly what you need to do to get there.

Instead, focus on the next best step to meeting your goals. That could look like raising your prices or developing a new service or product in the next few months. Save the detailed planning for your monthly and quarterly goals and use your long-term goals as a larger vision.

Once you know what objectives you’re going to focus on and have planned out your next best steps to meeting your longer-term vision, book time in your calendar weekly, monthly and quarterly to review your short- and long-term goals. This will help keep you on track throughout the remainder of this year and well into next year so you feel productive and successful moving forward.

If you need help getting started, make sure you have your mission, vision and values firmly in place.

Define mission vision values

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