business plan elements

7 Savvy Planning Strategies For Business Owners

It only takes a little planning to make a big difference in your business. See what planning can do to improve your business.

“Must Have” Planning Strategies

According to the United States Small Business Association and the Internal Revenue Service’s 2011 survey, only about 10 percent of business owners are making more than $100,000 in their business. What is that 10 percent doing that you’re not? Planning. This alliterative phrase sums it up: Prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

It only takes a little planning to make a big difference in your business. The following seven strategies will help your business get ready to join the big leagues:

  1. Set new goals based on the seven systems in your business. The most successful businesses operate around the seven systems that ensure success: operational management, sales management, marketing management, financial management, talent management, client management and legal management.
  2. Survey your clients about their needs. It’s cheaper to keep your current clients than to go out and work to acquire more. Conduct a survey of those who hired you within the last year and find out what they are needing next to make the upcoming year just as successful. Find out the role they would like you to play in that success. This survey should also give you a great indication of exactly what you should offer.
  3. Have a strategic planning meeting with your entire team. Even if you are a team of one, you need to set aside some time to think strategically about your plans for the upcoming business year. Map out your marketing calendar, your events calendar, your project launch calendar, your editorial or content calendar, raise your rates, review your results from the year prior and determine what is next for your business. If you are challenged by doing this, you can hire a business strategist or consultant to participate in this process. If you do, be sure that they have documented results of how they have helped others. End one year knowing everything you’re doing in the next.
  4. Complete a SWOT Analysis of your operations. Clarifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your current year of operating can be a great asset to preparing for your upcoming year.
  5. Clear your email inbox. Action or delete everything from the current year or if you’ll need to refer to it later, create a folder so that your inbox is crystal clear. The best way to start a new year, quarter or week is to get out from under old items that are not useful and cannot add value to your daily operations and business building goals.
  6. Set up your electronic and paper folders. Organization is key. Create folders for everything that you do month in and month out. You should also archive folders from three or more years ago if you have not already done so. Keep the current and previous one to two years in easy reach to compare results, strategies and actions.
  7. Celebrate and express gratitude for what you have accomplished. While this isn’t a direct “business preparation strategy,” it is essential. It is only when we celebrate and express gratitude that we invite the abundant universe in which we live to create more reasons to celebrate and be grateful. Regardless of where you are in your year, you’re likely farther than you were at this time last year so celebrate that. (And if you want to be farther in the coming year, then do something about it.)

darnyelle“Business optimization strategist, Darnyelle A. Jervey, is CEO of Incredible One Enterprises, a business consulting and coaching firm that helps entrepreneurs and business owners realize financial and spiritual abundance. Jervey is an award-winning coach, consultant, strategist and a best-selling author with 7 books to her credit, including her latest projects: “Burn the Box: 7 Breakthrough Strategies for Standing Up, Stepping In and Igniting Success” and “Market Like a R.O.C.K. Star.” Jervey may be reached online at

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