So here we are at the end of another year, and what a year it has been! I don’t think any amount of business planning 12 months ago could have prepared businesses for the testing times that followed, and we should all use this year as a testament to our own strengths and resilience. Of course, this test isn’t fully over yet but as businesses, we are now older, wiser, and more aware of what kind of challenges lay before us for 2021. Which is why we’re proposing to make 2021 the year of the plan! 
Now we’re not saying that nothing will ever take us by surprise or professing to know what happens next as the country tries to regain control over normality but we are certain that by planning ahead we can mitigate some of the potential pitfalls and move towards clear goals and milestones. 
Never made a business plan before? There is hundreds of resources available online for you to gain an insight in how to create your 2021 plan and below is our quick, fail safe guide on what questions you need to ask about your business when setting your end of year goals. 
Why are you here? 
Sustaining a business is hard, and in the midst of the day to day tasks and other external distractions it is all to easy to forget why you even started your business in the first place. Often, just answering the simple question; “Why did I start my business?” can remind us of our original intentions and refresh our drive and passion for the year to come. 
What do I want? 
Being able to visualise your end goal is one of the most powerful tools in business planning and we’re not just talking about the ultimate retirement goal, even just the goal for the end of the year or for 5 years time is suitable. You may have multiple little visual goals in mind or just one, there is no limit on how many you can have but by confirming your goals you will gain direction and a boost of inspiration on how to get there. 
Who am I? 
A mission statement for your business is an absolute must! What does your business do and what makes it different to others? Knowing this will allow you to form goals and measure your long term success. 
What are your 2021 goals? 
Time to list those things you ant to achieve in 2021, no matter how big or small it is – if you want it checked off the list by the end of the year then make sure it is in your plan. Also remember to make sure they are SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Realistic and the Time-based goals so that you can track your progress throughout the year. 
What does my business do? 
Time to get 100% clear about what product/service your business is offering. Are you able to clearly describe your product or service, what is your USP, how does your product or service benefit the customer, how will you deliver it? By making sure that you know your product and exactly how you are going to deliver it you will be able to market it more effectively. 
Who is my competition? 
Competitor analysis is key, work out what they do well and where they fall down – can you offer something different? 
What is the cost? 
Know your prices and make sure that they are working for you. Remember that for you to make a profit your prices must be accurate and given all of the changes in 2020 it is likely that some of your internal costs may have changed. Perfect time for a cost evaluation. 
What are your strengths and weaknesses? 
Being truly honest about what you do well and what you don’t will mean that you are more aware of your limitations and able to avoid potential business risks. 
Who is the audience? 
Truly great businesses don’t spend vast amounts of time and money marketing to everyone, they put planning into place that allows them to truly define their business audience and target the relevant people only. Work out who your ideal customer is and plan your marketing to play to their interests. 
What’s my budget? 
The nitty gritty part, you must know your numbers! Make sure that your financial reporting is in good stead so that you can put together a personal budget for the year. Profit & loss, cash flow and balance sheets all need to be accurate so that you can correctly plan your spending for the year. 
Plan those projects! 
Any business projects you had for the year, write them down and ask yourself who is undertaking them, when they will be doing it and what they need in order to complete it. By doing this you will be able to accurate assess your resources and adjust ready for the project to run smoothly. 
Break it down! 
Now that you’ve done all of the above you should be able to create a month by month plan for how your business will be progressing towards it’s goals. Naturally, you can then break these down further into weeks if needed. 
So there you have it, you’ve created a full year plan for 2021 and whilst it might not protect you from every unexpected change, it will certainly give you a definitive direction and motivation for the year ahead. 
Perhaps it has highlighted some parts of your business that you might need extra help on and if so then do not worry. We know that not everyone has an extra hour a day to get everything done which is why our Pink Spaghetti teams are on hand across the UK to help out. We’ve previously discussed the effectiveness of hiring virtual assistants and outsourcing business tasks and thoroughly believe that every business can unlock hours of productive time when they share the burden of business admin. 
Our teams can undertake your business tasks with ease and allow you to focus on planning for your year ahead or even allow you to finally reach that goal uninterrupted. We can complete the vast majority of business administration, planning, research, marketing and media tasks on a pick up/put down basis which allows you to get the assistance you need, as and when you need it, in a cost effective manner. 
Pink Spaghetti are always available to talk through your business needs and available options, so if outsourcing in order for you to reach your business goals in 2021 sounds like the right path for you then get in touch. 
It goes without saying that we wish you all a successful year ahead and remember, if your business is ready to start claiming back time, you can click here to find your local Pink Spaghetti office and give us a call to discuss your requirements. 
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