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Thought Leadership

As 2021 enters its final quarter, you’ve probably started – or have at least thought about starting (hopefully) – your plans for 2022.

We’re rounding out our second pandemic calendar year, and are probably in a slightly better position to plan than we were last year at this time. But nevertheless, our goals and intentions must be fluid enough to allow for the unexpected (which we now know can happen without warning).

Here are a few things to keep in mind as prepare your business for 2022:

It’s not too early to start

The optimal time to begin planning for any new year is around October. This makes sense for two reasons:

  • By now, you have a sense for how the current year is going to end. While you still have 90 days of the year left, you can accurately predict where your accomplishments and shortfalls will be; and 
  • You’ve got nine months under your belt. You can examine the first three quarters and get an accurate historical performance to build a baseline on for the upcoming year.

Review your plans from last year

This is a great time to revisit your mission, your goals, and your core values. You should also take a hard look at the macroeconomics of the environment and consider everything going on around you. What is happening in the world? Where are the trends heading? Take a look at where your business needs to be to maximize new opportunities.

Be a visionary

An entrepreneur does usually fill the visionary seat, but it’s important to be able to see the big picture and pivot quickly in response to extreme changing environments. Be sure you are a business shareholder who is working “on” the business instead of “in” the business so you can step up and be flexible.

Involve your team

Goal setting and business planning are not projects you should take on alone. Utilize your leadership team, who will give you a much-needed perspective after working with customers and business challenges on a day-to-day basis. 

You may even want to involve leaders of significant units of your business for their input and contributions. 

Invest the time needed in a location that makes sense

It will be up to you to decide if you will whisk everyone away for a corporate retreat, or have a series of meetings in-house over a couple of weeks. If you are a new business or going through a major reset, plan on spending more time than if you are a well-oiled machine with a seasoned leadership team.

Embrace innovation

As we advised for 2021, it’s absolutely imperative you are ready and willing to embrace innovation. You’ll have to do it to stay relevant, to continue to meet the needs of your customers, and to keep up with your competitors.

Plan for the quarter

Again, 2021 advice that still makes sense: Have a rough idea of what you want to accomplish for the year but concentrate on setting goals 90-days at a time. This will allow you to remain flexible and be ready for change, not if it happens, but when it does.

Case in point…just two short years ago, we never imagined we’d be dealing with workplace issues like social distancing, masking, vaccination status, and working around quarantine requirements. Planning by the quarter will help us continue solving for these problems, especially if we are faced with another COVID variant or a different pandemic. 

We’ve done it before. We’ve gone through 9-11, the financial crisis of 2008, unusual weather patterns, and the pandemic, all which affected our lives and our businesses. Planning and goal setting will help you be ready for the next challenge. History has taught us it’s coming, and it will be a different challenge. 

How are you planning for 2022 and the challenges it will bring? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!