2016: THE Why – What – Who – How – When

2016.  It’s not that far away – excited? I certainly am although I’m going to finish 2015 strongly first.

While we close off 2015 and prepare to round the corner to 2016, what are the business questions we should be asking ourselves in readiness for the New Year?

What would make the difference between a good and a great 2016 for you?

It takes a bit more work to go from good to great… and the work should be fun… and worth the effort with the results.

Here’s my take on the ‘Why – What – Who – How – When’ questions we should be asking of ourselves as we begin planning our businesses for 2016 to ensure we go from good to great.

While the questions may seem simple on the face of it, like anything, the more deeply we think, the more honestly we answer them, the stronger the answers we receive and the more alive and empowered we feel. 

WHY – in 1 question

WHY do you do what you do? 

This is ‘THE’ passion for your business.  This is about being in love with your business and the difference your products and services make in the lives of your customers.  If we aren’t passionate about our businesses, it’s unlikely we’ll be excited about the upcoming year.

WHAT – in 2 questions

WHAT is your vision for your business? 

While you may be clear about your vision, it’s really good at the start of new beginnings to recheck it as things change; we change.  In the lead up to 2016 check in with yourself about what you want to achieve in your business and your life.

WHAT are the key products and services you are going to focus on in 2016?

There are so many products and services that we can offer the market.  What are the few key ones that are going to make the difference to your business?  The ones that will make the biggest impact for your customers and, in being successful in selling those products and services, will make the biggest difference to the success of your business.

WHO – in 4 questions 

Who is your team?

Regardless of the size of your business, we don’t do business alone.  Think about your team and love and nurture them.  In return they’ll love you (hopefully) and your customers.  Recruit your team for your values too; make sure they’re aligned to where you want your business to head and how you’re going to get there.

Who are your customers – current and new? 

Think about what the perfect customer looks like for your business and map a plan to seek them out.  We can’t be everything to everybody – so there’s no point in trying to be.  Target your market.  Niche!  And then go after it with love and passion.  Make a difference in the lives of your customers. 

Who are your key suppliers? 

Your suppliers are critical to your success in business so they must be nurtured too.  Think of ways that are mutually beneficial to deepen the relationship with your suppliers.

Who are your business partners?

Partnerships and joint ventures are the key to success in business.  Think of ways you can deepen the relationship with existing partners, supporting them to be more successful.  Find new partners and support them to achieve success too.  In return, they’ll  be there for you.

HOW – in 1 question

HOW are you doing to deliver on your WHAT? 

The HOW comes down to six areas of business that need to be thought about and planned for:  Branding, Marketing, Sales, Finances, Operations/Systems, Team.  What are you doing in each of those areas of business to achieve your vision?

WHEN – in 1 question

WHEN are you going to do everything in your year?

The WHEN is planning your long-term and medium term strategies and the key actions that must be undertaken to achieve your WHAT.

The WHEN is the one area that many entrepreneurs and business owners don’t like too much because it takes time to plan out the year.  Unless the year is planned and written down, I can almost guarantee your business will control you, rather than you controlling it. 

Ohh… there’s one more WHO…

I almost forgot.  J  The final question you must ask yourself is this.  WHO is going to hold YOU accountable for achieving your WHY – WHAT – WHO – HOW – WHEN?

You?  Possibly.  How about finding yourself a mentor, business coach, guide, mastermind group, and ask those people to hold you accountable for delivering your 2016 business goals?  I promise you in making that investment in yourself you’ll have a much stronger, more successful business by December 2016!  Now that sounds exciting to me.

ACTION:  I’d love to know if you’re already planning for 2016 and if so, which area of your business are you most excited about in 2016?  How about leaving a comment below?

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