The January roads are dangerous. Not because of over-enthusiastic taxis or outraged drivers but because of the hordes of joggers slamming toe to pavement in an attempt to reboot their 2020 New Year goals. The same can be applied to business. Entrepreneurs sit at their fresh January desks and try to revitalise and reboot the business from the minute they start the year.
But the best idea is to just stop
January’s focus should not be exclusively on planning your new strategy, aligning your business to new goals and refreshing every, last thing. It should rather be the time when you cement your foundations, get your systems in order, and do the tedious admin.
It’s a good time to reflect and plan for the year ahead while assessing what didn’t work the year before. Use the time to make adjustments that help you to produce better results going forward.
Strategic 20/20 hindsight
Strategy is about calculated assumptions. Use January to tweak and update these based on the past year and the results you achieved. But also use February, March and every other month up until you close doors in December.
Strategy isn’t a static thing. It should change as you pivot and adapt to feedback on a monthly, iterative basis. Stop thinking January is the turning point. It’s not. It’s just one turning on a very long highway.
So, what should you do in January?
Definitely look at your strategy and shape it according to the lessons learned in 2019. Then use the time to implement new ideas if the business is quiet. The reality is that most businesses are busy in January so the myth of quiet mornings musing over strategy is just that, a myth.
If you do have time, implement new ideas and thinking. Use any free time to test previous thinking, make adjustments, implement those changes, measure their impact and then repeat. Every month of the year, whenever you have free time.
Strategy should be an ongoing thing that adapts to the business and the market. Don’t create something in January and then blindly follow it for a year. Rather see the New Year as a chance to keep doing what you did brilliantly the year before and to tweak and adapt the things that didn’t work on a strategic level.
There’s no New Year line in the sand. You can as easily start your strategic planning today as you can in February or July. And, for those of you already tired of running – you can start that again in February too…