Three business planning steps for the rest of 2015

With the midpoint of 2015 fast approaching, it’s time to take stock of your business successes during the past six months, as well as any areas where you perhaps haven’t made your mark as you had initially hoped. Looking to the future, here are three tips to help organise your business plans between now and the end of the year.

1. Combine personal and business planning – you may like to think of your personal life and your business life as two separate entities, but in reality this is arguably never the case until the day you retire. As such, you could use the remaining time in 2015 to become more realistic about the interdependence of your business and personal plans. If the vast majority of your personal wealth is tied up in your business, it will take time to uncouple what is yours from what is part of the firm. Now could be the perfect time to begin that process and ensure you are fully prepared for when you do leave the business world behind for your well-earned retirement.

2. Keep it simple – whilst your plans need to have detail, your goals should be simple. Try writing one of your goals on a standard sized post-it note. If you can’t fit it easily on one side, it could benefit from being refined further to give you a clear and achievable outcome. Make sure you focus on the big ideas. Could one of your targets be achieved as a side-effect of achieving another? If so, can they be combined into one all-encompassing goal? If you work out your long term aims, the details will be easier to work out.

3. Focus on your employees – halfway through the year, it can be all too easy to assume the people working for you now know what they are doing for the next six months and will self-motivate. In actual fact, halfway through the year could be the perfect time for you to go back to your employees and take stock of how they are working for you. Praising and rewarding those who are helping your business succeed could make all the difference in whether they reach their full potential for you. Equally, if there are those who look likely to cause issues for your firm’s output further down the line, doing something now rather than later could be the best decision for your business. As Hotel Chocolat founder Angus Thirlwell said: “When you have good people with you, anything is possible. Most of the regrets I have in business are around the theme of keeping the wrong people on for too long”.

Implementing these three tips in your own business practice throughout the next six months could mean the difference between 2015 being a year to remember or to forget.