How to Plan Your Annual Planning

 In Marketing Plan, New Store, Planning

An annual plan is a powerful tool for success. Without it, it will be hard for you to reach your business goals. Sure, you may have set financial/sales goals, and have a marketing plan in place, but an annual plan offers you a complete view of your company objectives, goals and activity plans.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll dive deeper into how to create a great (and achievable) annual plan for your small business. But first, let’s start, well, small.

Tips for Successful Annual Planning

Look Back

You can’t get where you want to go without looking back at where you’ve been. How has business been over the past few years? Look at sales figures, your competition, product/service offering, and/or other metrics like customer feedback.

Create Categories

In planning for your plan, you’ll need to think about what categories will make up your annual plans/objectives. Some starters are: financial, customer, people/culture, and community.

Open the Dialogue

While it may be tempting to take on the annual planning on your own, open the conversation to all of your employees in some way. When your employees are heard and feel valued, they will be committed to achieving the goals of the plan.

Stay Small

See if you can get your annual plan to fit on one sheet of paper. Not only will this keep your plan succinct, it will allow for easy reference by all employees when facing a decision.


As you move forward with your plan, schedule check-ins with your team to see how you’re making progress on the annual objectives – it’ll keep everyone on track. Promote successes and work together to overcome obstacles.


Things happen. Stuff comes up. If something isn’t working out the way you thought it might, be flexible and make the changes needed to keep you on course. Just remember to loop everyone on your team into any changes made to the plan.


Do you have an annual plan for your small business? How is it working out?

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