It’s that time again.
That magical time of the year where we decide “This is our year. The year we do things differently. The year we make it happen. The year we change the world!” Or at the least, this is the year that we finally sit down and finish 2024 planning before it is in fact 2024.
Strategic planning can feel daunting. Especially when you add the weight of a new year into the mix. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 steps to rock your strategic plan with time to cheers the new year.
1. Start Now
Perfection is the enemy of progress (Winston Churchill) and waiting until you have the perfect place and time, the perfect budget, insights, team attendance, brain capacity, etc, will ensure that nothing ever happens. Start now with what you have and figure out what you need. It’s ok if you are starting with big-picture goals. Invite your peers and partners to the table and you can begin to prioritize and refine these goals. This also helps you begin the budget conversation with some concrete numbers and objectives. Creating your outline is a great first step and will help your team feel focused and accomplished.
2. Look Forward
What is it that you want to accomplish as a company? What direction are you running in? Do you need any additional resources to make your goals realities? Plot your path so that you can backwards map to where you are at today.
3. Look Backward
What have you accomplished this year? What worked really well? What would you be ok with leaving behind in 2023? What did you want to accomplish but realized you need some more support to make it happen? A great exercise to do with your team is to take a calendar audit. Look at your calendar to see where the majority of your time and energy went in 2023. Where do you need to make adjustments? You can also look at any campaigns or marketing efforts that you may want to further evaluate now that you have enough space for a retrospective. This can help you identify resource gaps, and is a great way to celebrate your wins or course-correct if needed.
4. Make a Plan
Even if the plan is to finalize a plan- get it onto paper. Looking at your list of forward and backward insights, backwards map your future goals to today into manageable microsteps with attainable action steps for each one. Involve your CFO, stakeholders, brand partners, other teammates, etc. in this conversation early so that as the team builds out budgets, these goals are aligned and accounted for. The earlier you can bring your peers and partners into this conversation, the better likelihood you’ll have to bring this to fruition.
5. Set a Date
As your calendar fills up, it becomes more challenging to carve out time for strategic thinking. Set a time in your calendar now for quarterly and annual planning. Even if these are quick pulse checks each quarter, blocking time now and inviting your peers and partners will help prioritize space for these important conversations while everyone’s calendars are still open.
Start your new year with a win. Taking some time to pause and plan will dramatically uplevel your game. When is the best time to start planning for the new year? Ideally, October. This gives you a good amount of the prior year to consider while leaving space for the end of year holiday-rush. If you would like assistance with facilitating your 2024 planning, we would love to help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your company’s needs.
Gigasavvy has experience helping brands position themselves for long-term success with comprehensive strategies, meaningful brand stories, and innovative creative campaigns. Connect with us to chat about how we can help you drive your brand forward.