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Do You Have a Plan for 2020?


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A plan: Do you have one? Is it the same as it was at the beginning of the year? How different does it look now than at the beginning of 2019? What should 2020 look like for you and your business? 

The beginning and end of a business year or calendar year can represent a chance to take a breath, do some retrospective analysis and cast your eye to the future.

Your future is a moving target, but you need to have a target to move. As we head into 2020, hopefully your planning is underway. If it isn’t, there are a few things that you’ll want to think about.

Growth

What do you intend to grow next year? Do you have a realistic growth target? This number should manifest itself into real numbers, real measurable goals. For example, a large business may think of this in terms of same-store growth or the number of new stores to open. For small and medium-sized businesses, it might be about simple bottom-line numbers, or growth in incremental and profit dollars. The adage “what gets measured gets done” holds true here.

Weaknesses

What were your weak points in 2019? Was it getting beaten to promotions? Out-of-stock issues? Staffing issues? Cash flow? Build a plan for addressing those issues. Without a plan, the problems you have will continue.

Priorities 

It’s really common for entrepreneurs to try to do it all. It’s probably one of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make. While you’re planning out how to grow and how to shore up weaknesses, you have to decide what is most important. Each one of your priorities needs to have its own ranking so you know how to choose in case you have to pick one thing over another.

Capital

Make sure you have the money you need to do the things on your priority list. This helps you cull your list down to something manageable. You shouldn’t have enough money to do everything on your list—if you do, either your list isn’t ambitious enough or you’re undervaluing the cost of the priorities you’ve listed. This also helps you see how much you’re short of being able to make fireworks happen in your business.

Make Room for Adjustments

It’s maddening to hear, but it needs to be said: Once you’ve made the plan, execute it. Don’t over-plan, and don’t finesse the plan. Your plan will change multiple times in the year; you use this plan to help anchor your changes and see your future. Realize that after three months, you might need to come back and readjust the plan, including readjusting your goals and measurables.

Hold Yourself Accountable 

Even if the plan has radically changed, take time to evaluate how you did. And how did you do with the plan? What could you have done differently? Be sure to celebrate your wins and learn from your losses. Planning plays a useful part in helping businesses measure up and for entrepreneurs to learn how to be better at their businesses.


As a retail industry expert and co-host of “This Commerce Life” podcast, Phil Chang tracks emerging trends and insights that could impact businesses engaged in commerce. With 20 years of experience under his belt, Chang helps brands and retailers adapt to the new realities of retail and the next generation of commerce. With three kids, he’s more familiar with gen Z than he’d care to admit. A frequent speaker at industry events in Canada and the U.S., across multiple verticals, you’ll find him searching for unique local businesses everywhere he goes.

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