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The Small Business JourneyBusiness. Planning. Two words that can be both exciting and daunting all at the same time. Raising such questions as, what do I foresee in my future? What can I do to help me get there? And the big one, where do I REALLY want me and my business to go?

While it can conjure up many emotions, it really is a critical tool to ensure the ongoing progress and development of your business. And now is the perfect time to take some action in order to be prepared for the year ahead.

So how do you get started? Here are the first five steps you need to take in order to make it less scary, and more of a new beginning to an exciting adventure. Your adventure.

1. Take some time out to recharge the batteries.
As a business owner your business can be on your brain every minute of every day, so it’s a good idea to give yourself a break to clear the mind. You do not want to be holding onto the stress and challenges of last year moving forward. You need to make way for new ideas and new possibilities. And the new year is a great opportunity to head to the beach or go for a walk, just get out and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. There really is nothing like it to get those creative juices flowing.

2. Ignore the hype.
It’s easy to want to rush into the planning without taking the oh-so important “time out”. You jump onto Social Media and there are so many posts from those who have finished their planning and ready to conquer the world. Don’t worry, a few days of R&R will not hinder your planning. It will do the exact opposite. Turn off the outside noise (including your smart phone and tablet) and tune into your own inner thoughts and hopes for the future.

3. Close off your year.
If you haven’t already, create a list of all that you achieved this year. It can be surprising to see what you have actually been able to accomplish in the previous 12 months. This is the perfect time to reflect and pat yourself on the back. Even if things didn’t always go according to plan, the results will help you envision what will work in the future. You never can be sure if something will work or not until you try it, and it’s all very valuable research on the journey to bigger and better.

4. Get yourself a planner.
Personally, I’ve never been one for the multi page, goes on and on, business plan. It may be my creative background, but I much prefer something that will hold my hand me step by step. There are loads of Business Planner tools on the market but you do need to find out that suits you and the way you like to work.

5. Just start.
You’ve procrastinated for long enough. Now is the time to take some action. Instead of spending the next 12 months reacting to what happens around you, spend it being proactive, and armed with a plan to make next year your best one yet. Dare to dream big and you never know, you might even surprise yourself.


RELATED: The importance of time management


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