Does it ever feel like creating a plan for your year in January is too late?
Today, I was challenged twice to start planning for 2015.
The first time was by Dan Miller himself in his September 12th episode of his 48 Days Online Radio Show.
I’m a little late for his 48 day challenge, but I love his suggestion to begin well before the end of the year.
The second time was by the CEO of the firm I work for. He didn’t necessarily encourage us to finish the planning early, but he did propose that we start now (in order to be ready the first week of January with a clear plan of action.
Why Start Now?
Since the focus of this blog is sales, let’s talk about why it’s a good idea to create a sales plan well before January. The concepts should be transferrable to most other areas of life.
Planning early helps end the year well
Sure, planning early could be a distraction from ending the year strong, but more than likely, it will put you in a productive mindset. Dreaming of what you want to accomplish in the next year will get your gears turning.
Planning early gives you a prospecting head start
In light of ending the year well, you might get a prospecting head start. If you start identifying your benchmarks for the new year, will you not begin focusing on potential new clients? Make a call or 100. Ask for referrals. Get your first two weeks of January stacked up with appointments. Heck, calling in December for January appointments will relieve your prospects from having too many commitments over the holidays.
Planning early helps identify needed tools and resources
All plans require resources. If your sales plan includes sales training opportunities, target niche conference and networking, or other additional resources, planning early gives you some breathing room to find what you’ll need for the new year. Or it will help you to identify the conferences, training events, centers of influence, or vendors who can help you execute.
Planning early allows for a rest the last week or two of December
I’ve been guilty of ‘cramming’ between Christmas and New Year instead of relaxing and giving my mind and body some down time with my family.
If your plan is done by the middle of December, you can simply review it and put yourself in the mindset to hit the ground running in January. You can be done with it and give yourself a season of rest.
Waiting until January often feels too late
I’ve been guilty of this too. I’ll start planning at the beginning of the new year only to let any planning go as urgencies mount quickly in January. Or worse, the beginning of January gives way to the middle of the month and it almost feels like it’s too late. It never is too late, but it’ll feel that way if you start executing your year’s plan in the latter part of January. It’s more of a mental thing.
Sitting down on that first work day of the month and pulling out the first task of the first project that will propel you toward your goals is a powerful thing.
Do You Plan for the Next Year?
Are you a planner? Or do you lump the process of creating a plan for the new year in with New Year’s resolutions?
I’d love to hear about your process in the comments below.
Today’s Listening (In addition to the 9/12 48 Days Radio Show)
Between the two of these shows, I’m at 96 minutes of high-end content!
Thanks Mr. Miller!