Annual Planning Tool Must-Haves

annual planning

Annual Planning Tool Must-Haves

Setting aside time to complete annual planning is rarely at the top of a small business owner’s priority list. It’s almost never considered an urgent task, but it can provide a huge ROI.  

The foundation for good annual business planning is almost always set upon an excellent planning infrastructure that includes pre-planning assessments, goal setting, and then the development of quarterly plans. The importance of pre-planning by completing a past year assessment and review to assess your year should not be underestimated. It sets you up for a focused and well-prioritized plan and should make goal setting and quarterly planning much easier.  

Please note: Our annual planning process assumes you have a well-written vision, mission, and values statements, so if you do not, you should add that as a step to your annual plan.  


The good news is that we have tools to simplify the process and make it more efficient. This begins with a pre-assessment, and then goal setting at the beginning of the year and maintaining the momentum by completing a quarterly review/plan. Goal setting can look very different for different businesses, but the idea is to develop focused year-long goals, that can then be managed on a quarterly basis. We break up the goals into bite size chunks to guarantee incremental progress and a stronger likelihood of goal success!  Simplifying the process can make the entire concept seem less daunting and, therefore, more likely to get done.

For the small business owner, strategy is a vital part of a successful business. If we limit the amount of goals we set – perhaps 2 to 4 at the most – we are setting ourselves up for success. Then create sub-goals, or in other words, divide each goal into a manageable task that feels doable.

When we find ourselves constantly reacting to our daily issues, we can rest assured that we are desperately in need of quarterly planning. Quarterly planning is designed to break down actions and tasks into smaller increments so we end up with manageable tasks and actions that we, or our team members, can handle without getting overwhelmed.

We are offering complimentary tools to guide your 2020 planning process. We are including what we use with our clients for annual and quarterly planning. This includes our yearly assessment, goal sheet, and quarterly planning sheet. The latter is the most important tool because it helps you stay focused on short-term planning.

Well-established and successful business owners know that although things may constantly be in flux, it is the planning that is absolutely critical to any desirable goal being met. Planning provides us with the roadmap needed to venture into uncharted territory and it allows us to take calculated risks that support our opportunity for growth. Plan now. Relax later.

“Most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.” – John J. Beckley

Click here to access the helpful tools from our planning process. We hope these can assist you in meeting your planning goals for 2020!


Michelle Landis, Founder and Principal, Master Business Coach

Michelle Landis, Master Business Coach

As a business coach, I use a unique blend of coaching and consulting to help business owners achieve a higher level of performance for both themselves and their business. It’s a very direct approach that provides my clients with insights into what is coming next, laser-sharp focus and the opportunity to practice, make mistakes and learn in a safe and supportive environment.


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