How to make the year ahead your most successful year yet


It’s that time of year when we look forward to the year ahead and make promises to ourselves about how we can do better – both on the business and personal front. You may set out your personal goals to go on that exotic holiday you have day-dreamed of, or buy a new car, or maybe even build your dream home!

Similarly in business we all want to do better. Like any living thing, if a business isn’t growing, it is dying right! Therefore, this year you may have a vision to grow your sales; to increase your profits; to improve efficiencies; or for example to launch a new product and corner a new market. But do you have a plan in place to make it happen?

Big vision thinking cannot happen alone. Think back to some of those great ideas that you had in your head that never came to pass because there was no plan to see them through. Having lots of great ideas and goals, but no clearly defined and written plan to make the most important ones happen is detrimental. What happens is you end up focusing on EVERYTHING and NOTHING gets achieved.

That’s why, particularly at the start of every New Year, it is crucial that you take time to develop your plan.

At ActionCOACH we highly recommend you take one day out of the office (so you are not to be distracted by all those phone calls and knocks on your office door) every quarter to:

  • Review your successes over the last year and last quarter, and identify the challenges you encountered.
  • Set out your annual and your quarterly goals for the year ahead.
  • Make them S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
  • Identify the strategies you need to employ to achieve these goals.
  • Select the team members most suitable to take ownership for particular project goals.
  • Write it all down, share it with your team, and most importantly make sure it is a live document by setting out our team’s KPI’s (Key Performance Indicator’s) based on your plan!

Once you have a plan in place you now have control of your business and the direction it is going. This is when your business will really take off!

By having a plan you are one step closer to reaching your true heights in 2015.

So let’s all get planning for the year ahead. What big goals have you to make this year your most successful yet?


Paul Fagan is Managing Director of Business Coaching Ireland, which is part of the largest business coaching, mentoring and training franchise company in the world, ActionCOACH Business Coaching. Business Coaching Ireland are providers of the ManagementWorks Business Growth Programme and Business Leadership Programme.