Entrepreneurs: Getting Off to a Good Start in 2019 - UNI Blog
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Entrepreneurs - 3 Essential Steps for Starting 2019 Off Right

Posted on Friday December 21, 2018

Entrepreneurs - 3 Essential Steps for Starting 2019 Off Right

For most business owners in New Brunswick, the holiday season is a time to enjoy some well-earned rest. You may organize the traditional office party to thank your employees and partners, make some time to catch up with friends and family and start looking forward to what the future holds for you in 2019. Whether your business is a SME or a start-up, the arrival of the new year is an ideal time to reflect on upcoming issues likely to affect your company and best approaches to tackling them. A documented action plan developed as part of a long-term strategic plan can help you achieve your objectives.


  1. Set goals without limitations

The first step is to set business goals for the coming year. Without making any judgments, put down on paper every idea or objective you would like to make reality.

  • production objectives
  • sales goals for existing products and services
  • development and launch of new products
  • penetration of new markets 

It's essential to keep your short, medium and long-term objectives in mind while doing this. After you have gone through this list and identified your priorities, you can then share it with key members of your team. Their input can help you in confirming or clarifying certain aspects and steering clear of roadblocks to putting strategies in place. Including your team in the planning phase also helps to get them excited about the goals that will become theirs to achieve.


  1. Make an action plan by asking smart questions

Once you have clear goals in place, it's time to move on to developing an action plan. You should be able to answer a number of questions during this phase:

  • Will you have enough cash to cover costs incurred during the year?
  • If you have shareholders, will you need to borrow or reallocate money in order to facilitate certain purchases or investments?
  • Do the financial tools (line of credit, loans, grants, etc.) currently in place meet your needs?
  • Have you assigned enough employees to various activities? Do they have the training they need?
  • Are your production resources (tools, equipment, IT hardware, software, space, sales offices, etc.) adequate to achieve the goals you have set?

An effective action plan should be short, concise and specific. Avoid getting lost in technical explanations. To flesh out the details of various aspects of your plan, refer readers to appended documents. Reviewing your plan, it should be possible to grasp within a few minutes your company's main objectives and how it intends to achieve them.


  1. Put your actions into an ambitious, but realistic, schedule

Once you've completed your plan, you need to establish a timeline for implementing it. Start by creating a table representing the year 2019 and dividing it into quarters. Assign each goal to an appropriate quarter to create a realistic overview. Then, detail the components of the plan associated with each objective. The purpose of this exercise is to identify any inconsistencies between sales and production forecasts or between development projects and available financial resources.

A number of information sources are available to assist with the preceding steps. For an overview of the economic situation in New Brunswick, consult the business environment analysis published by the Government of Canada. The Futurpreneur website, meanwhile, has plans and templates that could prove useful in developing your plan. Enjoy some time over the holidays to recharge your batteries, and best wishes for much success in 2019!

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