Tips and strategies to help you start next year’s business planning and goal setting now.
The thought of looking ahead to next year when you’re busy focusing on a strong finish to this year may seem like an impossible task. But taking time now to think about business planning and goal setting for 2023 will serve you well in both the short and long term.
Many agents and brokers start this thinking before the holidays to avoid the mad dash at the end of the year when they might be super busy and/or trying to enjoy some time off. Getting a jump on this planning also allows you time to make adjustments before January 1, so that you’re taking full advantage of the entire year ahead. The first couple of weeks of next year should be about hitting the ground running, not trying to figure out what you want to accomplish.
Take the first step
At the top of your business planning there needs to be a business plan. This means an actual vehicle to formalize your thoughts, revisit your goals and objectives, and use the plan itself as a measurement tool to track success over time.
Your business plan doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can be a simple Google doc or an old-fashioned piece of paper. The point is, start putting your goals and objectives for 2023 in writing so that everything you do over the course of next year can start and end with your business plan.
The National Association of REALTORS® offers helpful tips for how to write a business plan.
Pause to reflect
What stood out to you in your business this year? Ponder the question with both the positives and negatives in mind. Both experiences can fuel your focus in 2023. To drill down to your truths, ask yourself these reflective questions:
- What am I most proud of?What would I have done differently?Where did I make my most revenue?Where did I lose revenue?How has my team changed?How have I changed?Where did I shine above my competition?Where did my competition take the lead?
Evaluate your numbers
Next, track data from the past year and use the findings to set a plan for the year ahead. This can include a repeat of key efforts that were successful as well as where you might need a course redirect. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) should guide you. What was your lead generation conversion rate? Your close rates? Marketing spend and ROI? Don’t make next year’s plan based on guesstimates or hunches. Use your data to drive your decisions. It will be that much easier to measure your progress next year at this time.
Now that you’ve looked back at the year through reflection and data, it’s time to look forward to next year’s business planning and goal setting.
Benefit from the acronyms
A SWOT analysis will help you identify what you perceive as your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This tried-and-true exercise will help you understand where your business is thriving, where you may be lacking, and what you can do to strengthen your position moving forward.
Once you’ve dissected the four quadrants of your SWOT, you can use the information to build SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). The SMART method can give you a true north for every goal you set. It can help you transform a general goal into a precise road map for achieving that goal.
Example of a general goal: Get my name out there more in the community.
Example of a SMART goal: Get my name out there more in the community by attending weekly town halls in the first quarter of the year, sponsoring two local sports teams by the second quarter, and participating in six local events throughout the entire year, including Small Business Saturday and the annual fall festival.
Setting SMART goals can help you find that balance between pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and being overly ambitious. By developing SMART goals you can ensure that you go full speed ahead in Q1 of next year.
Nurture the soft skills
Clients have many options today regarding who they choose to work with to buy or sell their home. Dial into valuable yet often overlooked soft skills, including your ability to communicate clearly, be a good listener, showcase your work ethic, and provide attention to detail. Soft skills can highlight your emotional intelligence.
Bottom line: include “working on your personal self” in your overall business planning and goal setting. The benefits are sure to spill over to your business. Clients will want to work with you for your expertise and because they genuinely like your approach as a person.
Regarding your team, real estate training can also be a top priority for 2023. Read more about the importance of real estate fundamentals in today’s shifting market.
Hold yourself accountable
One of the best ways to own your business planning and goal setting is to put weekly time on your calendar throughout the year. Lock in the time commitment just as you would any other important meeting that needs your full attention. Carve out 1-2 hours each week for the rest of this year and then in 2023. Have your business plan handy, and make it a living, breathing document you refer to and update over time.
Setting yourself up for success takes time. Start thinking about next year’s goals now so that you have enough lead time to plan for what you want to achieve in 2023.
Learn more about how Weichert can help you prepare for a great year ahead.