Yogi Berra is quoted as saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” To prevent your business from ending up “someplace else,” you must set goals to send it off in the right direction. Thus, it is important to create a business plan.

To have a successful plan, you should start with the end result in mind. Ask yourself: “What are my expectations for my company?” “Where do I want my company to be in 2018?”

Reaching your desired end result requires you to work backwards and create a personal development plan. Write down a handful of goals for 2018. Then list specific actions that will help you attain them.

Let’s say your goal is to encourage repeat business. Your action, then, could be finding ways to be memorable by creatively touching base with each client every four to six weeks. For example, your clients have an early-morning flight for their upcoming vacation. A few days before the trip, you could email them a $10 Starbucks gift card with a note that says, “Coffee’s on me! Have a great flight!”  They’ll think of you when they are sipping their coffee in the airport. And they’ll think of you the next time they’re planning a trip!

Here are some typical goals and specific actions for reaching them:

Goal: Establish brand awareness     

Action: Streamline your 30-second elevator speech to (1) your name, (2) your company, (3) a statement about a problem in your specific marketplace, and (4) a statement about how you solved the problem

Goal: Learn to blog effectively so you can reach more prospects 

Action: Take the CTA course on Business Writing Skills

Goal: Become knowledgeable in your niche                                                                                   Objective: Enroll in a Travel Institute’s Niche Market program, go on a FAM trip, or take advantage of training offered by suppliers on that niche.

To create goals that get results, keep them simple, specific, achievable, and always relevant to the company’s mission.

To learn more about developing and enhancing your business plan, enroll in the  Business and Financial Planning online courses designed to help you analyze where you are and set goals for where you are going.