It almost seems like you’re breaking a business commandment if you don’t have a business plan for success ready on January 1. One that propels you into the marketplace to gain new revenue, clients and contacts. There are reasons, though, not to complete your plan until deep into January.

The January marketplace is crowded with super bowl type efforts springing from already prepared business plans. These hurricane efforts often exhaust themselves with early setbacks and competition. You can leap frog all this by taking a different tact. 

Instead of having a plan cast in stone, you can take January to strengthen business ties, observe market trends and learn from the mistakes of others. With that knowledge you can formalize a more successful plan in January for the year. 

A good place to start is to use January to make contact with your existing clients, suppliers, strategic partners and experts in your business segment. Their focus will have moved from wrapping up last year to the promise of the new one. Most are anxious to discuss their thoughts. These contacts can yield valuable insights, stronger relations with clients and new partnerships for success.

Observing the market from the sidelines in January allows you to see and evaluate the efforts of other competitors, gauging what is working and what isn’t. You also often can get the economic drift of what the year is going to look like via the stock market, year end results, government initiatives and local economies.

When others have become exhausted with their initial year efforts by late January, you can enter the market with your fully developed plan backed by fresh resources and insights. The race for success in 2020 will not be won in January. It will be in the eleven months that follow. 

David Young