This is not the time of year that people are focused on their small business. They are instead focused on family and being together with the ones they love. But this can also be an important time for you to reflect on your business and make plans to improve or make key changes in the upcoming year.

Think of business planning as the seeds that will help the next crop of business ideas bloom and take shape to move your business forward. You need to put a plan in place and give it the continued attention that is needed. You need to make certain that your business is going to continue to grow stronger and better. Remember, not planning is making a plan to fail.

Also remember that not every idea that you plan for your business will be a winning one. But the mere act of coming up with a plan may inspire other winning ideas that you just have not thought of yet. By constantly trying new ways to invigorate your business, you are keeping it fresh and staying aware of the areas where your business can grow.

Do not look at business planning as a ‘makeover’ that will revolutionize your product or service. Look at it as taking a step aside and seeing where your planning has taken you and where you can make tweaks. A large part of making new-year business planning is to take a serious look at your original business or marketing plan and see how far you have deviated from it. Did you make changes to your plan that did not work – and maybe you might want to return to the original plan?

Whether you are making changes to your business plans or going back to your original strategies, create a 2017 mission statement for yourself, your business and your customers. This way you have shown that you have a plan for the new year and you will stick to that plan (or explain why you changed plans mid-year).

Three of our #virtualoffice clients have informed us of their intentions of becoming office space tenants within the first quarter of 2017. This is how they are elevating their existing businesses. You may not make the choice of upgrading from one type of physical office or virtual office arrangement to another, but you might choose to upgrade the software that helps you better serve your customers. Create your Business Action Plan and your next year’s Mission Statement – and work diligently at making it a reality!