It’s hard to believe that we are already thinking about 2018 when we still have over a month left in 2017. However, now is the time to begin having your 2018 planning meetings. If you wait until January, it’s too late, you will begin the new year way behind the eight ball.

Every year I use the month of November to hold my next year’s planning sessions. Why November, you ask? It’s simple… December is too busy with the mad holiday rush. So, November creates the ideal back drop to set the stage for a successful up and coming year.

Planning meetings provide an opportunity to take inventory of our business. It’s an opportunity to review our successes, our weaknesses, and one of my favorite parts of planning is brainstorm areas of opportunity as we enter the new year.

A couple of things to consider when putting together your planning meetings:

How big is your business?

The size of your business(es) will greatly affect how many planning meetings you will need to organize, and facilitate. A larger business may need more than one planning meeting, or a meeting that spans over several days which includes training and team building activities.

Who are the players?

It’s imperative that you take into consideration all the individuals that need to be present during your planning meetings. All owners/investors, accountants or financial advisor, salon/spa managers, assistant managers, salon/spa leaders, trainers, and yes, you need to host a planning meeting with your entire salon/spa team. Certainly, each of these individual groups of contributors may have a different meeting agendas and content shared/discussed. But, it’s important that you invite all team members – you might be surprised by the insight you get from each other!

My theory as a business owner is this: If you want to see successful changes to your business you must get your entire team involved and committed to the cause. By getting your entire team involved you will not only have powerful brainstorming sessions on how to grow in the new year, but you will give your team a voice and in turn they will take ownership of the changes and/or actions that are necessary to see growth next year.

I suggest this month you identify your planning meeting schedule, invite the team players, and more importantly come to your planning meetings with an agenda. If not, they can easily become a waste of time, or as I often say “they become a gripe session”.

Use this guide to maximize your planning meeting.

If you’re not sure what to do during the planning meeting, this checklist will help you figure out an agenda for your meeting. Personalize it to your business and add and remove anything that doesn’t make sense for your team. I also recommend that you do some sort of team-building, even if it’s just eating lunch with each other with no work distractions. Meetings should include some fun!

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