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How to Make 2024 Your Best Financial Year

“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.” - Seth Godin

As we stand on the brink of a new year, it's the perfect time for small-business owners and professionals like you to prepare for success.

Whether you're looking to grow your business, boost your career, or simply get more organised, the key lies in effective planning and strategy. Overcome the mental blocks that prevent you from making the right decisions using the frameworks below.

This guide will provide practical insights and easy-to-follow steps tailored to your unique challenges and goals. From getting clear on your vision to executing precise tactics, we'll explore how to turn aspirations into achievements.

To help, we've divided each section into personal and business finances, providing examples that are easy to navigate.

We'll cover the benefits of having a clear vision, setting goals, making a game plan (strategy), planning, and using smart moves (tactics). Let's break these down and see how you can use them in your own personal finances and if you're running a business.

▶ Step 1: Looking Back: What Worked and What Didn’t?

Before we dive into making new plans, take a quick look back. Think of it like a game replay - which moves were successful and where did you trip up?

For your business

In business, this might mean reviewing your profits, what you spent, and how much cash you have in the bank. Which area of the business generated the most sales? Which marketing strategy was most successful?

We recently worked with a client who was looking to increase the revenue in her business but was unsure of how to do so. We worked together to identify her most profitable service and the client type. As a result, she was able to see how to increase her income by 40% in the following six months - and did just that using the strategies below.

For your personal finances

Look at how much you saved, how you invested, and your overall net wealth. Did the strategy you employed for saving last year work as well as you'd hoped?

Keep a note of what did and did not work out well and, most importantly, why. To improve for 2024, you'll need to identify the techniques you used before, repeat them and double down on efforts.

▶ Step 2: Setting Your Sights: What’s Your Goal?

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." - Tony Robbins

Now, let's dream big! What do you want your future to look like?

For your personal finances

Do you want to save an additional £9,000 by July? Or maybe you plan to travel to Dubai for Christmas in 2024?

For your business

Maybe you want your business to increase its profit by £30,000 or 20% by the year end? Or reduce the cost of acquisition by 10%?

Remember, make them SMART. Characteristics of SMART goals:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Time-bound

Also, think about how you feel about these goals. Excited? A bit scared? That’s totally normal! When you are pushing yourself to grow, you will feel discomfort, as you are going into unfamiliar territory.

Quick Tip For Goal Setting:

Break down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to track progress more effectively.

Step 3: The Game Plan: Your Strategy

Now you have your goals, how do you reach them? This is where your strategy comes in - your master plan.

For your personal finances

If you're saving money, you may decide to spend less on eating out. If you want to clear your debt, you could decide to build a repayment plan to reduce the balance to zero.

For your business

You may want to focus on getting more customers, increasing market share, or teaming up with another company through strategic partnerships. Build this strategy into your business forecast. Your strategy should match your finances and be incorporated into your plan.

The focus is to identify the HOW. What route will you take to achieve your goals? Make sure your strategy is achievable. Completing steps one and two will help make sure that what you decide here is likely to be realised.

Step 4: Step-by-Step: Your Plan and Moves (Tactics)

Here’s where we get into the nitty-gritty – your plan and daily moves.

For your personal finances

You might set up a system to automatically save a part of your income. Or if you are clearing your debt, you may set up and regularly review a monthly budget and automate your debt repayments.

For example, we recently worked with a woman who wanted to save for a deposit but struggled to see how this was possible. After diving into her personal budget, she was able to see the expenses she had underestimated and rejig her plan, and then she was able to save the money she needed within the following 12 months and buy her first home.

For your business

If you're running a business, this might mean analysing the most profitable products/services in your business and doubling down on them. Or hiring some key personnel to help you get laser-focused on the techniques required to boost that part of your business.

Step 5: Keeping Score: How Are You Doing?

It's important to regularly check how you're doing.

Are you following your plan?

Are you closer to your goals?

Keep track of things like how many new customers you attract, how much money you've saved this month, or how much time you spend following up on new leads. Doing so allows you to keep an eye out for unfocused activity and spot wasted time - and catch them before they derail you from achieving your goals.

Bringing It All Together

Here is a recap of key elements:

  • Vision: Your vision is the overarching dream or long-term objective you aim to achieve, serving as the guiding beacon for all your efforts.

  • Goals: Goals are specific targets that move you towards your vision; measurable and time-bound to track progress.

  • Strategy: Your strategy is the high-level approach or roadmap you'll follow to achieve your goals, outlining the general methods and direction.

  • Plan: The plan consists of detailed, step-by-step actions and timelines that implement your strategy in a practical and organised manner.

  • Tactics: Tactics are specific, actionable techniques and manoeuvres used within your plan to effectively tackle challenges and capitalise on opportunities.

Each element described above is part of a big puzzle - your vision, goals, strategy, plan and tactics - fitting together to create the big picture of your success.

You'll be capitalising on what has worked in the past, reducing the impact of what did not work, and being very clear about the actions to take.

Whether it’s about managing your money or running a business, using these steps can help you get where you want to be next year. Remember, it's all about taking the big vision and breaking it down into smaller, doable steps. Keep your eyes on the prize, and don't forget to celebrate the small victories along the way!

Stay Close for Updates!

Throughout 2024, we will share useful tips and strategies to help you stay on top of your personal and business finances. Simply come back and check out our Insights area, or give us a follow on LinkedIn and/or Instagram!

If you want to dive deeper into building a personal or business strategy and action plan, send us a message or book a call.


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