A Strategic Approach to a Successful 2024 for Small Business Owners

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A Strategic Approach to a Successful 2024 for Small Business Owners

By Leanne Calderwood, CMP | Oct 27, 2023

Hey fellow Small Business Owners, I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE the fall season…..pumpkin spiced lattes, sweater weather, falling leaves…. And gearing up for my annual business plan retreat!  This dedicated time away has become an essential part of my business over the past decade, and I’m sharing all the goodies about why I love this time so very much!  

As the calendar year winds down, it's essential to shift our focus from immediate deadlines and priorities to long-term planning. Your year-end business plan retreat is the springboard to that long-term planning!

The Importance of a Business Plan Retreat

In the bustling world of meetings and events, it’s all too easy to become consumed by the urgencies of the present moment. This is precisely why a business plan retreat is invaluable. It provides an occasion to step back and look at the larger picture. Whether you're a solopreneur, part of a small entrepreneurial team, or a unit within a larger organization, an end-of-year retreat is an effective way to recalibrate your objectives and strategies for the coming year.

Selecting the Ideal Location

The setting for your retreat isn’t merely a backdrop; it’s a participant. Choose a location that is conducive to concentration and creativity. Whether it's a secluded hotel suite,  a peaceful Airbnb or your neighbourhood library, the environment should inspire new ideas and perspectives. And if you happen to know someone willing to lend you their empty house, don't hesitate to take up the offer. 

Crafting a Structured Agenda

Approach your retreat with the same level of preparation you would give to an important business meeting. Prior to the retreat, outline key points of discussion. Take time to reflect on the previous year, examining both the successes and the challenges, and use these observations to set actionable objectives for the upcoming year.\

Necessary Supplies for Effective Planning

In this digital era, there is still something uniquely effective about jotting down ideas with pen and paper. Ensure you're well-stocked with notepads, writing instruments, sticky notes, and perhaps even a whiteboard for brainstorming sessions. Additionally, have some light snacks (and tea….) on hand to fuel your thought process. 

The Importance of Unplugging

It’s imperative that you disconnect from your regular work environment to gain the full benefits of your retreat. Utilize the "out-of-office" functions on your email and messaging apps to ensure you're not disturbed. This time is sacred; treat it as an investment in your future success.

A Holistic Approach to Planning

While business objectives are central to this retreat, it’s also beneficial to address personal goals. Whether those involve health and wellness, educational pursuits, or even community service, an integrated approach ensures that both your professional and personal life are aligned in the quest for a fulfilling year.

Tailoring the Experience

Remember, the business plan retreat is an entirely customizable event. The structure and topics covered should align with your specific needs and goals. Use this opportunity to create a roadmap that excites you and prepares you for the challenges and opportunities 2024 will surely bring.

Committing to an annual business plan retreat may require a significant investment of time and focus, especially considering the pace of our industry. However, the payoff—in terms of strategic clarity and renewed focus—cannot be overstated. 



Leanne Calderwood, CMP

Leanne Calderwood, CMP is one of the meetings’ industry’s most preeminent LinkedIn experts, and one of Canada’s top voices in the meetings and events industry.  She is a trainer, speaker and a  20+ year industry veteran.   You can connect further with Leanne via her blog at https://leannecalderwood.com  or find her on LinkedIn!