Every month is National Something-or-other Month. In fact, if you spend a few moments searching the Internet, you’ll find that just about every day is actually an “official” day for some cause, event, activity, or even pastry.

  • March 21 is National Common Courtesy Day
  • June 4 is National Donut Day
  • September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (matey)
  • October 2 is Name Your Car Day.

In addition to being the unofficial month of conspicuous consumption, December also happens to be National Write a Business Plan Month. Just how official this designation truly is may be up for debate, but it’s still a good reason to discuss why you should be working on your business plan this month.

  1. You’ll beat the New Year’s Resolutioners
    Let’s say you’ve been putting off working on your business plan, but you really need a loan to get your business started or to make a big purchase that will help your business expand. You’re not the only one. And when is everyone else most likely to buckle down and tackle a project they’ve been procrastinating on? That’s right – January 1st. So if you get in gear in December, you’ll be done by the time those other guys start getting serious.
  2. Last minute tax benefits
    If your tax cycle runs on a calendar year, this is your last chance to make sure you’ve actually incurred all the tax-deductible expenses in your budget. You don’t want to miss out on significant tax savings this year by waiting a few too many weeks to make a purchase, so looking at your plan versus actual before the end of the year is a really good idea. And while that’s not ‘writing’ a business (as the name of the month would imply), it’s working on your business plan, so it counts.
  3. You’re already planning
    December is a month full of plans. Between figuring what gifts to buy for whom, planning meals, scheduling events, arranging travel… The only time in life that involves more planning is when you’re getting ready to bring home a new baby. Since you’re already in “list and schedule” mode, why not apply it to your business and avoid the neglect that can result from being overwhelmed during this hectic time of year?
  4. The gas station gift
    Remember the Friends episode where Joey and Chandler run out of time for Christmas shopping and end up buying presents at a gas station? What do you think happens to your business when you put off planning? In this case, in place of wiper blades and toilet seat covers, your business may end up with fewer profits, less cash, or worse.

So, whether it’s the official month for writing business plans or not, it’s a great idea to take some time in December to work on your business plan. After all, you can’t just sit back and rely on a Festivus miracle to get your business off to a good start in the new year.

photo by flickr user respres

Jay Snider
Palo Alto Software

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