A Vision with a Deadline
Time flies when you’re working hard!
It’s that time of the year again: time to reflect on this year’s growth and achievements and to start setting goals for next year.
Sure, you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, but setting goals drastically increases the likelihood of success. Which is why you’re in business, after all!
Let’s look at why setting goals matters – and how to do so in a way that will ensure the outcomes you want.
Plans, not wishes: It’s good to be a goal digger
When you started your small business you probably had an idea of what “success” looked like. But success can be a fuzzy notion, which is why it’s important to define it. Because once you know what you’re actually aiming for you can make plans to get there.
Great athletes want to do more than “play ball”. The same is true for the world’s best business minds. There’s a huge gulf between a dream and a goal. The first is an idea. The second is a target. Guess which one’s easier to hit?
When you set goals you put yourself on to the path towards success. You’re more likely to focus your efforts, because you know where you’re going and what it takes to get there. Goals also help motivate and sustain you, encouraging productive behaviors that drive achievement. And importantly, goals help reinforce your sense of competence and skill. The more goals you meet, the more goals you know you’re capable of meeting.
No “I” in Goal: Setting goals helps your team play together
As a small business owner, you carry the bulk of the load. Your business is your baby, after all, and you’re best-placed to set its direction and define its path. But goal setting isn’t just good for you. It gives your team members, both employees and contractors, insight into what’s going on and where things are headed.
When you define goals for your business, you define goals for your staff – giving them a shared outcome to work towards. This facilitates teamwork, collaboration and camaraderie. The outcome is massively increased achievement, even as your organization grows and becomes more complex.
This is especially the case if you can get buy-in from your team. Co-creating goals via staff input creates a sense of shared ownership, and increases the probability that your team will be truly on your side when it comes to achieving your goals. Plus, getting their input may help you identify opportunities or problems you might not have otherwise seen.
Work smart (and hard): how to set SMART goals
It’s tempting to start making powerful goal-setting proclamations, but we advise holding off on that just for a bit. First comes the all-important information gathering stage.
Your small business goals shouldn’t just be plucked from the air. They should reflect identified areas for growth or improvement. Perhaps your efficiency could use some work. Or your sales targets aren’t where they should be.
You can figure out where your focus should be by undertaking a basic assessment of your business’ standing. Do some market research or benchmarking. Or try a “SWOT” analysis to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Armed with that information you can then start setting goals that are “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. For example, if you’re a fast-growing SaaS company, you might set a goal to sell $100k of software services to your existing client base within the next six months.
Of course, just setting a goal doesn’t make it happen. Achieving it takes planning – and often a series of “mini” goals. Start defining required actions, delegating responsibilities, identifying resources and preparing a timeline to monitor progress. Don’t forget to have a system in place to recognize when you’ve met a goal or a sub-goal, and to celebrate when this is the case!
What’s Your 2018 New Year’s Business Resolution?
The thing about growing a business is that there are so many goals that you want to meet, and ideally surpass. For now, let’s just keep it to the one.
It’s not easy to narrow down a huge field of opportunities to just one. But that’s why you’re the one leading this. As the person helming the business, you know better than anyone what’s at the heart of your business. You know your company’s core beliefs, promises and values.
Any business goal you pick should reflect all of these – and extend them. So grab a notepad or find a whiteboard, and start brainstorming what’s the most central, crucial goal that you can set for your business for the coming year. The one that will make your company more of what it is while being true to what it is. Defining this goal will give you the focus you need to achieve it, and you’ll most likely find that many other sub-goals seamlessly fall into place along the way.
Good luck, and here’s to an incredible 2018!
Let our team handle all the back office details while you work on the front end of your business.
Connect With Us
Send us an email or come and visit our beautiful offices, your future office.
735 Plaza Blvd., Suite 210
Coppell, TX 75019