Make 2019 really count by setting realistic goals now for business success and following a carefully planned path to achieve them.
The start of a New Year is always a great time to take stock, review the past year and decide on some solid business goals. But to set goals successfully, goals you can really achieve, it helps to have a guide to follow, along with some helpful advice. What we’re about to give you is a simple plan to planning your goals! Success after all, is all about planning!
- Brainstorm. Think about what it is you really want to achieve. Make a list. You wantto improve business – sure, but how? Get your ideas flowing but be careful not to end up with too many goals – you then run the risk of accomplishing nothing. Prioritise and decide which goals are the most crucial to achieving your business success.
- Question your goals. Why have you set these goals? What will they lead you to? Understanding your goals will define a clearer path to achieving your goals.
- Make your goals achievable. Raise the bar a little. Your goals need to be challenging but be careful not to make them unattainable. You want to stretch your capabilities but you do not want to go beyond them.
- Make your goals visible. Whether it is a special place on your computer, on your wall or on your desk, put your goals somewhere you can see them as a constant reminder of what it is you are working towards achieving. Track your progress and record any changes you may make to your goals.
- Measure your goals. There are many ways to measurewhether or not you are achieving your goals. Have you put more contracts in place than for the same period last year? Are the contracts more substantial? Where are your customers coming from – are they via marketing efforts you put in place to achieve your goals? Set milestones towards achieving your goals and mark them off as you do so.
- Timeframes. You can’t do everything at once but you do want to achieve your goals in a timely manner. Some goals may be simpler than others and therefore can be achieved in a shorter timeframe, others may require longer. Analyse the steps you will need to accomplish your goals and then be realistic about how long it will take to achieve this.
- Your toolkit. Think of what you will need to achieve your goals and make this your ‘toolkit.’ Your tools could be a combination of marketing, performance management, increased staffing levels and cost cutting.
- Too many is too much. We all want to achieve the most we can, but not at the expense of our business or personal life. You may have a large number of small, easily attainable goals, but do limit the number of major goals that require a number of resources and significant time to achieve. Remember, you can always revisit and revise your goals.
- Short term/long term. Divide your goals into short and long term. You will be better organised by keeping them separate. Short-term goals are generally easier to fulfill and therefore require less time. Because long-term goals require
more time and more effort you should really limit the number of these that you set.
- Revisit and revise. This is not simply an excuse to change your mind. Revisiting and revising your goals where necessary will keep you focused and on track. In your review you may discover that you have already achieved some of your goals, these can be ticked off and perhaps others now set. You may realise that you haven’t obtained the time or the resources necessary to achieve a successful outcome. Perhaps your goals were unrealistic after all and it’s time to rethink. Ask yourself why were they unrealistic – what were the factors that mainly contributed towards making your goals unachievable?
Learn from what you’ve done. Always congratulate yourself on your own success and if you do extend a deadline, make a plan on how you will meet that new timeframe. Share your successes with your family and peers. Then get to work on the next goal!