The start of a new year is the perfect time for many of us to make a change for the better. Whether you want to grow your business or take more time for yourself, the following goal-setting tips can help you achieve your long-term plans.
Always remember however, that attaining those goals will be easier if you choose the right support. Friends, family and professional expertise have an equal role to play and we're here to help.
Apply the following in terms of your own small business and see where they lead!
What do you want from your life – and how can your business help you achieve that? Think about next year and beyond; what does your business look like in five or 10 years? When you know what end point you’re aiming for, it’s easier to set goals that move you in the right direction.
Pick something you can measure
Vague goals aren’t as helpful as those you can measure and monitor. Think about what you already measure in your business and how you’d like to see those metrics change. For example:
A 3% increase in net profit year-on-year
A 2% reduction in expenses
1 new customer per month
Reduce average payment time to under 50 days
4 weeks of holiday during which you don’t go into the office at all
Make a plan to achieve each goal
Once you’ve picked a few goals, come up with ways to achieve them. It could just be back-of-the-envelope thinking, or have a brainstorming session with your team or your advisers (contact us). When you have a plan in place, do your best to follow through and make it happen.
Keep monitoring your progress
Check in each month to see how you’re tracking with your goals. Set yourself reminders on your calendar or make it part of your invoicing cycle. If you’re not quite on track, you can make tweaks or come up with some fresh ideas to help you reach your targets.
Plan a celebration
Give yourself a good reason to keep striving for your goals. It might be a long lunch, a trip to the movies, a manicure, or a beer advent calendar next December. Something you’ll enjoy that’s not going to blow the budget.