As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back to look forward and set goals. I want to remind you to work ON your business and not just IN it. You’ll need to manage all that while you enjoy the holidays — all those parties, the shopping, spending time with family AND running your business — servicing existing customer, meeting year end revenue goals or quotas, and so on.
Darn, did I just take the fun out of it? Feeling like you need a nap. Stay strong fellow entrepreneur – you’ve got this and I’d like to share some sage advice to help.
Let’s talk about why you need to spend time documenting your goals. Very simply, it becomes your roadmap to success. If it’s in your head it’s an idea. Commit it to paper and you create strategy that you can execute on (and the plan is useless without the execution). Let’s talk about some basics of goal setting.
Look back to look forward :
- What went well last year? Why? Can you repeat it (that’s the basis of scaling)? Can you amp it up?
- What didn’t go well? What can you learn from that? What changes will you make based on that?
- Review your numbers! What was your most profitable projects or services? Make sure this is where you put your marketing and biz dev efforts for 2019.
- Review your client list from 2018. Where do you see common demographics, psychographics and events that drove a need for your services? See how you can combine this data-driven target market with your most profitable offering … now your getting to the secret sauce of your success. This where the Pareto Principal applies: 20% of what you do will drive 80% of your results – what’s your 20%?
- Explore opportunities for horizontal growth (thank you Laurel). Are there opportunities to expand your reach or mix up your existing services to create new offerings with little to no investment?
I encourage you to include your team in these review and planning sessions. Your team may be traditional employees or subcontractors; they could be stakeholders; or they could be your trusted advisers or consultants. You need to gain some perspective here and, as much as I know you are wicked smart, you just don’t have perspective. Sorry :-/
As you begin to see a plan for 2019 develop, consider identifying 1-2 WIGs (Wildly Important Goals). These are the things that, if they happen, will dramatically improve your results. As stated in the 4Disciplines of Execution, “if everything else in the organization remains the same, what one change could make all the difference?” Those are your WIGs. You will only be able to execute on one or two WIGs at a time … don’t dilute your success by trying to do too much.
Break those WIGs down into SMART Goals (specific – measurable – attainable – relevant – time bound). What are the steps it will take to achieve the WIG? Then, to ensure execution, plot that work, those steps, onto your calendar. Treat it like a very important appointment, because it is. For me, this is called Behavior Planning. Keep yourself accountable to your plan and your calendar to avoid the shiny objects and there are so many. Consider an accountability partner, whether that’s a consultant or a colleague, because:
We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle
We’d love to help you create and execute on your goals. Here’s to an a-mazing 2019!
About the Author:
Donna Miller is a business and community leader, a speaker, an educator and an entrepreneur who is passionate about seeing small businesses thrive. Her team has helped thousands of companies to start and grow by providing office space, virtual assistance, bookkeeping, educational programs and advisory services. She believes in the power of collaboration (C3=Connect, Collaborate, Community) and that companies should be a force for good. She is the recipient of numerous awards, a sought-after speaker, and is grateful to be a servant leader in several volunteer roles. She is a regular blogger and can often be found on a beach writing. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org