Setting goals for yourself and your business is always important.
You might choose to set your goals and revise your vision at the beginning of a New Year. Really anytime is a good time to reflect on your business's progress and plan how you want your business to grow / change.
Change is inevitable - so you might as well make it work for you.
Your future will start being better the moment you think about setting goals for yourself and your business. Why? Because realizing the need is always “half the battle” as my dad might have said. It makes sense to get some professional assistance to define and achieve your goals. Think of it as having a personal trainer.
It's like having a personal trainer or coach. They can help you achieve your goals faster, give you expert insight into new ideas, be more strategic, and help you avoid costly mistakes and delays.
The best way to achieve your goals is to break the big goals into smaller achievements; this makes them easier to attain and gives you small wins along the way. For example, if your goal is to get 100 new clients in a year, make a smaller goal to contact 10 leads per week (if on average you get 2 new clients for every 10 leads you call). Celebrate making each of the 10 calls and celebrate each new client.
The following best practices are samples you can adopt and are known to help people and entrepreneurs become more productive, successful and enjoy your life and your family.
1. Make planning a regular event
Set aside time once or twice each year for a big planning session, and then each week for ongoing work. It’s vital if you want your business to grow. Business planning lets you take stock of what worked and what didn't work, and helps you adjust your direction and take advantage of new opportunities as they become available. Not only will this help you stay on track to achieve (or exceed your goals), but you'll likely feel more focused and relaxed.
2. Always work on your marketing plan
Too often the task of promoting a small business slips to the bottom of the to-do list. The simple fact is that if you want your business to grow and for you to attract new customers you have to make marketing and promotion a priority. Plan to hire a marketing expert that will help you understand your Unique value Proposition, Core Competencies and target your best customers with a strategic, relevant and well branded custom marketing strategy.
There are lots of things to do when you have your own business, and you don’t need to do all of them. Focus on the areas of your business that you can apply your expertise and then delegate the ones that are furthest away from that expertise (like the bookkeeping). By choosing to let others do non-critical, lower paying chores you can have more time to spend doing higher paid tasks… and spending time on personal / family obligations.
4. Take classes and/or attend conferences
I love taking continuing education classes. Sometimes I take business related courses; other times I take courses that I simply find interesting. What you choose is up to you. Taking classes or attending conferences may also open you up to meet people who may become mentors, colleagues or customers.
5. Join a business organization or networking group
There's nothing like talking to and learning from other business people. Not only will you be increasing your professional and personal network, being with other professionals will help you identify new opportunities and give you new ideas. It will also get you out of your house / office.
6. Give something back to your community
There are all kinds of worthy organizations that make a difference in your community and it’s pretty easy to identify one that matters to you and your family. Perhaps you will choose to give a percent of your revenue (you might even use that as an expression of goodwill on your corporate website “5% percent of sales will go to…..). Or perhaps you make a commitment to serve on a committee or help out on your child’s sports team (and therefore kill two birds with one stone). I find, the more I give the more I get back in so many other ways.
7. Schedule the BIG things in your calendar
You are one of the BIG things. It’s important to take the time to recharge and refresh yourself and your relationships with loved ones. A best practice is to take your upcoming schedule and block off “personal time and vacations” before your schedule becomes booked. Then, stick to your commitments. If you won't invest in yourself, who will?
8. Stop what's not working and move on
All products aren't going to be top sellers and all suppliers, contractors or employees aren't going to be ideally suited to your business. If something isn't working, let it go. Don't invest time, energy, money and resources into trying to make the unworkable workable. Move on. Once a conflict is out of the way, you will be amazed how much better every other component of your business & life are.
Setting goals is one of the best ways to measure your progress and create clarity. Consider the alternative – drifting along without a plan.
- Your goals must be meaningful
- Your goals must be specific & measurable
- Your goals must be flexible
- Your goals must be challenging but realistic
- Your goals must be yours and must align with your Core Values *
* Your Core Values are anything you feel strongly about and that resonates with your person. Fundamental beliefs that help mold your character. When you do something that contradicts your values – you get a gut feeling which will serve to remind you or alert you to possible inner conflict.
If you want to learn more about how you and your organization can benefit from our services, call us at 416.617.0462.
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