In business and in life it’s important to have goals, intentions and targets. Without clear goals you will end up bobbing in the sea of life without reaching that sense of achievement or accomplishment.
While this may not be true for everybody, I feel very strongly about the benefit of goals. I see it with my son.
Summer holidays are over and he’s back at school for grade 11. Immediately they give targets and assignments to work towards and for the first time I can actually see him being excited about planning for the weeks ahead. He has the feeling he’s in control and can influence the results of his school year and that makes him happy.
Setting Business Goals is vital
I learned this the hard way in 2016… Prior to this year I’ve always set goals and worked towards achieving them, but for some reason this stopped at the end of 2015 and I didn’t pick up the habit again in 2016. Looking back it’s interesting to see what happened in that time. First of all: I spent more and more time on social media (Facebook mainly) – purely to kill time as I really didn’t have a clear direction to move in. Secondly, work related activities became reactive rather than proactive. I was still busy – I still worked 40+ hours per week but overall I just wasn’t productive. Looking back I just didn’t achieve that much…
Without a clear goal it’s easy to be guided by client emails or phone calls or any other form of information, communication or noise. Your activities turn more into operational tasks.
Without clear goals I was less productive – not just in business but also personally. I usually have fitness related goals that I work towards. This could be a horse riding competition I want to attend or perhaps some strength goals. But I sold my competition horse in March 2015 so there wasn’t really a major drive for me to ride 5-6 times per week anymore. And since I really didn’t ride that much… why would I keep up with my PT sessions?
Did the business suffer? Not at first as the business was still floating on previous goals and targets that we achieved. But when you look at the monthly KPIs it is clear that there was a decline in output and results.
So… now that my health is back on track and I have no physical reason to feel un-motivated it’s time to get back into the game.
How to make business goals work for you
Step 1: Write down big annual goals. Business revenue, Market share, profitability (either in $$ or %%)
Step 2: Work back from that. If this is what I need to achieve in 300 days. What do I have to achieve in the next 100 days to get the process started?
Step 3: Make it practical. If I need to achieve 30 new clients in the next 100 days, what do I need to do in the next 30 days to make that happen? How many networking events should I attend? What is the number of phonecalls do I need to make? How many meetings should I plan and attend?
All these practical activities should be easy to measure (you either did them or your didn’t.. it’s very black and white).
From here you can work back to weekly tasks and goals and even daily numbers.
TIP: Have a spreadsheet with your goals and weekly numbers. Keep track on how you’re doing. Try to understand how your actions impact your numbers and your achievements.
have a time scheduled in your week to go over your numbers and adjust your activities for next week (if needed)
Personal Growth to reach your goals
If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always gotten….
Be honest with yourself – perhaps you will need more education or support to achieve your goals. This (marketing) video that I found on Facebook reminds us all of the importance of ongoing education.