3 tips to effective goal setting

Many of us are back to work following a well earned festive break. I always claim that a holiday is great to focus the mind and bring new motivation. Hopefully you’re experiencing this now, with plans for change or improvement both in your personal and business lives.

What’s less common though, is the structure to ensure those changes or improvements happen with results. In my blogs this month, I’m sharing my two crucial stages to turn that around.

Don’t curb your potential!

In this first post, I’m looking at effective goal setting. You have to have an end goal before you can achieve it. Otherwise how do you know what to aim for; or what’s a good or bad result?  For example, a runner may want to improve their time; but without a definition of by how much, there can be no plan and without a plan, the potential for improvement will be curbed.

Step 1 – the personal goal

Aligning business and personal goals is pivotal to your well-being. If the business has hit its targets but you still haven’t enough money to get the new car or pay off the mortgage, then as a business owner you’re likely to be left feeling dissatisfied.

So for effective goal setting, it’s imperative to work out first of all what you want from life. This may be a long term retirement plan, or it may be a medium term plan to pay off the mortgage. For some of us, there may be more immediate, short term life goals such as the new car.

Step 2 – the cost

Once you have the personal goals defined, you need to know the cost. Do your research and work out exactly what’s required. If it’s a new car, don’t forget to include insurance and road tax. Maybe you want some cash saved for wear and tear on tyres or a monthly valet. Get it all down.

Step 3 – the business goal

OK, now you know what you want the business to achieve for YOU, and what it will cost. It’s time to set the business goal to help you create the reality.

For medium and long term personal goals, you’ll likely need to break the overall goal down into annual targets. From your annual target, monthly targets can be set.

With effective goal setting done, you can move onto the plan. Read on to my next post for the detail on how to ensure you can achieve the targets you’ve set. As ever, if you need any help with your goal setting, contact me for a free 2 hour business review.

6 ways to achieve business goals

So you’ve got the goal in mind, how will you score it?

In my last blog, I explained why having a goal is central to your overall well-being and the steps needed to getting the right goal. You can read that detail here if you missed it. In this blog, I’m giving away my blueprint to achieve business goals you’ve set.

1. Break it down

With your goal for the year in place, you’ll need to break this down into at least monthly targets. In doing so, you can put a plan in place to get there.

2. Match review

Just like a football manager, you’ll need to make changes in order to climb the table and hit your goals, but which ones? My previous posts are full of ideas to grow your business. I’ve linked below to some that I believe will really guide you to carve a plan to achieve business goals:

Profitable marketing – discover what’s working well and do more of it!
4 tips for effective cost-cutting – send more money to the bottom line by cutting out unnecessary costs
Diversification: 3 ideas to increase sales – understand how to use your products/skills to the max in all markets

3. Plan your attack

With ideas sorted, document your plan. Just like your targets, break your plan down into monthly actions. Remember to include the following:

Who (will be responsible for completing it)
When (should it be done by)

4. Team talks

As a small business owner, you’re likely accountable to very few people. One of the problems with this is that it removes the gravity of the result and the priority given to the tasks to make it happen. If no-one but you cares whether you achieve the goal you’re less likely to give your plan the attention it deserves.

Fear of failure can prevent us wanting to share with the world what we are aiming for. For those brave enough to do so, it can be the motivation to ensure failure isn’t an option.

If you have a team, share with them the business goals (they’re probably less interested in the new car you’re after!). If they don’t know what you’re aiming for they won’t strive to help you get there. Think about what might motivate them to achieve the goal, can you put an incentive in place?

If you don’t have a team then share your goal with a family member, other business owner or a coach. Ask them to make you accountable and provide them with monthly updates on progress to keep you on track.

5. Check the scoreboard

Don’t forget to keep checking the scoreboard to see how you’re doing. Monthly progress checks will give you the opportunity to make adjustments to stay on track. More importantly, it affords you an opportunity to celebrate successes. Not only does knowing you’re on track make you feel amazing, it will keep motivation and momentum up.

6. Goal celebration

Reward and celebrate your wins. This goes for you and your team. Give yourself a little treat when a target is reached, that too will help keep your motivation high. For your team, how can you thank them? Often praise itself is enough to let staff know they’re appreciated.

No matter how well your business is doing, you’ll always strive for a bit more. Whatever your position, why not take advantage of a free 2 hour business review with me and really kick-start 2018? I’ll leave you with genuine ideas on how to improve your business so you can achieve those personal goals.