Photo credit: A Christmas Story (1983) Warner Bros.
Setting your Business sights in 2015?
Well, it’s that time of year again and as a new year rolls around, many of us find our thoughts drifting towards all the changes we’d like to see happen this year. How to make more money? How to work smarter rather than harder? How to finally lose those stubborn 10 lbs… Yep, we all have them both personal and professional.
Often, clients approach me with a list of half a dozen things or more they want to accomplish – often within very stringent time frames. While there’s nothing initially wrong with this, sometimes we need to step back and look a little deeper towards a more realistic approach. Myself included, if I sit down with six things to do, odds are I’ll be lucky to accomplish maybe only 2 or 3 within that time frame. Am I slow? Maybe. Am I thorough? Definitely. Truth be told setting smaller goals actually improves production. How so you ask? Well reality is often very different from fantasy and as much as some clients may hate to hear me out on this one, my opinions are drawn from experience.
I’ve found after many years in business by setting lots of goals within too short a timeframe the finished product invariably suffers. No-one has more than 24hrs in a day – regardless of what the guru’s out there try to claim. Trying to squeeze too much into a day often risk corners being cut in order to meet deadlines. Just suppose for an instant, if you were to half the number of goals you set while doubling the allotted time (granted not always possible) – what would happen then? It’s been my experience to find time and again each task is not only easily completed but flat-out superior! Quality vs Quantity. Reality vs Fantasy.
Setting goals short, mid and longer term should play a pivotal role in many different parts of a business, from start-ups, to marketing, to sales, scaling and even through to succession planning. Goals provide direction, motivation and a clear way to measure your forward-moving progress. Without them, many simply get stuck treading water.
Without goals, and a process for clearly tracking those goals, you may have difficulty seeing the bigger picture and staying focused. Goal setting helps you build a bridge that can guide you from where you are right now to where you want to be. Or really, where you should be.
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While the holidays are very much a time for family & friends, it’s not really surprising that a chef always ruminates a new recipe or two when he’s out of the kitchen for a while. Sometimes it’s just a natural thing to get a clearer picture in your head of how things should be when you’re not caught up in the hectic day-to-day. We are inquisitive by nature and sometimes, time itself is all that’s really needed to be able to step back for a few minutes and better focus our vision on the overall.
This rat race mentality is the part that many self-employed business owners & sole proprietors really find hard to get out of. Being that there’s only one person trying to put out all the little fires every day. How often have you looked at the clock on the wall and wondered how the heck did it get to be 4:30 already? But if you don’t take time to goal plan and strategize on a regular basis, no-one will do it for you and that can only hurt your business in the long-term.
So, in closing I’m all for setting business goals – just make sure you’re setting realistic ones within realistic time frames. Slow down there speedy :)
But what about you? What are your first 3 Business goals for the new year…?