Every year it’s the same headlines. Did you say to yourself, “This year I must…”
Setting goals are a key part in motivating ourselves, especially if you run your own business. However there is no point setting unrealistic ones or ones that have no real advantage to anyone in the long run.
You could set one big goal for the year and break it up into small parts each month. That way it doesn’t seem as unachievable and you can measure your success along the way.
Some of us, especially after the festive season may be saying “this year I will lose that extra stone I’ve wanted to lose for ages”. Instead of setting that final goal, split it up into smaller amounts each month, so work out how many pounds it would be. It also allows you to plan ahead. There may be a month you know it won’t be achievable, for example if you are going on holiday or it’s a birthday. Don’t set a target if you know for a fact it won’t happen. Instead work out when you can put more effort in another month. Seeing you reach a target each month will spur you on to achieve your final goal.
How can you apply this to your business?
Work out what you really want out of your business in 2015.
Profit leads the way
Do you want to earn more profit – this might seem obvious, who wouldn’t? Work out what a realistic amount would be? Look back over last year’s accounts and see what each month’s profits were, challenge yourself to increase this. If you had a bad month, try and work out why and put a plan in place to beat the profits this year for that month. You may have overstaffed in a month you didn’t realise was quiet. This year, by looking back you’ll know not to.
It might not just be about an increase in profit that you would like to achieve. You may want to look at expanding your business. This could in fact, in the short term have an impact on profits, whilst you put the money into expanding. Again though, break it down into smaller targets. If you want to expand for example in size by moving to a larger property, the overheads are going to be more expensive. Break costs down into monthly chunks, then work out what the difference would be to the profit. This then gives you a clear target each month to aim for so the business doesn’t make a loss.
If you want to expand by offering more services to your business or develop a second business, you may want to look at setting monthly plans for example; initial research into new ideas, look at what competitors are doing, business planning, marketing and advertising, rolling out the new idea, measuring if it’s successful. Don’t try and rush it and try and do everything all at once, especially if you already have a business you need to look after.
What about you?
Maybe you have focused on your business the last few years and now it’s time to focus on you for once. You probably are the ‘business’ therefore you are its biggest asset. Spend some time thinking if there is something you could do for yourself that could also benefit your business. Look if there are some new qualifications that you could complete or if there are some that would complement your existing ones and even open up new work for you. You might think a course could be time consuming whilst you are busy trying to juggle work, your business and family life, but in the long run it may work out for the better.
Whatever your goal is this year and however you plan to get there, we are here to support you. Please let us know if you would like any advice, no matter how small your idea might be, let us be your sounding board.