As a career-driven individual, setting goals for your business should be on the top of your to-do list. Whether you are the proud owner of a large enterprise, or part of the workforce in an up-and-coming SME, setting realistic, achievable goals for the year can really give you the upper hand in the boardroom. A1L has compiled a list of ten business goals to consider as part of your planning for the year ahead. Here they are:
Find the Fault and Let it Go
The end of the year signifies a time for review. It enables you to scrutinise events over the past year and truly explore what has and has not worked for you as a whole. If you find a strategy was implemented with the hopes of achieving great things, but never really made it out of the gates, cut it loose. The New Year brings new beginnings and is the perfect time for you to re-evaluate which strategies to keep and which to jettison going forward.
Do Not Make Do
You may think it’s honourable of you to save the company money by suffering through the working year with a faulty piece of equipment or a short supply of tools, but don’t be fooled. In essence, making do could actually be costing you more in terms of time wasted as well as mistakes being missed. Rather find a way to source an affordable solution to everyday problems as they could be costing you the precious time of your workforce. Make a plan, don’t make do!
Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
Often, in the practice of business, you tend to feel like nobody can do the job at hand better than you. Learning to delegate is a vital part of successfully running a business or team. First and foremost, accept that you probably will not be able to do everything yourself. Instead of spreading yourself thin and producing work that is 80% in quality, entrust and train one of your team members to deliver the task at 100%. Developing team members through delegation and helping them to learn new skills not only benefits them, but arms your company with a more qualified and better trained workforce.
Pay It Forward
An extraordinary thing to do, not only as a business but as a human being, is to give back to the community. Find a cause you agree with as a business and dedicate something towards this every month. Whether you go and visit children at an orphanage, become a mentor at an outreach programme or provide funding when you can, giving back to the community will enrich both your personal and business life. It also sets an example in your work environment, affirming a positive culture within the business. When you witness an act of kindness, you are more inclined to carry out an act of kindness.
Create a Weekly Calendar
Set up team meetings religiously once a week. Often you get side tracked and important things you needed to implement, execute or record fall by the wayside. Get into a routine to touch base with your team in weekly business meetings from the beginning of the year. This will help you keep track of exactly what needs to be done, is being done and has been completed.
Prepare to be Flexible
Even the best laid plans are not impervious to the unpredictable nature of the real world. As important as it is to set goals and execute them, it is also important to be flexible and allow for a change in direction should you not be achieving the results you were after. Consider your business goals a flight plan that will get you to your final destination. Your flight may need to be rerouted due to a thunderstorm and the flight plan may need to be amended but this is only to ensure that you get to your intended destination.
Continuously Spread the Word
When large, time consuming tasks arise, you tend to forget how integral it is to promote your business. It is important to keep your sights on the bigger picture. Keep tabs on the next project, work hard to reach your target audience, but ensure marketing remains top of mind regardless of how busy and challenging it gets. It takes but a moment to tell a potential client about that new product you are working on!
Set Goals to Seek Knowledge
Make it a goal to stay up to date with what is going on in your industry. Over the years knowledge generation has been fast-tracked by the digital revolution, through the constant flow of Information. This means that your knowledge and frame of reference must expand to keep up. Statistics show that successful people read an average of 2-3 hours a day! Most people don’t have the time to set aside to read, but go on a seminar, start using a new computer program, never stop thinking about changing the world around you and reap the benefits in your business.
Never Forget to Network
Who you know is just as important as what you know. Make it a goal this year to link up with relevant contacts; from industry leaders to ex-colleagues. Don’t just connect on LinkedIn and Facebook for the sake of it but ensure that you maintain meaningful relationships. Network power depends on how strong your relationships are and how much attention you command when engaging with people in your network. So reach out to someone you have not spoken to in a while or bounce an idea off your ex-boss – you may just learn something valuable!
Set Aside a Little Time For Yourself
High-achievers are at risk of burnout because of their ‘I can do everything’ personalities. And in this connected world that we live in, digital technology has rewired our brains to be in permanent multi-task mode. Set a little time aside throughout the year for yourself. A weekend away every once in a while can do wonders for the spirit. Keep reasonable work hours, schedule a few breaks during the day, encourage socialising in the workplace and get more sleep. Fresh ideas and inspiration comes from a healthy mind and body. So stock up your drawer at work with healthy snacks and don’t forget to pack lunch! Making little changes now will keep you in the race longer and will get you across the finish line.