As the end of the first quarter of 2019 is upon us, where are you in terms of goals and planning for the year? Did you start but not complete your thoughts and notes on where to take your business this year? Is it still just in your head and not on paper or a document on your computer?
One year ago, I wrote a blog on how I asked each of my clients what their goals and dreams were for the year. Our telephone conversation yielded their spontaneous thoughts on what they wanted to see happen – for their business, their professional and personal development, as well as family and vacation plans. This year, I was more thorough with face-to-face meetings with my local clients to review what they, and we, accomplished for them last year, what they plan to achieve this year and how my team can assist them. The resulting documents provide essential clarity for my team.
To get you started, write down the goals and milestones you want to achieve this year. Start with the bigger goals and then narrow them down to the specific, individual tasks and steps you need to tackle to reach each one. You may also see categories emerging, e.g. marketing, social media exposure, growing the team.
Once you know your big ticket items, turn them into SMART goals, i.e. make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely/Time-Based.
1. Specific: Be clear on what your goal is, and why it is important, e.g. instead of saying you want to increase your annual sales and profit, state a dollar figure you want to achieve.
2. Measurable: Make sure you can track and measure your goals and results, so you know when they have been met. An online team and project tracking program, like Asana, Basecamp or Teamwork may be suitable for you.
3. Achievable: Ensure that your “bigger sales goal” or “increase in social media followers” are something you can achieve this year, given your time and current resources. Break down your big goals into manageable tasks and milestones.
4. Realistic/Relevant: Set a goal or milestone that is most relevant to your business and industry, your vision and client base, and which you can achieve within a realistic timeline.
5. Timely/Time-Based: Be sure to set a specific date or time frame that you work towards, e.g. complete Task 1 within 8 weeks, or complete Milestone 1 by end of Q2.
Then – very importantly – share your goals with your team! Your direct team members and collaborators need to know what you are all working towards, and why, and be clear on who is expected to contribute what.
All you need to do then is regularly review your goals sheet to ensure you hit all the milestones you set!
Here are two articles with more details on goal-setting: