As another year draws to a close, our thoughts turn toward 2019. A whole new year filled with endless possibilities stretches out before us and it’s hard not to be enthusiastic. Wouldn’t it be great to keep that enthusiasm going long enough to convert some of those goals into reality for your small business? You absolutely can!
Here are some ways to set new goals for 2019 and improve your chances of achieving them.
Successful Goal Setting For Your Local Business
Take Stock of Your Present Situation
You cannot effectively take your business from A to B without first knowing where A is. Take an honest assessment that goes beyond the spreadsheets. Have you ever done a SWOT analysis? Write down your business’ key Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. How have those factors changed over the years and what trends do you see for the future? Which strengths could you leverage and what weaknesses need to improve?
Imagine the Possibilities
Harness that enthusiasm we mentioned earlier dare to do a little blue-sky dreaming. Every successful small business owner has some vision of what their business is going to look like when it’s finished—that is, when the time comes to sell the entity or pass it on to the next generation and (perhaps) retire. What does your business look like at that future stage? Keep that vision in mind as you proceed.
Define Meaningful Long-Term SMART Goals
Long-term goals take more than one year to be realized. Three to five years is a common window. Whether setting long-term goals for sales, customer count, productivity, or other key business drivers, bear in mind that just because a goal is several years out doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously.
There is a popular acronym used in goal setting called S.M.A.R.T. which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely (there are a few variations, all similar). SMART goals are meaningful goals and here is why.
Goals that are “specific” and “measurable” have specific criteria by which you will know whether they were achieved. “Relevant” goals move your small business in the right direction with regard to the bigger picture. Short-term goals should point the business toward its long-term goals, which in turn aim toward the company’s vision. Goals that are “timely” move the business forward at an appropriate pace.
Please note, SMART goals are not easy. For a goal to be meaningful, it must be challenging. What value is there in setting a goal that can be achieved with or without even trying? By the same token, challenging does not mean impossible. So what does it mean? A worthwhile goal must be attainable, but not without significant effort. There should be slightly better than a 50/50 chance of being achieved.
Set Meaningful Short-Term Objectives
If you’ve done your homework to set SMART long-term goals, setting SMART objectives for 2019 is relatively easy because one is based on the other. For each long-term goal, you should have a short-term goal that, if achieved, will make the long-term goal possible.
Here is where all the aforementioned homework gets used. Each short-term objective must be attainable based on your starting point, relevant based on your long-term goals, and timely based on the 12-month window in which that goal must be achieved.
Plan to Succeed
Alright, we’ve got an ultimate vision, a meaningful set of long-term goals, and an equally meaningful set of short-term objectives, all in writing. How are we going to hit those objectives? Make plans, again in writing, to do exactly that. A one-year objective can look imposing, especially six months into the year. Far less imposing are the bite-sized steps that are necessary to reach each objective.
List those steps, in sequence. Then for each of those steps add a deadline and the name of the person responsible for getting it done, even if it’s your own name every time. Each of those steps must now become an action plan, to be owned by the person named and achieved by the deadline given. If writing out sub-steps for a given action plan makes sense, do that.
While we must plan to succeed, we must also plan to evaluate our progress and if necessary, adjust the plan in order to remain current and on track to achieve each objective. You may even discover that things are moving faster or further than planned, in which case you can celebrate the milestone and adjust your plan upward.
Spring-Green as a Strategic Partner
For decades now, Spring-Green Lawn Care has been helping small green industry business owners across the country set meaningful goals and then make sound business plans that empower the franchise owners to meet or exceed the goals they set.
Spring-Green Business Consultants work with you and your family to understand your goals, how to achieve them, and grow your Spring-Green business. Would you like to learn more about how we do this? Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com to learn more.