If you own a small business, or you plan to start one in the course of this year, then you most certainly have made a rough (or a really detailed) annual business plan, or at the very least, you have put together a list of goals to accomplish by the end of the year. And this, of course, is all very well and much needed in order to make progress and achieve success in your field. However, as important goal setting is to your business and self-development, the tricky part is actually keeping up with your goals throughout the year. Follow these simple steps bellow, and you will not fall off track, and will stay focused and consistent in achieving your goals.
1. Don’t Overstretch Yourself
Of course you’d love to become a business mogul overnight, and who wouldn’t? But setting too many grand goals to achieve in the course of a single year, would mean you will stretch yourself pretty thin. When it comes to goal setting (and especially in business) you have to keep it real. Carefully estimate the time and resources you will need to accomplish each objective, and if some of them will be too overwhelming at your current situation, leave them for next year. It might prove quite useful to keep to the SMART criteria for goal setting. This will help you to be as specific and realistic with your business aims as possible.
2. Measure Progress By Setting Up Milestones
Here comes the second step, where you have to break your small goals into even smaller milestones. Thorough scheduling and timing is essential. Divide each objective into small bite-sized milestones and set a deadline for each of them. This will not only help you achieve your aims easily, it will also assist you in keeping track of your progress. Not to mention that seeing your ambitious plans segmented into small and easy tasks, will give you (and your team) a psychological advantage too. It will be easier for you to believe you can accomplish it all, and relieve the pressure of your challenging goals.
3. Find Someone To Be Accountable To
Truth be told, however meticulous your goal setting is, you will most likely need an outside element to keep you accountable. If the only person you are responsible to is yourself, chances are you might slip off track sooner than later. However, if you find a person to keep you accountable, even just morally, you will feel much more compelled to execute your own objectives. This person is best to be a mentor, since they will be able to not only track your progress, but also give you adequate advice and guidance. But you can also rely on a friend, a business parter or a family member. Alternatively, you can have your employees join in on following your goals’ schedule and giving you frequent reports on the progress.
4. Outreach to Investors and Attract More Clients
Securing financing and increasing profit should most likely take up the top of your goals list for any year. It’s essential to make a detailed plan of how you will get more capital and attract more clients. If you find a way to secure a decent starting financial state for your business, so that you will feel more secure, you will have more time and resource to concentrate on your long-term objectives. You can network more intensively and search for new investors, or explore the concept of angel investors. As for the “secure more clients” part, prepare a rock-solid marketing strategy, or consider franchise opportunities to make use of an already existing clientèle.
5. Work/life Balance
Under no circumstances forget about your work/life balance. Being an entrepreneur might be important to you, it probably even is your higher calling, but even so, it cannot make up for all the other joys of life. You might think that being at work 24/7 is productive and it makes you feel fulfilled and happy (this is if you are one of the lucky people who do what they love). However, having no life outside of the office will tire you down and obstruct your path towards success. You need enough time with your family and friends, you need to learn to fully relax and recharge. This way you will get your creative juices flowing, and ultimately will have a much more intense focus on your business goals.