The new year is about to arrive and reports are coming in. Small business owners reflect on their decisions and resolve to do better in the coming year. You are obliged to take an inventory of your goals and recalibrate your focus. You ask yourself where your vision has taken you so far and where you want to be financially. It is important to look at the drawing board periodically and adjust your objectives that will ultimately lead to your long-term goals. Business climates change and staying in tune with trends and developments is important to keep up with competition.
Analyze your resources and aspirations
The first step to adjusting goals is to take inventory of the past year. Are you meeting your financial estimates? What resources do you have on hand? Are any of those resources available for investment in growth via marketing or opening a new location? It is important to consider the impact of your business on your lifestyle. Is your vision meeting your lifestyle aspirations, is it stressing you or are you comfortable with the pace? Once you find that balance, you can build your map for the future setting adequate, achievable goals.
Set short-term objectives
Your short-term objectives are the building blocks of the map to your long-term goals. Setting your objectives correctly is crucial to achieving your vision. Be sure to be realistic and specific when you set your short-term goals. Aim for growth that is achievable based on your previous data. Don’t aim to double your sales if that is not realistic, aim for something like a 15% increase based on your projections. If you need to hire, set a deadline and precise staff requirements. Your objectives are your sub-strategies in marketing, sales or logistics that come together to form your vision, so set them diligently.
Revisit long-term vision
Once you have the map of short-term milestones, revisit your company mission. Has it altered from the moment you conceived it? What setbacks have you experienced and how did you handle them? Analyzing your successes and failures and how they have affected your vision will help you set achievable long-term goals. Develop a clear sense of direction that resonates with your team. Make your goals your employees’ goals. Prioritize and delegate so you can focus on long-term strategy. When you delegate, provide clear guidelines. Always think about the future. That way, you and your team will be well prepared and more productive.
Create a step-by-step framework
Do not underestimate the power of the spreadsheet. Create a timetable with step-by-step instructions on how to get to your objectives. Detail your approach to solving challenges, whether in marketing, sales, or manufacturing. Clearly define the sub-strategies and explain how to get there. List events, requirements, and licenses that lead up to objectives and sub-goals and how long they take to come to fruition. By illustrating each step, you are making the process easier to digest and tackle. Be sure to track your progress so that you can use it for your next vision update.