For the most part, I’m a planner. I like to know what is coming up, get prepared for it and meet it square on with courage and commitment.
2020 seems to be taking every planning urge out of me. With so much uncertainty, I am finding myself trying to roll with the punches a bit more – and there have been some of those already, but part of me wants to plan a bit more.
I have always been a great advocate of having a plan in place for my business. I create plans for my clients when they come to me and want something done – a new website, a blogging calendar or a series of newsletters.
Putting a plan in place might seem completely ludicrous at the moment, but I do believe there is still plenty of value from having a plan.
What goals do you want to achieve in and for your business this financial year? What baby steps can you take to move towards those goals? Even baby steps will get you moving in the right direction and the old adage that “it is easier to steer a moving ship than a docked one” remains true.
When you begin something towards your next goal, not only do you have the feeling of moving forward, but you will start to receive feedback on your progress and know if this is working out, or whether you need to tweak, adjust or pivot to keep moving forward.
Here’s my top 6 tips for setting realistic business goals in a time when nothing is as it was and no-one can really predict the future.
Sounds obvious, but knowing what you want to achieve – even if it seems impossible, means you can write it down and consider which parts or steps you might get done easily. Taking the low hanging fruit first can provide you with encouragement and enthusiasm to keep going.
Take time out to sit with your goals – do they resonate strongly with you or are you simply setting them because you feel that you ‘should’ or because someone else (a competitor?) is doing that or because it’s been on your TO DO list for a few years and it really is time to get on with it. If you’re goals don’t resonate with your core being, then you probably won’t really work towards them anyway. So stop kidding yourself.
Consider the impact on your current business – if you are to achieve this new goal, what changes will be required in your exiting business model to accommodate those anticipated changes?
Get a good handle on what financial and time resources will be required to make the change – and then double it.
Like a good house renovation, it’s bound to go over time and over budget because you can’t plan for what you don’t know – and there will be some stuff that comes up that you couldn’t have anticipated (gee that seems to be the flavour of the year!).
Consider the impact on your personal life – as a small business owner you are probably already working beyond ‘normal hours’, so what else needs to be accommodated in your whole of life view to make this change happen?
Remember to negotiate with your loved ones, explain what you are doing and why and how great it is going to be when it’s done.
Once you start you will build momentum and excitement about your goals and this will help propel you even further forward. Use the Nike Approach – ‘Just do it’! That can often times get you past an unrealistic mental block that may be holding you back.
I make it sound so easy – but in reality I know it can be challenging at the best of times to continue to stretch yourself and grow your business. If you’ve decided this is the year to send a regular newsletter, update your website, get your store online or start that blog you’ve been promising you clients to help them with their ‘need to knows’ then get in touch and I can help you to plan and deliver on those goals and you won’t be alone wondering where the heck to start, or worse, HOW the heck to get started.
And having a running partner to help you get started always makes life easier, more fun and less daunting right from the outset.
Why not set yourself a goal to get started?