Small business BIG growth®
Words by Marilyn Raju, General Manager of BIGthink! Business Booster
Shit, it’s already January! Pardon the expletive. But if you’re like most of us, you’ve had the same realisation that we’re already well into ‘next year’. The celebrations welcoming us to 2016 are well over, so it’s time to set some goals, put a plan together, and start working on achieving them! After all, you want to be better position by the time 2016 comes to an end.
If you’ve already set your goals for 2016, do you have an achievable game plan to grow your business or catapult your career to where you want it to be in 12 months time? Most people don’t. Let’s look at how we can help make it happen for you…
What goals are you setting?
Tip 1: Don’t just focus on what you want to achieve out of your business or career. Whilst its important to set goals that get your business on the path to success, you also need some personal goals. After all, when you’re running your own business, the two are so closely intertwined that sometimes it’s hard to separate them! I don’t try too hard to divide them any more. I know that my business satisfaction and personal satisfaction are mutually inter-dependent.
What are your personal goals? Maybe you want a new ride, a European holiday, or an investment property to grow your wealth. Or maybe you want to improve your health and fitness by taking up a new sport or physical activity. Maybe you just want some more time to spend weekends with your family and friends.
Tip 2: Don’t just think about yourself. Consider some philanthropic goals – what do you want to give back to the community and the world? What contribution can you make to the lives of the people around you – your team members, associates, even clients. Regardless of your particular skills and areas of expertise, you will always be able to give something back to help others.
Tip 3: Don’t make goal setting TOO serious – throw in some crazy ‘me’ stuff too. Have you ever wanted to jump out of a plane, swim with sharks, or go on a mystery holiday? Well add it to you list for 2016. It’s important to keep your goals well rounded and not all about business.
Tip 4: Specific and measureable goals work best. Whatever business and personal goals you set, make sure they are specific and measureable. “Have a big house” is a goal, but if you can picture it exactly, it makes the goal all that more compelling. How will you know when you’re on your way? What are the milestones that you will celebrate? Identify these – and be sure to celebrate them and reward yourself while you’re on the journey, not just when you reach the destination.
Trying to plan exactly what you will achieve and how over a whole year can be a little overwhelming. Or maybe you are like the rest if us and lose traction 3 months into the year then panic that you have achieved anything by the time November rolls around. The best way to tackle your goals is to break them down into bite size chunks.
Tip 5: Define quarterly objectives aligned to your goals. Defining quarterly objectives let’s you focus on the bigger picture items. If your goals and objectives are strategically aligned, they add value to each other and combine to move you toward your major objectives for the year.
Tip 6: Accountability is key. If you run a business with other people, involve them in the process where you can. Having them understand what you are working toward means they can help keep you focused. Committing to achieving the milestones and knowing that your colleagues or a trusted associate will be checking on progress helps focus your effort on the right things and get you back on track when you stray.
In a team environment, look at the ways you can share the load. As the saying goes, if you climbed the mountain by yourself, it wasn’t a very big mountain. Use the people around you as leverage – and provide the same leverage for them.
Tip 7: Remain focused. New things will come up throughout the year. Circumstances will change. The market will change. Your views on what is really important will change. Use your original goals as the key reference point and test each new opportunity, activity or idea for alignment. Ask whether these new elements will help you achieve your original goals and objectives or get in the way.
And finally, remember that nothing happens until you act! Not sure what to do? Do something! Not sure where to start? Start where you are! Nothing is more of a contributor to success than action guided by worthwhile goals.
Have a hugely successful 2016!
Marilyn is passionate about problem solving and making ‘something’ from ‘nothing’. Her role at BIGthink! Business Booster is to ensure efficient operations across the business, improve brand engagement, and ensure our client’s needs are being met. She is also responsible for the continual improvement of our processes and systems. She has had the opportunity to work with some of Australia’s largest corporate and government departments as a business process and communications specialist, and also gained significant experience with business operations, project management, business analysis and marketing. This diverse experience, has allowed Marilyn to package her corporate experience into our BIGthink! programs, making them more accessible to small businesses and entrepreneurs.