You don’t need to set goals. Setting goals just means you have to work harder and you don’t need to do that do you?
So you slipped into your comfort zone, you had it made, you took your eye off the market and didn’t see this development coming because you didn’t plan for expansion, either in your area of operation or in extending your product range.
Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a rival appears in your area and your sales begin to drop & your comfort zone suddenly isn’t so comfortable!
Maybe you are just starting out & don’t really know where to start?
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Panic & give up & retire to lick your wounds, blaming the “new kid on the block” for your failure or Do you get back to work, doubling your efforts & take on the fight to survive?
Surely, you have already invested too much time, effort and money to give up at the first hurdle?
The truth is that in life, if we aren’t moving forward and growing, either in our businesses or personally, we are dying and we need to keep setting goals and have new experiences, reaching for new horizons so that we can enjoy our life!
The fact is, we often spend more time planning our holidays than we do our business!
HOW IMPORTANT IS ONGOING GOAL SETTING FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
We all know that our Business Plan often gets left it in a draw and never sees the light of day again!
Although it is simply a guide to help you progress your business goals, if we work, follow and adapt our Plan, it can become a very valuable tool to help us achieve great success. When creating a business plan, we set ourselves targets or goals, which help us to plan how long it will take for us to get to where we want to go. If we don’t apply it, it is just a best guess!
Business Plans and Goal Setting are very similar in their objectives as they provide milestones for us to aim for. I think that they are both dependent on each other too because if we don’t create a framework to achieve the end outcome, we will never achieve either.
So: When was the last time you updated your Business Plan?
Any time is good to get on to this job. Your Plan should focus on at least the next 12 months but you should also include targets for the next 3-5 years as well. The questions you need to ask yourself are:
1. Did I achieve what I hoped & planned for last year? (If you are an established business)
2. What do I want to achieve in the next 12 months?
3. To achieve my 12 month Goals, where do I need to be in:
- 9 months
- 6 months
- 3 months (often called the 90 day plan)
- 2 months
- 1 month
You should then go further and break down your activity into weekly tasks to create and maintain momentum towards your 12 month goals.
Within this plan, you must record every activity you need to engage in, when you are going to do it within your working week, your increasing level of income (taking into account all your bills & overheads, both personal and business) and DON’T forget to build in time out to enjoy personal time.
REMEMBER: Resting is just as important as working and something we often forget or dismiss when we are self-employed.
4. How am I going to achieve my Business Goals?
5. What activities do I need to engage in?
- Promotion – what sort of marketing will work?
- Who is my preferred audience – how do I reach them?
- Do I need to Network – what sort of groups/ people?
- With expansion, will I need to employ staff to cope with demand?
- If YES, how will I make sure that I do this correctly?
- Do people really know my full range of products?
- Have I created new products but not advertised them effectively?
- Is my marketing really reflective of my standards, does it reveal my principles?
6. If I have created new products to meet a specific demand, have I applied for R & D Tax Relieve on the costs of that development? Your accountant should know about this. It is well worth looking into as you can receive several thousands of pounds in Tax Refunds! OK, so after you have created your Business Plan – what happens then?
Firstly, you need to begin to work your plan, so it is very important that you put your plan in a prominent place where you will see it every day and can use it to track your progress and make adjustments as you go along. Review progress at least every month.
Your Plan needs to be flexible so that you can adjust progress to take account of the ups & downs of life and business, however, if you review it regularly, it is easier to get back on track quicker and maintain momentum than if it is put in a draw and forgotten!
The more detailed the planning, the more successful you will be in achieving the results you desire, so it is well worth spending time on really understanding what you want and more importantly, WHY you want it.
It can be difficult to really focus on what you want when you are doing this on your own so look out for details of my new Business Development Course – Road Map to Success designed to support you through a full 12 months of Business Development coming very soon.
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As always, I look forward to hearing any comments you may have, thank you.
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