A new year offers new opportunities to see your business grow and develop in ways you may have only dreamed of until now. The first step towards your next major achievements is setting the right goals for 2019. So how can you get started?
Begin your goal-setting process with a period of reflection. Have a conversation with your team about what worked and what did not during the year. What would you like to see continue or grow? What do you hope will go away? What do your customers cite as your company’s best and worst features? Where were you one year ago and where do you hope to be one year from today? You can’t tackle everything at once, so answering these questions will help you prioritize your efforts.
Consider doing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis of your company before committing to new goals if you have not done one already. A SWOT Analysis can be a very powerful tool. Use the results to identify specific opportunities that play to your strengths when creating your goals. A SWOT Analysis does not have to take an unreasonable amount of time. It simply involves asking and answering some critical questions to help you honestly assess your organization.
Write SMART Goals
When you are ready to start writing your goals, make sure they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Vague goals are usually doomed from the start, but using the SMART approach makes you more likely to accomplish your dreams.
One of the biggest things about making goals is ensuring that they are realistic and attainable. Becoming a multi-million-dollar catering company by next year is out of reach for most catering companies, so setting that as your goal will likely end in disappointment and demotivating failure.
Instead, choose goals within reach. If even your most reasonable goal overwhelms you, break it down into milestones so you and your team can measure, observe, and celebrate progress as you complete each step.
Make sure you set yourself up to be accountable. Consider joining a mastermind group or connecting regularly with a colleague to discuss your progress and challenges.
You and your team will have to work hard in the new year to make measurable progress towards your goals. Sometimes it can be hard to stay as resolved and laser-focused as necessary, but recognition can keep everyone going. Plan rewards and incentives to celebrate progress. Bring lunch in from a favorite restaurant, let employees leave early for a day, or treat everyone to a stimulating hand, head or neck massage to acknowledge their role in your company’s successes. And of course, never forget the power of a simple and heartfelt thank you.
As the year winds up, put your business on the path to success by setting the right goals for 2019. Invest time now in analyzing and strategizing so you may enjoy maximum results next year.