Mark Your Calendar for Realized Goals in the New Year

Picture of Gina Blitstein Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

Mark Your Calendar for Realized Goals in the New Year

The end of a calendar year marks an opportunity to look back on the previous year. How did your business do at meeting its goals? You’ve probably done some analysis of both your successes and shortcomings and in the process, come to some conclusions about what works and what doesn’t.

So now it’s time to devise an action plan for stepping into the new year strong. Not just a vague notion that has all the effectiveness and certainty of a new year’s resolution to “drop a few pounds.” While well-intentioned and sincere, poorly-planned endeavors like that almost always end up unfulfilled and abandoned. In order to attain the things you want in your business, you need clear, articulated goals and a roadmap to get you there. Let’s explore ways to help you see greater success upon beginning a new year.

Learn from your failures - Acknowledge where you fell short, learn from those experiences, then let them go. Avoid letting your sense of disappointment from a failure discourage you from getting up and trying again, with a new approach. Think of them as your professional second chances. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently,”

Plan with purpose - Like the ill-fated new year’s resolution mentioned earlier, your plan must go beyond a simple desire to “do better.” Determine in what specific areas you would like to see improvement and the actions it will take to make measurable progress. For instance, to increase your business’ size and revenue, you could consider the following measures:

  1. Expanding into new/more markets
  2. Expanding your offerings
  3. Selling in different/new venues (more website sales or, conversely more in-person sales)
  4. Specializing into a boutique or niche market

Be enthusiastic, but avoid being overzealous - Once you have a goal in mind, it’s easy to let your enthusiasm and imagination run away with you. Chances are, you won’t be conquering your industry within the next year. Focus on setting realistic goals that you can appreciate and celebrate over time. Doing this will help you keep you encouraged and optimistic while keeping your eye on the eventual bigger goal.

Break bigger goals down into easily accomplished steps - Overwhelm is the enemy in this situation. You’ll want to break down your goals so you can experience smaller wins adding up to a bigger improvement. Like that pesky resolution, in order for that weight loss to actually happen, it will take concrete steps over time. A few less calories each day, a little more activity and it could be accomplished - but, the moment we think we want to lose the pounds, we want them ALL gone, right NOW. Of course that’s not a reasonable expectation, and neither is expecting to make significant changes on the spot. As the pieces get put into place, you’ll see your successful implementation clearly emerge.

Chart your own course - There are countless measures of success and progress. Remain mindful that this is your business and that no one knows more about it than you. While you are planning and implementing, refuse to be swayed by those who would encourage you to do things in an inauthentic way, move more quickly than you’re comfortable or to doubt your own feelings.

Consider new tools and approaches - Keep an open mind when embarking on your new path into a new, better year. You may have to change the way you do things to accommodate your goals. Schedules, processes, equipment may need to be adjusted so you can keep up with the challenges that growth entails. You may need to begin tracking and analyzing new data to help you stay abreast of your progress. Don’t shy away from capturing this important information that will keep you on track and alert you to potential roadblocks.

Encourage accountability by clearly communicating with your staff - Be certain to keep everyone in the loop and ensuring that everyone has what they need to work their part of the plan. This will keep your team operating like the proverbial well-oiled machine, moving toward the realization of your company-wide goals. When they’ve been actively involved with attaining the company’s goals, they’ll feel a sense of ownership of the accomplishment, too. That’s good for employee morale and job satisfaction.

You can do this! A new year is like a clean slate upon which you can write a bigger, better story for your business.

What are your business’ goals in the year ahead?

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