Leadership Tag

Are you tired of not making progress towards achieving your business goals? 

If you’re frustrated by the approach you’ve been taking to set and achieve your business goals, you’re not alone. Running a business is unpredictable. When you have to make difficult decisions every day to keep moving forward it’s a challenge to stay disciplined and focused on important but not urgent activities. Especially if you’re working on a year-long timeline.

In this post, I’m outlining a better process to set and achieve your business goals. The process involves five steps to help you make progress incrementally towards where you want your business to be.

I know this works because I’ve been using it myself for the last several years to make accomplishing my business and financial goals easier. To gain the most benefit, I recommend scheduling a distraction-free hour or two to go through these steps for the first time.

A 5-Step process to set and achieve your business goals

1. Take Inventory

Make a list of your accomplishments in the last 12 months so you can zoom in on what made a positive impact. Highlight the important lessons, achievements, and transformations that come to mind. Once you write down your initial thoughts, invite feedback from your team to add insights and consider different perspectives.

To complete this step, reflect on your list of highlights and underline what stands out.

2. Identify Improvement Areas

Before you take action on any plan, you need to have a clear starting point so you can identify the gaps between where you are and where you want your business to be. I recommend completing a S.W.O.T review (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to assess where you are today and identify your best opportunities for improvement.

To complete a S.W.O.T. review write down, at least, one idea for each area of the S.W.O.T. If you have a team, engage them in the process as well by gathering ideas from all your key people. You can familiarize yourself with this concept if it is new to you by clicking here. While you may feel some resistance to initiating this step because it sounds time intensive, the result is worth it and you can complete it within 30-45 minutes.

To complete this step, assess the ideas generated through your S.W.O.T review and make a list of three to five key areas of your business you want to focus on improving over the next year.

3. Set Actionable Goals

The next step is to set actionable goals.  Write down one to three actionable goals (maximum) you want to achieve in each quarter over the next year. Limiting the number of goals you set is important so you can narrow the focus on what matters most and avoid stretching resources too thin.

To make goals actionable, you need to be able to turn each one into a project that can be broken down into specific tasks you can schedule, delegate, and complete within the next 90 days.

Break your goals down into tasks you can schedule, delegate, and complete within the next 90… Click To Tweet

I use this variation of the ‘SMART’ acronym as a guideline to ensure my goals are actionable:

Specific – Avoid vague statements like increase sales or pay off debt. For example, increase revenue by $50,000 is more specific. Because the goal aims at a measurable result, you can identify what specific products or services you’re going to focus on selling to achieve it. Retain 90% of existing customers and reduce administrative overhead costs by 15% are also good examples of specific goals. To create specificity use a number or percentage and write down exactly what success looks like, so the finish line is clear.

Meaningful – Write down why each goal you set matters. If your goals move you closer to realizing a vision driven by a clear purpose, you’ll maintain motivation and inspiration that’ll fuel momentum to succeed.

Attainable – Visualize the path to reach each goal by identifying what needs to happen or come together to realize your desired outcome. You need to be able to achieve every goal you set within 30 to 90 days to get on your actionable list. If a goal feels out of reach, add it to your vision board acheter viagra or create a future goals list you’re working towards once you accomplish what needs to be achieved first.

Required – Ensure the goals you set are essential to improve your priority areas of focus.

Timed – Set the desired achievement date for each goal and stagger deadlines so you can make progress incrementally every quarter and assess results.

To complete this step, write down the list of goals you want to accomplish this year and highlight one to three you want to focus on accomplishing in the next 90 days. Use the ‘SMART’ acronym above as your guide to ensure each goal is actionable.

4. Turn Goals Into Projects

Break the goals you’ve set for the next 90 days down into projects and make a list of action steps that can be scheduled, assigned and tracked until completion. One of my favorite apps to facilitate this is Asana.

Use each goal as the title of every project you need to complete.

To complete this step, write out your list of action steps for each goal and/or try out an app like Asana to turn your goals into projects you can track from start to finish.

5. Schedule Quarterly Reviews

Block time in your calendar to review your progress and financial reports every quarter so you can identify what’s working, what’s not and make changes proactively. The greatest obstacle to achieving your desired results is becoming discouraged if goals take longer than expected to achieve and losing sight of what matters most as a result. Quarterly reviews serve to remind you of your vision, communicate effectively about your plan and organize day-to-day activities as needed to stay on track. And, celebrate the small wins along the way to fuel motivation.

Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about incremental progress. Don’t overthink it. Reaching goals is never a straight line. Regular reviews are essential so you can tweak priorities and adjust tasks along the way to keep improving.

Achieving a goal is not about perfection. It's about incremental progress. Click To Tweet

To complete this step, schedule a date and time on your calendar to complete a quarterly review. If you’d like help setting up and creating accountability around this process, you can book a consulting session with me here.

Are you ready to get clear on what you want to accomplish in the next 90 days? Time to schedule a date with yourself to go through this process.

 

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We all want to lead awesome meetings. More specifically, we want to make the time invested in meetings more productive so everyone involved walks away with:

1. A greater understanding of what the issues & priorities are,
2. Who is accountable for specific tasks to implement solutions,
3. Clarity to make decisions and take action,
4. An energy boost to keep moving forward.

To help you and your team get a better return on your time investment, here are my six fundamental principles for leading awesome meetings:

Start With Why

If you’re going to meet, clarify the purpose first then only invite the people essential to getting the outcomes you need.

Set An Agenda

Set a time-specific agenda with no more than 3 core outcomes you want to get out of the meeting. Clarify who is attending, what you’re talking about and what you expect from each participant. Be even more specific about any information you need your participants to prepare and bring to the meeting in advance. I recommend sharpening the focus of each meeting so you can accomplish what you want within 30 minutes.

Show Up Prepared

In order for your meeting to feel useful and productive, you’ve got to have the information you need to make decisions and take action. Make it clear in advance, everyone must show up prepared or the meeting will have to be rescheduled. Send out the list of what each person is accountable to bring and email a reminder 48 hours in advance.

Stay On Task

Keep the meeting focused on the core outcomes. If ‘other’ issues come up during the course of your meeting make note of it briefly and insist on dealing with it via email, a phone conference or agree to set up another meeting if necessary.

Create Your Action List

Clarify and assign specific tasks to implement the solutions you’ve created or action you’ve decided to take.

Re-Cap Next Steps

Complete your meeting with a re-cap of what’s been decided upon and send everyone a copy of the action plan. Before you wrap up clarify how each person will stay accountable to the action plan so the important work gets done.

By mastering these fundamentals you can transform energy-draining meetings into energy-boosting summits focused on action and results, which will feel a lot more motivational for you and your team.

If you liked this article, please share it on your favourite social media with #awesomemeetings

One of the challenges I think many business owners can relate to is figuring out how to inspire your team to get things done.

In his bestseller, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek says encouraging people to clarify what they intend to do gives them ownership instead of waiting for permission.

Because when you give people a sense of purpose you inspire them to do their part to get things done using their unique abilities, which builds trust and a deeper sense of belonging.

And in my experience his advice works brilliantly.

In this article, I’m sharing the simple three-step process I use to inspire our team to get things done:

Set 30 Day Goals

Meet with your team every month to set an ambitious goal that moves your team closer to your bigger goals for the year.

Clarify Intentions

Clarify what you intend to do by when toward achieving your team’s 30 -day goal. Then ask each member of your team to clarify what they are going to do by when toward achieving it. Assign someone the task of recording the key activities, deadlines and who is accountable for what. Ensure everyone on the team receives a recap via email of who is responsible for what within 24 hours of wrapping up your meeting.

Follow Through

Discuss resources and create solutions to any potential challenges so that everyone has what they need proactively to follow through. Keep an open door policy to discuss any issues as they come up but make it clear that each person is responsible for their own activities assigned.

Encourage your people to communicate proactively on anything they need to make what they are responsible for happen.

This process will help you establish a strong foundation for getting the right things done using the power of your team. Something you can build a world-class culture on.

I believe most people go into business to do something you are good at, but why you do it may not feel obvious.

Because while making money is vital, what inspires you to pull through the inevitable challenges you must solve to build your business – is your why.

What Is Your Why?

Your why is what inspires you to action every day in pursuit of what you want your business to become in the minds and hearts of your customers.

You can build a thriving business on a foundation of great customer service. But if your why isn’t crystal clear, understanding who your customers are and discerning what they value is really hard.

For me, getting clear on my why was the first step toward building an amazing business that makes an important contribution and leaves a positive ripple effect.

Here’s My Why
I believe people have a right to follow their dreams and my goal is to help them achieve it.

I want to help people follow their dreams. I blended my passion for helping others achieve their dreams with my love for working with numbers to differentiate how my company offers our customers bookkeeping and accounting solutions.

We go well beyond data entry to offer our customers a personalized accounting solution designed to improve financial literacy & cash management so they can put their most profitable ideas into action faster, easier and with less stress.

And, we back it up with a happiness guarantee that promises to put our customer’s mind at ease and keep the financial health of their business on track so they can focus on building the business of their dreams.

Being able to articulate with crystal clarity why my company exists provides a clear purpose and amazing discipline to do the work we do in our own unique way – so we can serve our customers wants & needs better every day.

I feel it is important to figure out what is important to you. What can you offer that differentiates you from the competition?

Start With Why

You can start by reflecting on why you started your business and determine what value you can you offer to your customers through your knowledge and experience.

Simon Sinek is the world’s leading expert on the power of Why and teaches leaders and companies how to inspire people.

“Make it about them not about you.” Simon Sinek

I highly recommend reading his best selling book, Start With Why and listening to his Inspirational Ted Talk. For step by step guidance with articulating your why check out his Why Discovery Course.

Now it’s your turn. Share What is your Why, on your favourite social media, #startwithwhy

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