Congratulations! You’ve made it through another year. Owning a business is hard work and it’s easy to take your eye off the ball. That’s why the New Year is a great time to start rethinking your business goals and plan ahead. Here are some tips to help ensure your business goals for 2019 lead to growth and increased success.
1). REVIEW 2018
The new year is a great time to reflect on what worked for you in 2018 and what didn’t. What were your best-selling services or products? Which staff member performed the best? Don’t forget to take a good look at what didn’t work for you in 2018. Review your worst performing products, services, marketing campaigns etc, and don’t be scared to cull what isn’t working for your business. This makes room for new services and products that may work much better and improve your profits. Another area to consider reviewing are your business suppliers. Are you happy with their customer service? Are their products making you money? If not, now is the time to think about changing to a new supplier. You can also take advantage of New Year advertising and launch your new products to your clients. Also, take a look at your staff. Who is exceeding expectations? Whose performance needs to be improved? Use Neko’s great reporting tools to view which staff member is making the most sales. Think of ways to help improve your underperforming staff, or if they are really holding you back, you may need to seriously consider moving them on.
S – Strengths
W – Weaknesses
O – Opportunites
T – Threats
To make this review easier, consider using the quick and easy S.W.O.T analysis method. S.W.O.T stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. We have already discussed how you can find your strengths and weaknesses by reporting but you can also try to identify what competitive advantage or disadvantage you have compared to your competitors. You cant improve on something if you don’t know what needs improving. You might identify your weaknesses as location, social media presence, staff quality, or quality of marketing campaigns. Think about Opportunites that may be available to you in the new year. These can include; attending trade shows or expos in your industry, educational opportunities for you or your staff or holiday marketing campaigns for social media. Gaining insight into what threats exist in your industry or what new products or services your competitors are offering can really keep you on top of your game. Keep on the lookout for new products or services that may render your current offerings obsolete. Are you behind the times in technology or social media? These can all impact your business in a negative way.
Now you know your strengths and weaknesses, its time to set your goals.
2). SET YOUR GOALS FOR 2019
Setting business goals is great but how will you achieve them? To help ensure success in achieving those goals, it can be useful to implement S.M.A.R.T principles. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that brings structure and measurability to your goals.
S – Specific. Target a specific area for improvement. An example may be, increase Facebook followers.
M – Measurable. Quantify or suggest an indicator of improvement. Example = Double the amount of followers.
A – Achievable. Is your goal achievable? Example = Is this realistic? Do I have time to spend on Facebook marketing? How will I do this?
R – Relevant. Is your goal relevant? Example = How does this goal help my business? Do I get business from Facebook?
T – Time-bound. Do you have a timeline? Example = I want to achieve this by the end of 2019
It helps to write down your S.M.A.R.T goals and how you will address each section so your goals are clear and you can refer back to them at any time.
Now you have set your goals, you can start planning the year ahead.
3). PLAN TO PLAN
You may have the best intentions to increase your business growth or profits for 2019 but let’s face it… without planning, you are sure to fall short. Careful planning is vital to your success in 2019. Not only does planning give you a clear direction and path to follow, but it can help save you valuable time in the future, and remember, time is money! So say goodbye to procrastination and plan your year ahead. Scheduling your year ahead of time might seem like a headache, but in the long run, you will be more organised and more likely to reach your goals.
Use a calendar to make a timeline of things you need to do. Without a scheduling plan, chances are you will get busy and simply forget to address your goal. Schedule in a time each day dedicated to your goal. It may be as little as 15 minutes a day, depending on your goal. In reference to the above S.M.A.R.T goal, increase Facebook followers, you may like to gather some inspirational quotes that are ready to go for weekly postings, gather seasonal posts relevant to your business or make sure you share your weekly blogs to your followers.
Letting your staff know the new goals for 2019 is also imperative. Have a meeting or take everyone out to lunch and discuss what your goals are. Remember, your team are an extension of you, so keeping them in the loop is crucial. The new year is a great time to implement targets for your staff. Let them know what you expect and be clear. If you are lacking in ideas, arrange a staff brainstorming session. Your staff may have great ideas that haven’t occurred to you. Another way to keep your staff involved in your plans is to delegate. Plan to give each staff member a role to play in attaining your set goals. This can help take all the pressure off you and gives staff a sense of importance. Providing incentives is also helpful in getting your staff motivated to meet your business goals.
So now you have a solid foundation for goal setting, let us make a toast to 2019 and kick off the new year with a great big business goal!