"The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals." -Seth Godin
Here we are at the start of a fresh new year – and a fresh new decade! You'll know intuitively that this is an excellent time to reflect on how your business has been going and set goals for what you would like to achieve in the year ahead, and the longer term.
What does success look like for you in 2020? You're the only person who can answer this question. Your reasons for having a business and your motivation to continue are unique, and your definitions of success will be different to anybody else.
There are some definite commonalities, though, and the biggest one is starting off the year with crystal-clear goals and a simply-written action plan that you check back with frequently throughout the year.
Another common factor is the difficulty of staying on track – but the best way to do this is to share your goals and targets. Did you know that shared goals have twice as much chance of being achieved when you have someone hold you accountable to your goals on a regular basis? Kennas provide a mentoring service for many businesses, and we'd be delighted to help you in this area at any level of business.
To smooth your track to new levels of success in 2020, here are five keys that have made a difference for business owners who Kennas have mentored over many years:
1. Define success
You won't know you've succeeded if you don't know what it looks like when you get there! Ask yourself what you want to achieve and establish a timeline to achieve it by. Success could include anything from increased sales, profit and cashflow, to flexible working hours or some more time away from work.
2. Plan ahead
In making a plan for the future it's essential to look at what has and hasn't worked in the past. A good starting point is to carry out an in-depth SWOT analysis of your business (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). From this you can create a prioritised action plan of improvements you need to make, and actions you need to take to benefit from those opportunities. The plan will help ensure you stay focused while you're busy with the day-to-day of running your business.
3. Review your scorecard
Just like any sport, your business has a scorecard which you need to keep your eye on, so you know how you are performing. You need to regularly review your financial performance and understand what it is telling you:
- How are you going financially compared to last year?
- How are you going compared to other businesses, or compared to the financial targets you set yourself?
- What has been the financial benefit of strategies you have implemented?
4. Customer feedback
It's essential to check in with your customers and ask how they think you are performing. You'll be amazed at the insights that can be gained by listening to their views on how you could improve their experience, or any general observations on your business.
Getting in touch to ask for feedback also demonstrates you care - a great way to reinforce customer loyalty. Make it as easy as possible on the customer – get your feedback by implementing regular post-purchase feedback (either verbal or written), more formal client board meetings or customer surveys.
5. Talk to your team
Good leadership is all about communication and inspiration. It's important you keep staff motivated by sharing your vision for the future and the role you see them playing in it. Share your plan with them and set goals which flow directly from it. This creates purpose, alignment and ultimately a sense of achievement, which is an excellent motivator.
Ask them their opinions by carrying out a staff survey. This is an ideal way to encourage all staff to offer suggestions and improvements in a non-threatening way – just make sure they can trust that any input will be taken seriously and thoroughly considered. Finally, make a point of celebrating those successes and achievements, no matter how small.
Once you've got your essential facts and analysis in hand, formulating clear, achievable goals and an overall plan for the year is a much simpler exercise.
Beginning 2020 with this plan is a great way to encourage good habits and discipline so you and your team can be as organised and focused as possible throughout the year.
It's often helpful for a third party, such as Kennas, to facilitate the process – we bring a huge depth of experience in helping businesses to:
- Define success and planning the steps to get there
- Carry out SWOT meetings with you and your team
- Review your financial and business performance, and help you analyse the numbers
- Conduct customer and staff surveys
For a no-obligation chat about how you can benefit from Kennas assistance, make a time to speak with our business experts.