June 21, 2023
Level Up Your Goals
We’ve talked a lot about planning and goal setting. Recently, your business has achieved one of those strategic goals. Congratulations! Take a moment to celebrate. But then, get ready to level up your goals.
Experts say you should set goals that scare you. You need to smash through your comfort zone in order to grow.
You don’t have to take college business classes to exponentially grow your business.
Small business owners can, understandably, get stuck in day-to-day management because everyone wears lots of hats and does all the things. But it’s important to take time to think about the direction of your business and where you want it to go. For many, their future goals involve growth!
How do you get there? Start by looking at your business past.
Map the Money
It’s essential to look at your data. Where does the money flow from the moment you generate a lead through converting a sale to retaining your customers?
Look at your margins at each step. Can you identify at least two activities or areas along your chain where you really make money? Find ways to optimize those points.
During your same money flow audit, look for ways to sunset products or adjust processes that don’t show a return on investment.
Map the Management
Similarly, review the performance of your leadership team. Find ways to capitalize on their strengths. For example, do your managers excel at technical work, but lack in people skills? They may belong on a technical program track instead of in people management.
Where do your leaders spend their time? How can you work with them to optimize their energy? Remind your leaders that they should direct their focus to strategic thinking and high-level decisions. Encourage them to delegate lower-level tasks to people who can responsibly manage them.
Your outlook on your expenses is more than just a “glass half full” situation. Experts found that businesses who look at investments as opposed to costs show a critical difference in their outlook. Is your business transactional, or do you focus on building relationships and partnerships? The latter leads to growth.
As the business owner, you control the company culture and you set the tone.
Keep it SMART
As ever, keep your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). Baked into that concept are some key factors that often get overlooked in the planning process:
Assign ownership: Each goal and subgoal should have a specific person responsible
Have a clear purpose: Everyone should understand the purpose of each step along the path to achieving the goal
Over-Communicate: When involving the full organization on a goal, repeat your goal early and often
As you’re emphasizing the relevance, the schedule, and deliverables for each step, you make progress toward your overarching growth goals.
Think Big… And Small
Again, carve out planning time as you work toward your long-term goals. Not having long-term goals can lead to stagnation and feelings of aimlessness. But without a plan that breaks down bigger goals, they can feel too hard or too far into the future to be meaningful.
Breaking those big goals into bite-sized chunks gives everyone both a sense of accomplishment and the drive toward something bigger.
When you accomplish goals, it can be tempting to rest on your laurels. Instead of getting complacent, pat yourself on the back and ask “what’s next?”