At the end of each year, I like to review the goals I set for the year and see how well I did in accomplishing them. They’re kind of like New Year’s resolutions, those goals, and they help me keep track of where I want to take my business.
So what about you? Have you done what you set out to do this year?
Setting Goals for Next Year
If you haven’t formally set goals in the past, why not do so for 2014? Here are my tips for making goals you can actually achieve:
- Make them measurable. The less vague you are, the easier it is to measure results. So for example, say “I want to increase sales 35% in 2014.”
- Make them attainable. You want goals that are just out of arm’s reach so you have to push yourself to achieve them, but you don’t want them to be unreasonable.
- Make them actionable. How will you achieve each goal? Set a list of to-dos for you or your staff to make those goals a reality.
- Check in on them. If you write your goals and then close the computer file, you’re not going to achieve them. Print them out. Review them each month and see where you are in your progress.
When It’s Time to Review
At the end of the year, spend some time digging into those goals. If you didn’t completely achieve them, how close did you get? Recalibrate your goals for the same area for next year. For example, if you didn’t hit 35% increase in revenues, try for 25% increase next year.
Are all your goals still relevant? I often set goals that, by the end of the year, aren’t still my goals. That’s okay. Goals change. As long as you see growth and progress, you’re on the right track.
Also look at your goals in the bigger picture. If you’re trying to take on more of a managerial role, rather than juggling the day-to-day, that might not happen in a single year, so set your goals to gradually remove you from the business being dependent on you. Hire a part-timer, then upgrade to a full-timer. Gradually assign more of your responsibilities to that person while you step to the shadows.
Setting annual goals helps your company evolve. No one wants to stay stagnant, and growth is key for success.