I will be the first to say that I did not reach many of my goals in 2016. It wasn’t for lack of trying or planning. But as I think about it, I really did not have a sustainable plan. My plan had a lot of assumptions and theories. There was no real data or methodology to back it up. In that way I think that I failed to meet the goals that I set out. I did not act with intention. I did things without really breaking down the how and why.
Honestly speaking, I should know better. I see that happening with a lot of small business owners. You set a goal of increasing revenue, clients, expanding locations, but there is no real intention behind the actions. Planning is great; but without intentional actions, good plans go to waste. This is how you can be intentional and ensure you meet the goals you set out for your business:
Everything you do should be with intention!
Let’s say that you have a goal of increasing your gross income by 20%. For easy math let’s say that the 20% income increase is $20,000.00. So the question is why do you need or want the additional 20K. Yes, simply making more money is a good goal. But understanding the why behind the goal will ensure that the goal does not get lost throughout the year.
Is it that the increase is going to result in the ability to scale, increase profit, increase pay for the owner or employees? This why matters because it is going to determine the how. If you are looking to increase your gross income because you need to scale, you are going to want to do this in a way that is not going to significantly increase your costs. If you are, increasing because you want to increase pay for yourself as the owner and employee, you are going to want change or adjust your financial and tax planning. This may mean an increase in expenses not in the year of the increase but the years after.
The how is just as important as the why.
This means that you must figure out how you are going to reach your goal now that you know why the goal is important. Going back to our example, if you are increasing revenue to support scaling the business in the future, you want to utilize what you have to see if it can be supported. That means you may do a lot of testing in markets where you may want to go.
If you want to increase pay, then you are going to have to get the current employees involved to make that happen. If they are on board (increased pay for everyone) their increased workload will not make them angry and frustrated. It will also allow those with initiative and foresight to flourish and provide you with the support you need in the future.
Each task should lead to a particular goal and each goal should lead to something bigger.
Now that you know how and why, you need to know what you are going to do to get there. Your daily and monthly tasks are the things that you do to get to your ultimate goal. Don’t treat goals and tasks as the same thing. Making 10 phone calls in a week is a task. The goal of making those 10 phone calls is to get a client. You may need to make 10 phone calls to get 1 client.
What I find to be the case when goals are set is that we haphazardly do things in an effort to reach it. Someone says you need a new website, branding changes or increase advertisement, however, without a direct connection to the why, the task falls short. That is why everything should be linked. If you have a list of tasks, they should directly lead to a goal. That goal should lead you to the vision that you set out for your company.
Shahara Wright is an experienced and highly sought after business law attorney and business strategist. She is the author of From Entrepreneur to CEO and host of the CEO Collaboration Circle. Shahara founded The CEO Effect, LLC to work with small business owners who want to implement strategy to build capacity.