In life and in business it is important to set realistic and measurable goals. What do you want to achieve? In what time frame? How will you get there? How will you measure this?
Cash flow is also an important factor in business and business goals are often related to building positive cash flow or increasing revenue. Having smooth running, regular cash flowing in to cover outgoings is vital to any successful business.
When it comes to setting your business goals for the next 6 to 12 months we’ve got some suggestions for creating smart goals:
- Be Specific.
What exactly do you want to achieve? Saying you want to go to Hawaii for a holiday is a nice idea, but when we get specific, work out a budget, exact dates and island destinations, a specific goal starts to take shape. It’s important to work out exactly where you want to go, and then plan around how you can achieve that. When you make your goals as specific as possible, you are much more likely to stick to them and achieve them.
- Keep the goal realistic.
You may want to conquer the globe in 12 months, but as some say the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. It is very important to have long term goals, but it can also become overwhelming if you look too far ahead, without knowing how to clearly state your objectives and break down these bigger goals into smaller, actionable bite size pieces. Ticking action steps off one at a time ensures that you are staying on track with your bigger goal, and if not, allows you to reassess if/when different steps need to be taken. Maintaining momentum and can give a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Getting too far ahead of yourself can sometimes be demotivating and you may end up losing sight of where you wanted to be or spend time working on things that are really not part of your end game.
- Set time frames for when the goal should be achieved/completed.
We have a saying around the office, ‘there is NOTHING like a deadline!’. From experience, we will get things done if we have a set date to have it done by, it keeps us accountable to ourselves and to others. Write down the things you want to do, and when you are going to have them done by, put it in your calendar, get it up on the wall and tell others you work with – there is nothing like a bit of public attention to keep you on track and wanting to get things ‘ticked off’ and completed. Setting goals has no real meaning without a time frame.
- Regular reviews of your goals.
It is important to go back and review your original goals every so often; 3 months, 6 months – depending on the initial time frame set out. Is this goal still what you want to achieve? Is it still realistic within this time frame? Do the results I have to gain still fit with my business purpose and my reasons why I do this day in day out? Reviewing what you are doing, how far you have come and what you have left to accomplish is a valuable ‘check-in’ and chance to re-evaluate the prioritizing of your day to day tasks, is there anything you could be delegating to others, or outsourcing… so that you can be spending more time on the things that you want to work on in your business to continue to grow and thrive, that old saying, ‘nothing change, if nothing changes.’
- Achieving the desired outcomes.
There is no better feeling than finally achieving a long term goal, you have put in the hard work and commitment, kept yourself on track and are now able to (hopefully) sit back and reap the rewards for your efforts. We feel it is important that you do reward yourself for a job well done and if you set out a clear goal from the beginning and along with that a way on which you will now that you have achieved this and what you are going to do to celebrate – it will provide you with motivation when you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed. Ensure that the reward fits the goal, the bigger the goal, the bigger the reward should be… you’ve earned it!
If you would like more information of setting some business goals around cash flow for the new year then check out the below articles or contact us to arrange a face to face meeting. You may also be interested in our Business Keys accountability and mentoring program.
Some further reading