Are you planning to win more clients this year?
Have you put in place plans and goals for 2018?
Are you clear on what you want to achieve in your business? And have you thought about what your personal or family goals are?
There are so many different books and articles about goal setting that it can feel overwhelming to decide which goal-setting framework to use, before you even get started on mapping out your goals.
However, I find that it’s best to keep it simple. After all, if you have two many different goals it will be difficult to find the time to focus on them and achieve them.
I think we’re all well versed in the fact that our goals need to be SMART, that is they need to be specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound.
But there are other elements to consider too – things that can make it much more likely that you will hit your goals.
For example, let’s say that you set three business goals for 2018. Maybe one of your goals is to win a specific number of new clients. Another goal could be to take on one or more new members of staff and another could be to put in place specific systems and processes to streamline your business.
If your goal is to do all of that by the end of the year, but you don’t map out all the steps it will take to get there, then you will find it more difficult to stay on track.
But if you plan out exactly what needs to happen each quarter, each month and each week for you to attain those goals, then suddenly they are going to feel a lot more achievable.
Start with brainstorming
One place to start can be to sit down with someone else and brainstorm ideas for all the things you need to do to reach those goals. Start with things you’ve already done that have worked. For example, how did you win the best clients you’ve got now and can you replicate that to win more? Asking the right questions is half the battle.
You don’t need to plan the entire year out on day one, as things will often evolve and change. Setting quarterly goals that align with your overall aims can help to keep your focus. So if your goal is to win 20 new clients in 2018, then you’ll want to have a target of winning at least 5 each quarter.
Ask yourself what has to happen to bring those clients through the door, and when you’ve figured that out, block out the time in your diary. Part of your strategy could be to ask existing clients to refer people to you – so allocate time in your diary to do just that.
How do you stay on track?
Staying focused on your goals can be a challenge when the day-to-day running of the business takes over. Having spent most of 2017 writing a book alongside running my business, I can testify to the fact that it takes a fair amount of commitment.
What helps is having someone to keep you on track – an “accountability buddy” – and there are several ways to make this happen. I’m part of a mastermind group, but you could work with a coach, or you could ask another business owner friend to hold you accountable.
Finally, structured goal-setting isn’t for everyone, but what has helped me the most in my business is picking one or two things to improve at a time, focusing on those and then moving onto the next – you don’t need to over-complicate it.
All the best for a prosperous 2018.