By: Stephanie Carnes, LMC Spotlight
The start of a new year is often a time to look back and forward. The end of 2019 is all the more auspicious because it’s not just the start of a new year, it’s the start of a new decade! Set your business up for success by investing in year-end business planning.
To figure out what will make 2020 a great year, you need to ask the right questions.
Who are you, as a company? Have you identified your mission, or your company’s purpose? If not, that’s your first step. We recommend the hedgehog concept from Jim Collins’s book Good To Great to help you zero in on your company’s focus. Taking the time to do this exercise can keep you from trying to be all things to all people; instead, you’ll invest in what you do well.
Where are you coming from? As you look back over 2019, did you hit your goals? If no, what stood in your way? What aspects of your business caused your biggest headaches throughout the year: Personnel? Regulations? Sales? New ventures?
As you review your past goals, be sure to include your staff. Ask each department head to identify three areas that were successful and three that were not in their divisions.
What are your goals for 2020? The heart of business planning is goalsetting and preparing to set those goals is essential to your success. As Zig Ziglar said, “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Decide which areas of your overall business require goals; common areas include finance, growth, service, and personnel. Good goals are SMART:
- Specific: your goal is detailed and clear.
- Measurable: your goal can be broken into smaller goals and tracked.
- Achievable: your goal is a realistic reach, and you have the people and tools to accomplish it.
- Relevant: your goal aligns with your mission, vision, and values.
- Time-bound: your goal has deadlines.
How will you make sure you hit your goals this year?
First, continue to collaborate. Ask for feedback on your company goals from your management team or department heads, and request that they propose their own goals. Each member of your team can contribute to the overall goals of the company with departmental and personal goals.
Next, communicate the finalized SMART goals to everyone. Explain how the goals will be tracked, which smaller goals make up the larger goals, and what the deadlines are. Some goals require action plans, so be sure to implement those as well.
Finally, don’t wait until December 2020 to determine if you have met your goals. Measure, monitor, and analyze your progress, and make adjustments as necessary. Your goals can evolve with changing conditions and realities.