Industry News
January 11, 2022
5 mins

How To Set Your Business Goals

Sam Newton

Many have taken the time during these difficult times to take stock of where they are and how they want to come out of this. For some it’s been getting in shape, others it’s been broadening their horizons, but don’t feel disheartened if you haven’t had the time. What we all need to remember is that some people have been firefighting this whole time just to keep things going.

So hopefully everything will return to a state of “New normal” and businesses of all sizes will be able to review what has happened and start the long process on what they do next, which brings us to my point, what’s the plan?

As I mentioned some people haven’t had the luxury of using this down time to plan and so will be on the back step but if you have or haven’t made a plan I think it’s time to sit down and either review or make a start on that business plan and I’m not just talking business I mean the whole job personal and professional.

Let’s start off by going back to school and look at the SMART principle (for anyone who missed that class, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based.) I want to stress the A, if you make your tasks unobtainable you’re going to start playing a very difficult and dangerous game not just physically but mentally, you need to be realistic in what is doable and in what time frames otherwise you will become demotivated. stressed and just generally in a bad way so think before you stretch too far. On the flip side though don’t go too easy otherwise you will just as easily become demotivated and complacent which could kill your business before it even starts.

Think of a business/life plan as a number of steps over a certain amount of time that will take you where you want to be, you need a mixture of easy wins to help keep the flame alive and some mammoth steps that will make it all feel worthwhile. Keep this in mind while you are planning this out.

Let’s start with you.

Always start with your personal plan because in the end it’s you who will be benefiting but also carrying out this plan, you will also be holding yourself accountable for how well you do and if you do it.

What would you like out of life? Where/What would you like to be/doing in 1 year, 2 years, 5 even 10? These are the foundations and milestones in which you need to attain for and then build in the steps necessary to get there.

I know that some of us don’t want to think to the future but I’m afraid there is no running from it so you may as well prepare now to save the issues later, and I know everyone has different lives and goals so here’s a few to get started

  • Do you have kids? – Will you want to help with University, First House, Weddings?
  • See the world? – Where will the time come from, the money?
  • Progress in your career, reach the top? – How, When, where do you need to be to do this?
  • (The dreaded) Pension??? – Do you know how much you need? It’s value now, who is your pension even with?

Remember firstly keep to the SMART system and be kind to yourself but real, where are you now and how long will it take you to get where you are going? This will most certainly change as your life changes, but you can adapt as you do and keep the plan updated.

Now your business (if you have one) how is it going to play into these goals you have set out?

What’s Your Business Plan?

Why did you go into business in the first place, was it for a better work life balance, was the freedom, and (don’t be afraid to say it) the money? These are the basis of your plan and will feed in and out from your personal plan, has it provided what you initially set out to achieve if so why, if not why?

Make a list of all the reasons why the business has or has not succeeded so you can see for yourself why, and Covid-19 is a valid reason but none of these should be used as a blame game. What you need to do is evaluate the situation and here at Gravitate we use “What, Why, So what?” So you have the WHAT (Covid-19), you have the WHY (lock-down, trading restrictions etc.), SO WHAT are you going to do about it? This is where the plan may start for a lot of you.

Stick to the SMART targets and make sure you align what is good for the business and what helps you reach your own personal goals, in doing so you will find that achieving them becomes a whole lot easier. Working on our points above:

  • What is the business paying you? – Can it sustain this, are you doing it Tax efficiently?
  • How much time is it taking up in your life? – Is it too much, do you need to work better/quicker if so how? What points are eating up the most time, can it be done better/quicker, will it benefit the business, will it benefit you?
  • Staff with the necessary skills
  • Outsourcing?
  • Use your Accountant/Advisor? (who’d have thought it?)

Similar to what I mentioned earlier you need to be fair but firm with yourself and the business and this doesn’t mean don’t be bold and ambitious but be sensible in working out the timescale for those plans so that you can measure and assess how well you are doing and if not why?

This also applies for your business plan itself, at first it won’t be all singing all dancing but it will be a start and then each year you adapt, update and improve the plan like you do yourself and the business each time developing the skills needed to succeed.

I believe anyone can build a plan that at least guides them and the more you hold yourself accountable for what is in it and achieving it the more likely you are to succeed. However, if you need any help with starting this, with measuring it (yes you need to consider how to measure it too) be it Management accounts with KPI’s, annual, quarterly, monthly meetings. Contact your accountant/advisor as I mention above, they are here to help you, that is what we are here for so please get in contact and we will be more than happy to help.

For the all-round help with business and personal goals and plans please contact our team and we would be happy to start the conversation.

Sam Newton

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