How to Reach Your Business Goals in 2012
By Felicia Brown, LMBT
Happy New Year! One of the things I love most about the holiday season is the fact that when it ends, the New Year will be upon us. The chance to start a new chapter in life, to set new goals and dreams, is exciting, challenging and refreshing to me.
But if you are one who sets resolutions or goals and then fails to achieve them for one reason or another, I'm willing to bet the sounds of Auld Lang Syne leave you feeling a different set of emotions. To help you get the outcome you want for any business goals you've set for 2012, I'd like to offer a few ideas to get you moving in the right direction.
Be SMART about your goals. The acronym SMART stands for SPECIFIC, MEASUREABLE, ACTIONABLE, REALISTIC AND TIME-SENSITIVE. Simply put, this means putting your goal, such as "Making more money" into a format that gives it complete clarity. Once you know exactly what it is you are trying to achieve, it will be much easier for you to do so.
Example: Instead of saying "I want to get more client accounts" try "By December 31, 2012, I will increase my number of accounts/clients from ten (the number I had 2011) to twenty." The latter statement gives you exact clarity in terms of what you are aiming for and when you will achieve it. Once you've made your statement, begin to make a list of the various steps and tasks you can take to make your goal a reality.
Do something every day towards your goal. The size of the action isn't necessarily what's important. Instead it is your habit, willingness and intention to take that action, that discernible obvious step towards your goal on a regular basis. Doing this can be one of the biggest challenges we face yet it can be what makes the difference between success and failure.
Example: If one step towards increasing the number of clients you have is "attending conferences or networking events", pull out your calendar and pencil in what days the events you want to attend occur on. If another step is "following up with people I met at conferences", make a smaller daily goal of "I will follow up with five new contacts every day." Use the list of tasks and steps related to your goal as mentioned above to help you determine other daily actions.
Make sure the goals you set are yours – and that you are passionate about making them happen. Without passion, it may be hard to gather the momentum, excitement and persistence needed to achieve what you are striving for, especially if the goals you've set are larger ones. True, if you work for someone else, you may have been given a set of goals by your boss that doesn't quite fit this description. But even if you have quotas to meet, you can create your own individual goals within them or to help you make the bosses' requirements come to pass.
Example: Your department has an overall goal of increasing sales by twenty-five percent over last year. Perhaps the idea of increasing overall sales isn't exciting to you, but improving your level of attention and service to your customers is. So you could create a personal goal you ARE passionate about that says, "In 2012, I will share our monthly specials with every client and offer at least one up-sell opportunity per sales call." By striving for such a goal passionately, you could also help your department reach theirs.
Commit to your goals on paper and to others. Writing your goals down takes them out the realm of ideas floating in your head to concrete, tangible thoughts and projects. Once you write them down where you can see them, you can continue to craft and perfect them as your vision of them and the results that will follow evolve.
Once you've made them real, share your goals with others. This may be your employer, co-worker or partner, perhaps your spouse or a friend, and even your customers or professional contacts. Whoever they are, the people you share your goal with should be supportive of you in general. And most likely, especially as you profess your plans with passion, some of those you share them with will take steps to help you achieve them.
If you've set this goal before and didn't achieve it, determine why it didn't happen. This could be a number of things from not doing the items above to a collection of other bad habits and personal roadblocks. Some issues might be:
Lack of discipline
Being "too busy"
Having a fear of success
Whatever the things are that lead you away from what you say that you want to achieve, you may need to gain an awareness of them in order to move past them to the completion of your goals.
In short, goal setting is a wonderful tool and skill to create more of what you want in your life and career. Remember that it is also an ongoing process that can continue to be improved as long as you are trying to accomplish new things. Take my suggestions and continue to learn how to put goal setting in action this and every year. By doing so, you will reach your dreams faster and more often.
About the Author:
Felicia Brown, LMBT is the owner of Spalutions (www.spalutions.com) and provides business and marketing coaching for massage, spa and wellness professionals and businesses. Contact Felicia at Felicia@spalutions.com or 336.508.0790 to set up a free consultation.