1. Set objectives
As the song from South Pacific goes: “If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”
Without objectives, you can end up drifting. Does another year of plodding along just getting by, or getting nowhere in particular really sound all that appealing?
So set some objectives and give yourself something to aim for. It helps if those objectives are realistic and measurable, so you can track your progress and see where you might need to change course to reach them.
What level of sales would help you develop your business as you’ve always dreamt? How many customers might you need to attract to achieve those sales? You’ve got yourself a measurable objective.
2. Plan to achieve your objectives
You won’t need me to tell you that if you set objectives and then just set them aside and do exactly as you were doing before, achieving those objectives may be more down to luck than judgement.
Also, if your objectives are particularly adventurous, they can initially seem too large to ever get too.
So you need a plan, one that breaks your objectives down into steps or stages, with a list of tasks to help you clamber the ladder of your objectives bit by bit.
3. Actually do it
You’ve set some realistic and measurable objectives, you’ve developed a plan to achieve them, now it’s vital to actually follow that plan.
Sound obvious? Well it is, until the phone rings with a customer enquiry, or there’s a problem with a supplier…..and you’re soon just plodding along again.
If there’s a risk of that happening, invest in a notice or whiteboard and write up in big letters your objectives and your performance to date. When they’re highly visible, they’re less easily forgotten about than the plans gathering dust in a drawer.
If you’re going to reach for the “I just didn’t have time” excuse, it’s time for resolution #4.
Hijacking the theme song of the Record Breakers tv programme of the 1980s: “If you wanna be the best and you wanna beat the rest, ooh ooh DELEGATION’s what you need”.
If you don’t have the time to set objectives, let alone develop a plan or follow it, then you must be spinning so many plates that you’ll do yourself a mischief. It’s no joke seeing folk who’ve literally been working themselves into the ground.
Big businesses didn’t get that way by having their founders do everything from the first sale to the first £billion.
If you don’t want the “expense” of letting other people do some of your tasks, consider that your time is money too. Is your time better spent doing what you do best, or managing all the accounts, the IT, etc, too? Could you not earn more by focusing on what you do best than the cost of having others do the other jobs for you?
There are people who see delegation as a sign of weakness and doing everything themselves as a source of great pride. Well, compared to leaders of bigger more £successful businesses, your lack of delegation is actually a major weakness. And might sitting atop of a bigger more successful business be something more to be proud of?
Happy New Year!