Zee2A's Marketing Edge Blog

January 8, 2009

Four Ways to Make Your Biz New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Four Ways to Make Your Business
New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Call them goals, targets, aspirations or whatever you like, but at this time of year most folks make the expected ‘New Year’s Resolutions.’ Normally thought up on the spur of the moment, they often mirror (at least to some extent) what everyone else is going to do: lose weight, join a gym, or stop smoking. Unsurprisingly almost everyone falls off the wagon by the end of January and gives up. They fail because the resolutions have not been well thought out, let alone clearly planned or executed with precision.

So this gives you a great excuse not to set resolutions for your business, right?

Absolutely not! Failing to plan is nothing more than planning to fail! You just have to do it in a fundamentally different way.

Resolutions have a negative connotation so let’s rather call them Aims, Intentions and Determinations. Then let’s take a look at a process to help you decide on yours for 2009 and on how to make them happen.

Written Down and Visible

It may or may not be just psychological, but it really is a fact that what gets written down gets done. Be it a shopping list, a ‘to do’ list or in this case your aims, intentions, and determinations you have a much stronger likelihood of (a) not forgetting anything and (b) making sure you achieve your goals, if they have been put into black and white.

Where you write them down isn’t important, what is important is that they are written down and somewhere visible so that you see them every day. I like to have mine on the whiteboard in front of my desk. I have clients who use their office notice board, have them in a frame on their desk, or even as the wall paper on their PC’s. It’s not naff – it’s commitment.

Smart

The goals you set must be specific and measurable. It’s no good saying you will sign more clients this year and increase your revenue. Be totally specific about:

  • How many new clients you will sign,
  • At what price will the business be done,
  • What turnover you will generate,
  • What marketing strategies you will use, etc.

You need to be specific too about how achievement will be measured and when. Break down your goals into achievable and realistic chunks that are nevertheless stretching. I always suggest to my clients that it’s better to aim high and fall short than aim low and succeed.

If you are currently turning over £200k per year setting a goal of £5million for this year is not realistic and probably unachievable, but setting a goal of £1million may not be that far out of reach. I would much rather set a goal of a million and achieve £750k than set a goal of £300k and stop there.

It is equally imperative that your goals have timescales attached, for example by the end of quarter 1… quarter 2… quarter 3… and so forth. Then drill down further into monthly, weekly, or daily goals with specific activities that will need to happen to achieve the overall goal.

Review and Adjust

At a minimum you should be reviewing your achievements against your goals on a quarterly basis–monthly is even better if you can get yourself into the habit. Knowledge is power and you need to know exactly how you are performing against expectations so you are able to take corrective action early if necessary. You may need to increase activity in certain areas, or outsource more in other areas.

Reviewing regularly will also help you uncover obstacles or challenges that are standing in the way of your success and allow you to adjust or call in expert help. Having a mentor or accountability partner is a tool that many successful entrepreneurs use to keep them on the right track (even David and I have mentors to keep us performing at our peak!)

Interview with the Future

Now visualise yourself twelve months into the future, at the end of December 2009. Picture yourself in a relaxed environment looking back at the intervening period which has delivered everything you hoped for.

What does the picture look like to you? How do you feel?

If the level of success you see and feel provides you with complete satisfaction, then go out and make it happen!

If, on the other hand, during this interview with the future you feel that ‘it isn’t enough’ or you are underwhelmed then you need to take another serious look through your goals and aim higher. Remember what I said earlier about aiming low and succeeding…

With all the best intentions in the world, unless you physically take action and execute the aims, intentions and determinations that you have drawn up for 2009 you will get to the end of the year and look back in bitter disappointment.

Don’t let that happen to you this year!

©Vanessa Deakin and Zee2A Limited 2009. Vanessa Deakin works with Professional Service Executives frustrated and disappointed with their current growth rates, marketing efforts, and business profitability. Through one-on-one and group mentoring programmes she helps them to skyrocket their results and break their own best records. To learn more, sign up for her e-zine, or make an enquiry please visit her website at www.zee2a.com.

Do you need a Mentor or Accountability Partner to hold your feet to the fire in 2009? Learn about our programmes and how we work or request a complimentary, no obligation 60 minute planning and goal setting session with either David or Vanessa valued at £199 (fee waived during January and subject to availability).

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