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A good time of year for reflection.

January 12th, 2011 Posted by blackinkservices

Auld Lang Syne.  I think this classic can be rewritten for business as well.  As we are busy closing books and comparing proformas to budgets to actual year-end numbers the classic New Years’ mantra and act of re-establishing mostly the same business goals comes to mind.  As with your plan to frequent the gym more often the biggest challenge is finding a way to stick to you business goals.

Regardless of the resolution, I find that the first step is to define it.  It cannot be a broad stroke goal.  We all want to make more money and have more time with our loved ones.  Those are not specific goals.  Get specific.  Whether is it is setting up a new hiring process or a new accounting system, the goal needs to be one sentence.

Now work backwards to your goal.  Don’t hide from the hard to deal with pile.  Be willing to invest in reaching your goal.  It will more than likely take time and money, which is why it is an investment.  Once you have created the to-do list to accomplish the goal, you need to look at your SOP’s (standard operating practices) that are involved in accomplishing your goal.  If the goal is IT related then what are your business’s best practices for handling technology?  If it is accounting related, what are you SOP’s for gathering you general ledger data?

At this point the list is going to get long and here is where you either stick to it or you are one of the guys and gals who only go to the gym in January.  Sticking to the goal is a practice in itself.  Make yourself accountable.  Even if you are the owner, you need to be held accountable for accomplishing you goals.  Set deadlines and make promises you have to keep.  Promise a client, let you staff bug you, whatever it takes to not allow yourself to put the issue back into the pile.  Remind yourself of the investment you have already made and that the process is an investment.

It is natural as a business owner to have goals feel like an albatross.  Business owners by nature wear lots of hats and delegation is key to growth and accomplishing goals.  Be okay with that and growth will come to you.  Learn from the process of setting and accomplishing goals.  Make it a process and you can repeat it over and over.

By the way, Happy New Year.  Don’t forget to make your tax deadline, which is always a good goal.

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