Ideas to Supercharge your New Year
By Jay Tav, 6 min read
So, I once put out a post asking the community on Instagram: “What are your business goals for the new year ahead?” and after just a few minutes the post had reached almost 1,000 people and we had over 40 comments from business owners talking about what they wanted to achieve in the year ahead.
The end of a year and the start of a new one is always an interesting time. We tend to look back on what we’ve achieved in the last 12 months and depending on how things went we will either beat ourselves up about everything we “failed” to do, or celebrate all of our “achievements”. But quite often, its stops there. This blog post is about having a balanced view of the past, which will inform the next 12 months of your business with the use of business goals to push you in the right direction.
Look back, in order to move forward
I want to challenge you to look back on the past year and pick 10 stand out moments: 5 moments when things went as you planned and 5 moments in your business journey when things went horribly wrong. With the things that went well, identify as many aspects and strategies which you can replicate in the new year. You’ve tried it, you’ve tested it, you know it works so why not use it again?! You’ll find that using tried and tested strategies is a great way of making an impact with your audience. It will also create a level of consistency for your brand which will help to make you stand out as a professional. For example, if you sell skin care products and you found that your posts with the most clicks through to your store were those posts of people enjoying your products (not just the product itself) you know you need to capture and post more pictures next year of people enjoying your products in order to help generate more sales.
In the same vein, identify as many aspects within those 5 issues that went wrong that you think contributed to the failings. This is where the real learning is. When things go wrong there are important lessons that we need to take away to help us avoid those pitfalls going forward. This includes looking at social media posts which don’t perform well, a
nalysing customer complaints, identifying where you’ve made financial losses or where processes have failed. You’ve
tried it, it didn’t work, you need to remember and etch it into your memory to avoid it happening again. Every business makes mistakes and our aim is to help you avoid taking the mistakes of a previous period, into the new phase.
So, with our skin care business example, if you find that you created a batch of products but they didn’t sell, you need to identify what prevented those sales. Was there a lack of awareness for the product among your consumers? What didn’t people like about the product or packaging? Was there a real need for the product? The answers to
questions like these will help to form your strategic
goals for the next phase you are about to enter.
Having identified the things that you can repeat and the things that you must avoid at all costs going forward, its time to set those goals. Take a piece of paper and write down the direction you want your business to move in, and also the
goals that will help you on that journey.
Work SMART not hard
You might find that you’ve got a long list of goals but we need to concentrate on the ones that are going to bring value to your customers and coins to your pockets. So as I said; lots of people mentioned their goals but I want you to take things that step further to make sure that the goals can actually be executed for success. Some of the basic principles that we learnt years ago are the ones we forget first, because they seem cliché or we think the more complicated things are, the better they will be. Well that’s not the case. Taking things back to basics for every goal you wrote down take a moment to make sure the goal is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Creating a specific goal is the first step. We often hear people say “I want to make more sales” or “My goal is to have more followers”. What does that mean? More sales than what, who or when? More followers than last week, or more followers than Kylie Jenner? What do you mean specifically by the goal you’ve set? Think about how to set the goal out in a well-defined way to help with your direction and focus. Your goal will direct the motion of your business so be specific.
A goal which isn’t measurable is hard to assess. In business you need to be flexible and a goal which is measurable will inform you as to when things are working and when they are not. You need to be able to measure success at different junctures of the journey so you know when to pivot. Include precise dates, quantities, amounts etc so that you can measure the success of your goals on an ongoing basis.
Having a goal which is far-fetched and unachievable will serve one purpose: to demotivate you. You need a challenging goal which is achievable, taking all things into consideration. That includes thinking about things such as your budget, your time frame, your team (if you have the luxury of having a team) and so on. Is the goal achievable for you?
Relevance is key and creating business goals which are relevant to the direction you want your business to move in is key. Your goals should align with the overall direction of your business so that they help to develop your business in the right way and your customers still feel that your brand is relevant to them.
Lastly having a goal with no end date or timeframe in mind is pointless. For each goal you create (and tasks in general) have a date to which you are working towards. Sometimes you may have multiple dates, but make your goals time-bound so that there is a level of urgency to what you are doing.
Supercharge that goal
So you’ve learnt the lessons of the previous period, you’ve set the goals for the next period and you’ve made them SMART. Now you need to supercharge the hell out of those goals and here are my tips on how to do that:
Set your goals in VISIBLE writing. Writing the goals down is great, but if they are written in a book that you have tucked away in your bag, chances are, the goal won’t be at the forefront of your mind. Write your goals down somewhere in plain sight, so that you see them every day. Have the goals as your screensaver, write them on your mirror (dry markers, not permanent pen lol), print them out and put them in a cute picture frame on your desk and so on. Just make sure the goals are visible to you at all times.
Tell someone your goals. Having a SMART goal is great but if you don’t tell anyone, you can miss your deadline or veer off track and no one will pull you up. Tell a trusted business contact/accountability partner that will check up on your development and help to motivate you when you are feeling disheartened.
Identify and write down why your goal is valuable to your business and what failing to achieve it will cost your business development. Knowing this will motivate you to keep working towards your goal and will ensure you stay motivated even when you are ready to quit.
Create a plan of action. The detail of how you will achieve your goals is important, so write the individual steps that are needed to achieve each goal. As you complete one step of your plan you will know that you are that bit closer to achieving your goal and will be motivated to take the next step and the next and then next until voila; the goal is achieved!
Push through the pain. I can guarantee you, there will come a point when you are tired and done with the whole “goals” thing. That is going to be the point at which you need to dig deep and really push yourself to move forward. The goal setting part is fun, but the actual execution isn’t. When you see you are getting to that point, you are allowed a few hours break, but then you have to dust yourself off and push through the pain. You’re allowed to feel like this, but my advice is, don’t let it consume you and this is the point at which you want to call your accountability buddy from point 2 above. They will hopefully remind you how far you’ve come and help you to remember that you’re most likely doing a great job. This is also a perfect time to read your notes from point 3, as realising what the cost of not acting will be for your business should push you to keep going.
So here is the challenge: go to the Instagram post I first mentioned by clicking here and comment on it, telling us what your business goals for the new period are. We are your number 1 accountability partner and will be checking up on everyone that leaves a comment throughout the year!
Happy goal setting hustlers and here is to a supercharged new year!
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