As 2020 gets underway, you are probably looking at the year ahead and wondering what it will mean for your business. You might have goals that you want to work on and ultimately achieve over the next 12 months. Deciding what goals to focus on and how you will reach them is critical as the new year starts. Whether you have something in mind already or aren’t sure what you want your company to do and achieve over the next year, here’s how you can set, work on and reach your business goals in 2020.
Reflect on the Previous Year
Before you look forward, spend some time looking back over the past year. What was 2019 like for your company? Did you have goals for last year that you were able to reach or did your business somehow fall short? Reflection doesn’t have to be something you do on your own. You can ask other members of your team to share what they thought worked or didn’t work in the past year. It can be helpful to ask each person to share a couple of things they thought were successful and a couple of things they would change or do differently if they had the chance. Once people have shared their thoughts and reflections, gather them together and look for patterns. You’re likely to find that several ideas or issues are repeated multiple times by different people.
Re-Evaluate Your Company’s Mission
Another thing to do before you set concrete goals for the new year is to reflect on and evaluate your company’s mission. It could be that your mission has gotten lost in the mix or that your company has gotten off-track when it comes to fulfilling its mission and achieving its vision. It could also be that your mission no longer accurately reflects what your company is or what it hopes to achieve. As you reassess your mission, some things to consider include:
- Its relevancy: Does it accurately reflect your company?
- Its simplicity: Does the mission make sense or do you have a hard time deciphering it and figuring out what it means?
- Its accuracy: Is your company still trying to achieve this mission or have your goals shifted
Set Annual Goals
Once you have reminded yourself and your team of who your company is, why it exists and what it did last year, it’s time to define and set your goals for the next year. If possible, keep it simple when setting goals. You don’t have to have a new goal for each month or each week. In fact, it’s better to set two or three big goals and put your energy and efforts into achieving them. When thinking of goals, the more specific you are, the better. Remember the acronym SMART when you set goals:
An example of a SMART goal might be to open a new office location in the next town over by the end of July. The goal is specific, you can track it and measure it, it’s got a deadline, it’s something your company can achieve and it’s relevant to your business’ needs. Another example of a SMART goal is to grow your subscriber list by 20% each quarter.
Create Weekly or Monthly Plans
Your business goals for 2020 shouldn’t be “set them and forget them.” It’s important to break your goals down into manageable sections or plans. For example, you can create weekly or monthly plans and tasks lists that outline what you and others on the team will do to make sure you are on track toward achieving your goals. At the end of the week or month, check-in with your team to see how they are doing and to make sure everyone is on track. Breaking your goals into manageable pieces can also help you avoid coming to the end of the year and realizing that you’re far from reaching your goals. If things start to veer off-course in the middle or the year or even right away, you can take a step back, reassess and decide how to course-correct before it’s too late. Whether you’re in the process of setting goals or are working on reaching them, your business doesn’t have to work alone. The virtual CFO team at New Direction Capital is here for you and can help you evaluate where your company is today, where it wants to go next and what it needs to do to get there.