We’re entering the second week of February which has big implications for any business goals you may have set for 2015. Many of us set these goals at the start of the year and are full of enthusiasm for them. However, as the weeks go on we tend to get less and less interested, and by now almost a third of us have given up completely.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways that you can refocus your business goals for the year and get them back on track.
Choose one to focus on
When it comes to improving your business, it can be very tempting to set a whole list of goals. I have no doubt there are dozens of changes you’d like to make, but trying to work on them all at once is unlikely to get results. Instead, channel your energy into working on one priority. That way you’re much more likely to succeed.
Make your goal specific
The more specific your big business goal is the more likely you are to achieve it. Instead of ‘increase profit this year’ try turning your goal into ‘increase profit by X%”. Immediately you have a more concrete aim to work towards and it will be much easier to recognise when you’ve achieved it.
Break your goal down into small steps
Almost all business goals look scary when you only look at the end result. Instead, try breaking your goal up into a series of smaller steps. If your goal is to launch a new service, the steps might be carrying out market research, finalising your offerings, creating resources, building a new page on your website and publicising the new service to your mailing list. Once you’ve broken your goal down, you’ll find that it seems far less scary and far more actionable.
Find an accountability partner
One of the best ways to stay on track with a goal is to find an accountability partner to talk about it with. Choose someone you trust who is likely to understand some of the challenges involved in what you’re trying to do. This could be a friend, a fellow business owner, a colleague or even a coach. The important thing is to set regular time aside to talk about how you’re working towards your goal and how it’s going.
The start of the year is a natural time for us to set goals, but it doesn’t have to be the only time. Whenever you choose to start work on a new business goal, these tips will help you stay on track.
Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions centre around taking care of ourselves. Things like stopping smoking, cutting down on coffee, exercising more and losing weight tend to be very high on the list. This is because we all know how important it is to look after ourselves, even if we don’t always do it in practice.
Often the things we think about when taking care of ourselves are more physical things. However, I’d argue that taking care of our emotional selves is just is important, especially for business owners. I’ve blogged before about how you are your business’ most important asset, and therefore why it’s important to invest in yourself. But it’s easy to prioritise looking after your business over looking after yourself.
In the short term, doing just one more piece of work or winning one more client might seem like the best thing you can do for your bottom line. But if we look at the long term, we’ll see something very different. A stressed, run down business owner is not going to be working at their best. And if you’re not working at your best, your business will suffer.
It can sometimes help to try and imagine yourself as a prized member of staff. Picture this: you’re watching someone who is absolutely vital for your business run themselves right down. Would you keep piling on the work regardless, or would you consider how you could support the staff member to manage their workload to ensure they stay at tip top condition? The second option would certainly be better for your business in the long term, but every day business owners like us take the first option instead. It may be the second week of January, but it’s not too late to make a new resolution, or as I prefer to call them, wise choices, for 2015. The more you take care of yourself this year, the better able you’ll be to build your business.
Once you’ve made this decision, you might find it’s difficult to know where to start. After all, looking after ourselves doesn’t just mean swapping chips for a salad or going out for a jog. It also means finding ways to effectively manage stress, ensuring there’s space in our lives for quality time with our loved ones, setting priorities, managing goals and improving communications with those around us. These are all things I work on with my business coaching clients. In fact, those clients have told me this is so important that I’ve developed a business membership programme to fit their needs: Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Business. If this is something you’d like to prioritise in 2015, why not get in touch? I’d be happy to discuss how the programme could work for you and your business, and I even offer a complimentary initial consultation.
How will you be looking after your business self this year?
A few years ago I had a high pressured professional development career in the corporate world. I was good at my job and really enjoyed it, but over the years the needs of the business had shifted meaning less investment in people and the role just didn’t work for me anymore. I made the decision to step away from my career and into something new that would be a better fit for the life I wanted to lead. After some careful consideration I realised that I wanted to work with other people to help them make decisions about their professional and personal future, and thus Green Shoots Coaching was born.
Because my business started in a very organic way, I’ve always worked to ensure that it develops that way too. My newest offering Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Business is no different. I’ve worked with many business owners and though they have been facing some very different challenges, often the basic struggles of entrepreneurship are the same. One key aspect of this is that business owners are often focused on growing their business and the outside factors that will enable them to do that before they look inwards. In my experience, it’s vital to look carefully at yourself and any internal factors that may be preventing your business from growing before you do anything else.
Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Business is an ongoing business support programme designed to work as a regular personal and business health check. Members will receive a coaching session each month where we’ll be able to discuss ongoing issues, develop strategies for moving forward and tackle problems as and when they arise. Over the years I’ve found that business owners who take the time to work with me in this way develop a far better level of personal and business resilience which, in turn, makes them much more likely to succeed.
This programme is designed for business owners who understand the value of investing in their personal wellbeing. After all, if you are not functioning at your best, you’re not going to be able to give your business 100%. I’m offering regular protected time that will be your opportunity to relax, step out of your business, talk through your challenges, deal with ongoing issues, build on insecurities, and develop resilience that will allow you to move forwards. Entrepreneurship does entail a lot of data and number work, but there are also many emotional aspects. When business owners ignore these emotional aspects their business often suffers as a result.
The thing about business coaching is that there is no such thing as one size fits all. I’ve always had a strong focus on providing an individual service for individual clients, and Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Business won’t change that. This programme isn’t designed to be an identi-fit option. Instead, it’s designed as an easy way to budget for and schedule in time for ongoing business support. What that support looks like is, as always, completely down to what you and your business need.
Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Business may be a new service in name, but it developed organically out of the needs of my existing clients. Some of them use the programme as a way to sit down each month and talk one-to-one about sensitive and private issues. Some of them have used the time to develop strategies for building a better atmosphere in their workplace and creating happier employees. Some have even used the time to work with me to build a performance management system that’s perfectly tailored to their business. Whatever your business needs, I can offer the emotional and practical support to make it happen.
If you’d like to know more about the Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Business membership programme and how it could work for you and your business, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to organise an initial consultation free of charge.