At its most basic, goal setting can be divided into five core areas, each of which builds on the last to provide a quality plan of action that will benefit both you and your business:
All About You
The first step is to figure out your needs, strengths, weaknesses and skill gaps. While SO much time is spent on your audience, very little is spent on the person at the helm. In this stage you want to be answering the following questions:
– Why did you start your business?
– Are you still as committed? More so? Less so?
– What frustrates you about your business? How might you remove or reduce this in 2019?
– What do you value and are these values reflected in the way your business runs?
– What’s your personality type and what are the areas of strength you need to be pushing more, or the areas of weakness you could potentially upskill in or outsource?
– Which parts of your personality may have held your business back in the past?
All About Them
The next stage is to really dive deep into your audience’s needs and wants. How does your business alleviate their frustrations and improve their life? In this stage you want to be answering the following questions:
– Who are you really speaking with? Do you know them as real people, not just demographics on paper?
– Can you visualise them, i.e., which podcasts they listen to, which celebrities they follow, films that impacted them, mottos they live by? If stuck, check out this mood board as a guide.
– Do you know where they hang out online and offline? Are you regularly connecting with them there?
– Do you understand their mindset and how it changes as they move through The Buyer Cycle (see below) and become more familiar with your brand?
– Do you know their biggest frustrations with your industry and are you alleviating these through your content, customer service and product development?
The Year That Was
You can’t confidently plan for the future, without first revisiting your history. One of the most important stages when goal planning is to reflect on the year just gone. In this stage you want to be answering the following questions:
– What worked? What made you proud of your business? What came naturally?
– What sucked? Which tactics were stressful?
– What skills did you acquire (or fail to acquire)?
– Who supported you?
– Did you work predominantly on urgent or important things?
– What were the key lessons of the year?
– What do you never want to experience again in your business?
The Year That Will Be
This is the stage most people are familiar with, but without doing the three steps prior, it can often turn into a vague collection of ideas, rather than data and experience-driven goals. In this stage you want to be answering the following questions:
– What does an awesome year mean to you?
– If you had to specify each awesome ‘thing’ could you use the formula from X to Y by when to really get specific? (i.e. from $45k end of 2018 to $90k end of 2019)
– What does this look like on a basic 12-month plan?
– What does this look like on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
– What can you cull?
– Who can support you in achieving these goals?
– What do you need to automate, delegate or eliminate?
– Which marketing channels will you use to connect with people?
– How will you measure their impact on your goals?
– Who or what will keep you accountable?
Tools & People To Help
No business is an island. We all need support to scale sustainably. It’s one thing to plan an awesome year for 2019, quite another to execute and achieve it. Some of the best tools for helping you transform ideas into reality are:
– Mindmeister – a great digital platform to brain dump all your ideas and map out scenarios for 2019
– Asana – a great tool for listing out your smaller steps for each goal along with deadlines
– Use Sixty – a great tool for hiring expert help within hours to assist in website, email, project management or admin set up or development
– Facebook Groups – these can be great to network, find accountability partners or even use as a search engine for customer research
– Pinterest – an excellent tool for visual business owners to map out audience profiles, campaign ideas and branding concepts
– Slack – a useful tool for keeping conversations, emails and documents in one spot to refer to throughout planning and executing a great year.
– 3x wall hanging monthly whiteboards – Great for showing you a quarter at a time i.e. January, February and March. When one-month finishes, simply move the other two along and add in the next month (i.e. the January board becomes April). Easy to visualise your availability and key priorities over the next quarter. And, being a whiteboard, it’s far easier to update than printed calendars.
If you found this story useful, you may wish to check out Fiona’s first eBook, Get It Done: Your Guide to an Awesome Year here.
Fiona Killackey is a business consultant and mentor at My Daily Business Coach. You can sign up to her weekly email here.