I’ve been making New Year’s Resolutions for my business for years. You could also call what I compile at the start of the year goals for my company. Rather than creating a stagnant business plan that I forget to update, I simply revisit what I want for my company at the fresh start of the year.
So why am I telling you this when New Year’s is so far away?
Because the rest of the year I measure my goals. I create a neat little spreadsheet like the one pictured below to see how I’m doing each month toward those goals.
Why Measurement is Good
So many companies I know set goals (“we want to increase sales”) but don’t set milestones to check how they’re doing. Sure, you want to increase sales, but by how much? How soon? And what will you do to increase sales?
With my spreadsheet, I check in once a month and update these categories. I can see how well I’m doing against my goals and tweak my strategy accordingly. I can look back over the past few years to see how things have improved.
What Your History Tells You
When I look at my goals from two years ago, I laugh, as they are so off from where I am now with my business. But at least I have insight into where I’ve been as an entrepreneur.
Having historical data for your company can help you shape future decisions. For example, if you decide to move into a new target market, you might be able to look back to the last time you wanted to try a new market and see that it utterly failed.
Does that mean you shouldn’t try again? Not necessarily, but you should be able to look to your past strategy to determine what you could do differently this time.
Change is a Good Thing
Sometimes I delete a goal halfway through the year because it no longer applies. I add new ones, too. Goals, just like your business plan, are meant to be change to adapt to your business’ ever-fluctuating objectives.
Nothing is set in stone; don’t be afraid to shift your focus or completely remove goals from your list.
Why Year ‘Round Resolutions Work
It doesn’t matter if you set your resolutions on January 1st or October 15. Your best chance for success is to keep those goals in front of you every month and track how you’re doing. You won’t hit some goals, and that’s okay. It’s more important to view your progress in the bigger picture so you can tweak your goals next year if need be.
By paying attention to your goals, you are, in a sense, helping achieve them.