Most business owners focus on next year’s targets over the Christmas period as they get some time off and so naturally reflect on their performance through the last year and what they want to achieve next year. This is a reasonable approach but if you do the same you might miss out on some quick wins, plus, in all fairness, it’s a bit passive! I very much believe in driving businesses forward and that doesn’t happen if you take a passive approach to what you want to achieve. Each of the steps I’m going to share with you is very important in its own right so don’t skip any!
Step 1 – was it good for you?
Can you remember what your business goals were for 2013? I’m guessing you wanted to grow your business. Did you reach your financial targets? Have you acquired the number of fee paying clients/customers you were after? Have you achieved the non-financial goals you set yourself?
Go and dig out the list of targets you set yourself, or quickly write them down now on a piece of paper. Against each one write what you have actually achieved. Realistically I expect you have achieved some and missed others. Now write down what else you have accomplished this year that you didn’t think of back in January but are actually significant in their own right.
Now I want you to write down why you didn’t achieve all your targets. Be brutally honest because next year’s success will be built on this year’s learning! If you kid yourself now as to why you haven’t hit your targets you’ll fall into the same traps next year. Let’s face it…that would be a bit foolish now wouldn’t it!
I bet you have written down “not enough time”. By now you should know how I feel about that statement. It’s actually code for “it wasn’t important enough”. Harsh but true! Now go back and write down the real reason. If you haven’t achieved your financial, or, number of clients targets then the answer is probably because you simply didn’t market yourself well enough. Have a think about your “things to do” lists over the last 11 months. How many times have you actually implemented all of the marketing activities you wanted to? How many times have you missed networking events that you wanted to get to? How many times didn’t you get round to “doing more on LinkedIn”? How many times have you not found the time to find more referral partners? How many times haven’t you followed up on all your prospects? (Sorry I don’t mean to depress you!)
Write yourself an honest list of the “stuff” that didn’t get done this year, and an honest reason as to why you didn’t do it. If you dig deep enough most of it will have been because you were nervous about taking the action. If you are honest about it now you can do it differently in 2014! Get that list written and then next week we can take the next step.