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The Guide to Setting Goals in the New Normal

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setting business goals

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it's that 2020 was a wild ride. And even more so if you are a business owner. As the global economy ground to a standstill, so to did our big aspirations and dreams for our businesses. Survival mode kicked in, and the goal transformed to the challenge of staying afloat.
As we are into 2021 and the worst appears to be behind us, it is time to get back down to business with a solid plan for how to guide your business onwards and upwards amidst the new normal. But where to start? How best to strategise your comeback? And what exactly is possible in this new economic landscape? We have broken down the goal-setting basics so you can ensure 2021 starts with you and your business on the front foot.

What is the new normal?

The recent pandemic created so much more than a global health threat. For you and count-less other businesses, production stopped, many closed their doors not knowing when or if they would reopen, while others set about reinventing themselves to come up with new ways of operating within the restrictions.

While it can be hard to acknowledge the positives in such an unprecedented situation, as we emerge from the pandemic, now is the time to go back to the drawing board and build on the lessons the pandemic delivered. On the dawn of a new year, it is time to think about what you want 2021 to look like for your business.

So just what is the new normal? Well, it is an economy where businesses are agile, alive, and ready to birth new ideas. It is a place where traditional business models are re-assessed and re-evaluated. It's a time when how and when we work is prioritised. We have learnt to trust others, to trust our employees, and to value the contribution they make to our companies. And now more than ever, the new normal has illustrated the importance of thought leadership as a way to create richer, more meaningful connections with your cus-tomer, even when you can't see them.

What does setting business goals look like now?

Getting down to the nitty-gritty and sorting out your business plan for the new year is a vital step to successfully achieving your goals. How you go about mapping out the year ahead depends on what best works for you as an individual and a business owner in line with your ideal of business leadership. Not sure what this looks like for you? Think about how you achieve goals in your personal life away from your team and responsibilities. Are you cutting out magazine images and creating a vision board? Are you more of a mindmap type of planner? Or perhaps you have accumulated hundreds of spread-sheets over the years indicating the details of your next move?

Whatever your style, now is the time to hone in on how planning to achieve goals works best for you. Now is also the time to consider if you would like to get your team involved in your business plan. If so, we do recommend taking part in your planning before bringing on your team. Doing so ensures you remain focused on your aspirations for the direction of your company before considering the input from your staff.

Where to start?

Once you have your ideal way of mapping out your business goals, get started on working on what you would like to achieve in the New Year.

1. Start with a SWOT analysis of your current business model.

SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats and is a great way to evaluate your current business situation. Working through an analysis helps you identify the challenges within your business and also enables you to get excited about opportunities you might want to make the most of. Key areas to look at might include your ability to engage in b2b marketing, content marketing, and inbound marketing. 

2. Spotlight on performance

Think about how your company is performing in the market place. Can you identify areas where your business is strong compared to your competition and other areas where your business is weak? This information will invite gentle comparison with a focus on performance so you can see exactly where your business sits in terms of your competition.

3. Analyse the market

Once you have zoomed in on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities utilising the SWOT analysis, and position in the market place, it's time to zoom back out and look at your industry as a whole. Eval-uate where you think your industry is heading and identify what is on-trend and predict what might be trending in the coming year.

4. Review

Before you sign out of 2020, give yourself an honest review of your performance over the past 12 months. Do your best to acknowledge what you did well and areas that you know you could have done better. Perhaps you need to get more on board with your company's digital transformation or maybe it is about identifying sales opportunities and lead generation. With a dose of hindsight, delv-ing into this review process might even give you some bright ideas on how to strategically shape your plan for the New Year.

Now to create your goals

At this point in the process, you are more than likely fully immersed in planning out your future busi-ness plan. Filled with anticipation and excitement, now you can move on to formulating your goals. If you are a newbie to goal setting a quick overview of how to construct SMART goals will be handy. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

1. Get Specific

The key to setting great goals is to be specific about what you want to accomplish. The more specific you can be the more successful you will be in achieving that goal in the coming months. Make your goal worth the effort. Each goal included in your plan should light a little fire in your belly.

2. Commit and connect

Once you have drafted your goals, read over them and ensure you are one hundred per cent willing and able to commit to accomplishing them. Each of your business goals should represent a way for-ward for your business, with each goal achieving an individual target that forms part of the bigger pic-ture you have for your company.

3. Deadlines

A good way to ensure you work towards your goals throughout the year is to set yourself incremental deadlines. Just like you do with your five and ten-year business plan, identify moments throughout the next 12 months which you believe will be pivotal for ticking another achievement off the list. By setting deadlines throughout the year, you are setting yourself up for success by staging your goals into smaller, more manageable and achievable increments. It also feels good to achieve a goal, so set-ting smaller goals along the way is sure to boost your morale and propel your efforts towards your bigger goals at the end of the year.

4. Revel in the reward

When you do reach a milestone or tick a goal off the list, be sure to take the time to celebrate your success. No doubt a mammoth amount of time, energy, and commitment is going to be invested in achieving your goals this coming year so make sure you reward yourself in whatever way feels right for you.

How do I know if I am doing it right?

When setting goals, it can be a little too easy to get carried away and lose sight of your big picture goal for your business. To ensure you stay on track and get the most out of your goal setting exercise, make sure you follow the below guidelines.

1. Check-in with your mission and vision for your business.

When defining your goals, go over your mission and vision before locking it in. Ask yourself if the goal you have set is in line with your company vision, and will this goal help you achieve your ultimate goal for your business.

2. Double-check for detail

Read over each of your goals and make sure there is enough juicy detail included for your goal to be successful. Remember, the more specific you can be, the higher your chances of success. Your attention to detail will also ensure that anyone you share your goals with will have a comprehensive understanding of what you are setting out to achieve.

3. Are they achievable?

While it is important to dream big and reach for the seemingly impossible, it is vital to ensure your goals are obtainable. Why? Because if they are not in the realm of possibility, your goal setting could stagnate and impede the achievement of other goals. We don't rec-ommend making goals too easy, however, they should be achievable within the time frame you have specified.

4. Let's measure

Because we know you're going to achieve your big business goals in 2021, make sure you have processes in place that enable you to measure your success. How you do this will de-pend on what your business is all about but make sure there is a process available for anal-ysis and evaluation. One tried and tested way to measure your success is to ensure you and your team have a solid set of KPI’s to keep you on track.

5. Set and forget

Your goals should be accompanied by a strategy of exactly how you are going to achieve your goal. This would include who will be responsible for rolling out the plan and what re-sources will be required to achieve the goal. This factor also ties in with measuring the success of the goal and evaluating and re-adjusting the goal like what we discussed with the Agile Methodology.

Time to implement your goals

Now that you have a solid understanding of the importance of setting goals for your business as we navigate the new normal, it's about time you get busy implementing them. If you don't have the time or capacity to navigate the implementation process yourself then finding a team that can move on your strategy is the next best thing. Fileroom is here to help you achieve the big dreams you have for your business in the New Year. We work with you to achieve your goals through purpose-fit con-tent at every stage of your journey, paired with digital enablement, deep-data, and artifi-cial intelligence so you can focus on what you do best for your customers.

If you would like to discover how creating and implementing goals for your business can benefit you fileroom is here to help. Start a conversation with fileroom today.

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