It’s hard to believe we are close to the end of 2020. In some ways, the year went by quickly. In other ways, it’s been a long roller coaster ride and we’re so ready to shift into 2021! As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking ahead and planning the following year. If you own a business, now is the best time to start working on your 2021 business goals. If you are looking to level-up your business, achieve some new milestones, or start something entirely new, year-end is a great time to start working on those goals. While there may be some hesitance to plan for your business when so much is uncertain, it’s actually more important than ever. Planning ahead, setting goals, and being crystal clear on what you want to achieve next year, will help your business weather the storms that can come with COVID-19.
Here are our top 5 ways to get a head start on your 2021 business goals:
1. Review and reflect
Before you look forward to the new year, it’s important to look at where you are right now with your business. Take some time to review and reflect about what has been working well in your business. Also consider what areas need improvement or additional support. When you take the time to evaluate and review how your business performed in 2020, it can give you a clear picture of what needs to happen next in order to achieve your goals.
Maybe you realize you have been spending a lot of time on something, but the return or payoff simply isn’t working out. Or, maybe you didn’t spend a lot of time on something, but it was incredibly successful, and you need to do more of that next year! Taking the time to evaluate and reflect on your current business structure is a great practice before investing additional time or resources into something. You will quickly realize which areas of your business need work and you can create more effective goals around that.
2. Set BIG quarterly goals
Once you know what has worked well this year, and what area you need to work on, you can set big lofty goals that will guide you the entire year. These goals can be divided up quarterly and should be large enough to inspire you and motivate you during the entire quarter. When creating your goals, it’s important to think macro – you don’t want to make a goal that’s too small and can easily be completed in a week or a month. Big goals should carry you through an entire quarter and should be achievable, measurable, and motivational. One way to set effective goals is to remember the acronym SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
Take your time to really think about these goals and why you are setting them. Your ‘why’ is incredibly important and should be part of your goal-setting practice.
3. Set smaller, monthly and weekly goals
Once you have established your macro goals, begin to break these down further into smaller goals that can be achieved weekly or monthly. This makes it more digestible and will help keep you on track. Setting micro goals is very important for anyone who has really big goals and dreams, but sometimes faces those feelings of “where do I even start?”. We’ve all been there at some point, and the best way is to create small achievable goals that can be measured and checked off the list every week, or month.
For example, in step 2 your big goal for the first quarter might be to completely redesign or start a new website. The process to getting there, should consist of many smaller goals that can be achieved weekly or monthly. You may need to create a brand kit, a colour palette, and design your logo. Then, once you have achieved this, you may need to write the sales copy for your Services Page, take some new photos, write content for your blog, and pick a platform to build your site. All of these little goals will get you well on your way to the large quarterly goal you set earlier and will keep you accountable throughout the year.
4. Set income goals
As an entrepreneur, setting income goals will inspire you to keep working towards your dreams, and will also keep you on track financially. When setting income goals, it’s important to be specific. Rather than saying “I want to make more money in 2021”, narrow it down and say how much – do you want to increase revenue by 10%, 25% , or make X amount of dollars monthly? How ever you decide to set the goal, ensure it is measurable, and supported by other goals you have set for the year.
5. Envision your perfect working day
What does a perfect working day look like for you? Does it mean getting up early, exercising, then working on and off throughout the day in your home office? Or does it mean sleeping in late and working into the afternoon or evening, with lots of time for creativity? Everyone’s workday should look a bit differently, as most of us are productive at different times, prefer different work environments, and enjoy different things! Design your perfect workday and outline a schedule for yourself for the week. How we show up everyday and how we spend our workdays, can make a profound effect on the quality of work we produce, and how productive we are. You will be amazed at how much more you can achieve when you design your day to fit your working style, and not someone else’s.
We are all ready for a change in 2021, and many of us are ready to shift into a fresh year, with a renewed mindset and some BIG goals! We have learned over the years that goal setting is an important part of growing a business. Creating effective (and smart!) macro and micro goals can change the course of your business, so why wait until January 1st? Getting started on your 2021 business plan now, will set you up for success to hit the ground running in the new year!
What are your goals for 2021?