Being happy and living a fulfilling life is a personal desire shared by each of us. Even though most of us don’t write down our personal and business goals in any form of proper document, we all have a list of personal wishes and desires.
Our actions today will influence what we will achieve tomorrow. I am sure that you will have heard this saying many times. The problem is: sometimes we do not listen attentively enough to prompt us to act. There is a difference between wanting something , planning what needs to be done in order to get something that we want, and actually doing what is necessary to attain it.
A goal is a desired result, the achievement of some aim. It requires planning and personal commitment. A goal must achieved within a set timeframe. If you don’t set a deadline, you cannot plan and organize your actions to achieve the wished-for final result.
When you started your business many years ago, did you envision what you wanted your business to be like in its first year of operating? What about in 5 years, or 10 years? If you did, are you satisfied with what you have achieved so far? Or, were you so busy doing all the work yourself that now you are asking yourself what happened? I have been in this situation many times, as have most of the successful business people who I know. It does not really matter where you are, or where you want to be; you can always restart the planning process again.
The main advantage to thinking about where we want to be with our business in the future, and one that we should have clearly in our minds, is the fact that we will make better business decisions, and faster. Business people need to make these decisions everyday, and time is a scarce resource. By thinking forward you will be able to answer questions such as: should we buy a new expensive telephone system Should I move to bigger premises? Do I need to improve my marketing initiative in order to attract more clients?
Let me take just one of these questions, in order to explain my point better. If you are looking to increase your number of clients from 100 to 500, you will definitely need to buy a very good telephone system in order to deal with multiple customer enquiries via the telephone. You might perhaps also need to contract a second receptionist in order to maintain the same high level of customer service to your clients. In which case, you must make a decision that could also affect your personal life, and your family: it is the end of the month, and only £2,000 is left in the business bank account. You have already paid yourself a salary, as usual, but each month you distribute all company profits to yourself.
The decision is this: should you pay yourself an extra £2,000, or should you contract a new receptionist? I am curious to know how long it took for you to answer this question. Your answer will definitely affect the real-life chances of your business reaching its objectives tomorrow.
There is no way that you will achieve your business aims without personal sacrifice. As I write this article, my fiancé is on holiday in Spain, which she deserves, she also works very hard and all business people need some time off to reorganize our ideas and reenergize our bodies. However, I see many frustrated business people who go on holiday four times a year, but always complain that they have not achieved their business and personal objectives. I always mention both business and personal objectives together, as they are intrinsically linked to each other.
Sacrifice is not about working as hard as you can and killing yourself in the process. Sacrifice is about paying anyone who works for you before you pay yourself. It is about helping employees and clients reach their potential before you reach yours. Sadly, the vast majority of people do not think this way. If you want to manage a bigger business, you need to be prepared to take a higher degree of responsibility, as a greater number of individuals, and their families, will suffer the consequences of any bad decisions that you make.
Over the last 10 years, I have invested every penny left in my business bank account at the end of the month back into the business, in order to grow the company, provide more people with the opportunity to join our team, and make sure that their personal and professional objectives will be achieved, no matter what. I needed to do this. My whole life, I have been committed to providing a high quality customer service to our clients.
If you want to reorganize your business objectives now, I would advise you to complete the following exercise:
1) Think carefully about what you want your business to look like over the next 10 years;
2) Describe and write down what the business will look like, with information such as: number of clients, total forecast turnover, number of employees, size of premises, services to be provided;
3) Think carefully about what you want your business to look like in the next 5 years (it will probably be smaller than how you have envisioned it in 10 years);
4) Describe and write down what the business will look like, with information such as: number of clients, total forecast turnover, number of employees, size of premises, services to be provided;
5) Think carefully about what you want your business to look like in the next year, and each consecutive year, from Year 1 to Year 5;
6) Describe and write down what the business will look like, with information such as: number of clients, total forecast turnover, number of employees, size of premises, and services to be provided, for each year from Year 1 to Year 5;
7) Concentrate now on just the first year – please concentrate.
8) Prepare an action plan of what needs to be done in order to achieve the business objectives for the first year. Example: contract an office administrator; develop a new service or product; start a new marketing promotion; buy a new piece of software; rebrand the business; change the office space. For each action plan, write down who will be the person responsible for each action, and how much will it cost for each task to be completed.
9) Take a picture of your plan, and set it as your mobile background (this is very important, because you must see your plan everyday before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up).
10) Read your plan every day and adapt it when necessary, as the situation or your objective changes.
There is no exact way to do this, but as I described before, doing is different to thinking. Sometimes we don’t reach our objectives as planned, but at least we have a route map to follow and to help us make our every day business decisions. You don’t need to think too big if you don’t want to be too big, and there is no problem with wanting to stay small. But no matters what size business you desire, you always need to have a plan. Stop thinking, and act.
I hope you enjoyed your reading