Starting the New Year Right: How to Keep Your Business Goals in 2016

It’s the beginning of a new year and at this time of the year, most people are getting used to their resolutions and hoping they stick to them till the end. Most of us are used to making resolutions for our personal lives -- you hear people say things like I want to lose weight, I want to stop procrastinating, I want to visit my parents more often -- but as an entrepreneur, you should also set goals and resolutions for your business. As a friend puts it, “Your company is as much a living and breathing entity as humans are, and almost everything you do for yourself, you should do for your company as well.”

After unwinding over the holidays, now is a great time to capitalize on your fresh perspective and renewed vigor to create the future that you want for your business in 2016. It is also the best time to put processes in place to achieve these goals. A lot of entrepreneurs we have spoken with say that setting goals is the easy part; following through, on the other hand, is where the challenge lies. Here are some tips to start your business right in 2016 and help you get closer to achieving your business goals:

Start with a vision board
A vision board, used by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey, is a tool to help you clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific goal at any given period. Unlike a business plan where you have strict formats and a rigid structure, with a vision board, the point is to create something that keeps you focused on where you want to be. You can choose any form or design that works for you, be it post-it notes, magazine cut-outs or doodles with markers.

The good thing about vision boards is that they are not only limited to your company. You can also use them in various aspects of your life. Here’s a really helpful resource on How to Have Your Own Vision Board.

Break Your Big Vision Into Smaller Goals
You have created your vision board, and maybe it’s even hanging on the wall in your office for all to see. Now that you (and everyone else) can see the big picture, the next step is to break it into smaller, actionable chunks to make your goals more specific and measureable.

For example, say you own an ecommerce platform that sells shoes and your big vision for 2016 is to be in the top five searches on Google for ‘shoes in Ghana’. Your actionable chunks could be to create an online marketing strategy, to hire a digital marketing manager, or to get featured once a week by three media outlets. The more specific you are, the better.

The point of breaking your vision into smaller goals is to have a clear roadmap of how to get from where you are right now to where you want your company to be. Make sure you document all this using Google Drive, Microsoft Office Suite, or any other tool you currently use for documentation. Whatever tool you choose, make sure it is easy to share with your team. Which brings us to the next tip...

Share Your Goals With Your Team
A sustainable business is hardly ever made up of just one person. As the African proverb goes, If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Sharing your goals with the members of your team whose opinions you trust and who will give you a different perspective on how to achieve your goals cannot be overemphasized. At this stage, you must be open to receiving and incorporating feedback. Some recommended tools for team collaboration are Slack, Google Apps and Evernote for Business.

Assign Tasks and Track Progress
Now that everyone is on the same page on what needs to get done, the next stage is to assign tasks. We do this so everyone is held accountable for their tasks and there is a clear understanding of whose responsibility any given task is. For this, use whatever tools you are most comfortable with, as long as the following fields are included: task, responsible party, priority, due date. Some tools to help are Asana, Prowork, Trello or Weekdone. Don’t forget to schedule regular reviews with your team, at least once biweekly, to see how everyone is doing.

For your business to make the most out of 2016, you need to be very deliberate about what goals you want to achieve from day one and take advantage of techniques such as the ones above to make it happen. What are your top business goals for 2016? Share with us in the comments, we would love to hear them.

Wishing you a productive and process-oriented new year!

Visit us on the web: www.startsmartgh.com Send us an email: info@startsmartgh.com

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