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One of the things I struggle with as a growth-focused business owner is how exactly to set goals, and how to get my team to set goals that are cohesive with the overall vision of our company. Recently, I sat down with my coach, Rebecca, and asked for some advice.

The first thing Rebecca had me do was create some “big-picture” annual goals. Here are some of the prompts that helped me figure out where I wanted the business to go:

  • Are you paying yourself? If not, when will you start? When will you increase your own salary?
  • Are there any service lines that you want to add or eliminate?
  • Do you have an office? Will you be moving into one this year?
  • Will you need more employees to allow you to grow?
  • How will you compensate employees? Will they get raises? Bonuses?
  • What will it take to grow your business? More clients? What will you need to do to acquire more clients?

Once I answered these questions, I was able to put together a budget projection (my love for spreadsheets has not waned over the years) and actually come up with the amount of new business I’d like to see, the number of new employees I’d like to hire, the amount of revenue we’d need to do that, and it helped me identify that we’d need some processes and procedures to support the growth.

Now that the “big” annual goals are established, where do I go from here?

  1. Engage the team. I’ve chosen to share these big goals with my employees, and ask them how they will personally benefit from achieving them. Getting to work with more fascinating clients? Getting to be part of a kick-ass team? This is what we’re all about.
  2. Look at each goal in terms of Quarter 1 and identify what needs to get accomplished to stay on track for the year. The new client goals are easy if you’ve got a good projection – you’ll have a clear goal for the quarter. Processes and procedures are a bit more complicated. I chose to look at these in terms of what is most urgent and important to what we’re trying to achieve in the first quarter.
  3. Write quarterly SMART goals down – this will let you flush out all of the steps, who’s responsible for them, and a timeline. It’s a great opportunity to ask employees, “what do you expect of me to help you achieve this goal?”
  4. Make a point to check in with everyone’s goals weekly. The weeks can disappear and before you know it the quarter is gone – this step can be as easy as saying a simple “on-track” or “off-track” for accountability.

I find it fun and exciting to set goals for the new year, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Take the big picture and break it into chunks for the whole team to work on, and you’re bound to have a successful year!

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