By Debbie Marshall
Regardless of the time of year, it is imperative for you to plan effectively for your small business to succeed. Here are five tips to help you in the process.
1. Look back. You can’t move forward with any perspective without evaluating where you’ve been. What’s happened this past year and more importantly, why? How do you feel about it? What should there be more of in the coming year? What should you reduce or eliminate? Lessons learned are eye-opening. Tapping into where you’ve been and what you already know provides perspective and insight and this leads to smarter choices.
2. Slow down. When you constantly rush through life (and who doesn’t?), you risk losing perspective. When you move too quickly, you only get to see what’s directly in front of you. You’re reactive rather than proactive. If you slow down, you can gain a wider, more future-focused perspective. Taking time to understand what’s ahead, foreseeing the roadblocks and planning accordingly leads to a more positive outcome.
3. Make a change. In order to get different results, something (or many things) will need to change. Recognizing and embracing the need for change is imperative. If you want better results, doing the same things over and over will not get you there. Better results require a change in strategy and actions. At the same time, if you’re getting good results, repeating the same actions is no guarantee of continued success. The world we live in is constantly changing. When you can remain flexible, adapt your thinking and make tweaks to your plan, you will ultimately find the most success.
4. Plan your attack. Whether you call it goal setting, action planning or resolution making, you need a concrete way to capture exactly what you want to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish it.
5. Celebrate the little wins. Recognizing and celebrating successful steps along the way will improve your attitude, increase your focus and keep you motivated. Building periodic benchmarks into your overall plan is an emotional booster. Having to wait an entire year to celebrate a victory makes people give up on their goals because the end seems so far off. When you celebrate along the way, the goals feel much more attainable.
So share your goals right here, right now — and make them REAL! ♦
Debbie Marshall is the owner of Thrive Consulting and provides career services, business services, training and motivational speaking. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-314-2901.