NAPLES — The new year is here and that means you have another clean slate to play with. Effective goal setting is another tool you can use in business. It’s time to write down your new goals and objectives and stick with them. Resolutions are tough to keep but if you want a more productive, worthwhile year--not only for your business but for yourself--strategic planning is a must.
The best way to look forward is to look back. What goals did your company or department accomplish? Were sales revenues comparable previous years? If down, what lessons have you learned? Was customer satisfaction maintained or improved? What opportunities are out there for your department or organization? List the answers to these or similar questions and be thorough.
After you have a grip on last year’s achievement, think about what you want to do in the year ahead. Are you ready for expansion or is it time to change your business model? List your objectives or aspirations, no matter how outrageous they may sound. On paper, farfetched thoughts take on a more concrete meaning and start you thinking of diverse ways to make them come true.
Now, go back over your list and really think about each goal. Hone it into a specific, realistic objective that is workable and challenging. You may want to be the president of the company you work for, but if you’re now a department supervisor, you should see that it will take time to make it to the top, so plan accordingly. Do your best in your own department and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you climb the corporate ladder, especially now.
Business owners and top managers are looking for smart, proactive supervisors who have the discipline to plan effectively. List strategies to broaden your customer base, lessen competition, and improve your sales performance. The point is to look at what you want and make it realistically achievable with sound planning.
And set timetables. If you have deadlines, you’ll be surprised at how quickly projects and assignments are completed.
Make short- and long-term goals. Daily or weekly lists of priorities can be completed more easily than if you just keep a jumbled list in your head.
Long-term plans should be identified and placed where everyone can track them. Keep it updated so that progress is evident. It is visible proof that your planning is working.
A few other tips to help you carry out your goals: know when you do your best work; do the most important tasks first and then work your way down the line; allow for setbacks, emergencies and unforeseen circumstances; as you work on each task, concentrate on it alone. Give it your undivided attention and, when it’s completed, put it away.
It takes self-discipline and tenacity to attain success but the results are worth it. Upbeat, positive thinking and solid, well thought out planning can make the difference between making it or just getting by. The coming year can be another average year or the year you make your dreams come true.
Jan Kantor offers work place solutions at his Web site, www.jankantor.com. Click on “Workplace Solutions for You” on the right side of the home page. Then ask your question.