Setting Achievable Goals
As an entrepreneur, the beginning of your fiscal year is great to take time to look back over your year, to celebrate your accomplishments and then review areas of concerns. Instead of viewing them as total failures or mistakes, think of them of life lessons and use them to move forward. After you’ve taken time to review, you can see where you need to make improvements. Now select three or four areas that need your most immediate attention and turn those ‘lessons learned’ into productive goals next year by analyzing the source of the problem.
Ask yourself, why and how did you go wrong? Did you not do research or good planning before your decision? Was a lack of proper organization what led you to make simple mistakes? Or were you too inundated with menial tasks to not have the time and focus to look at the big picture? Based on the answers to those questions, you can set reasonable and imperative goals to improve your business and reduce your stress for 2015. Based on that self-analysis, here are some goals I’ve set for 2015 and why.
Goals for 2015
1. Get Organized: As any small business owner knows, we are forced to wear many hats, sometimes simultaneously, throughout the day. Often, its best to block a few from one to a few hours a day to work on design projects without distraction or interruptions. But while the phone is shut off, the Facebook has been shut down, and the email program is minimized, a plethora of missed calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages have come in and need a response. So I have begun using the Google Keep app more extensively as it’s synced on my phone, desktop and tablet, therefore I always have access to my to-do list, including what phone calls I need to return. Therefore, my goal is to reduce response time for clients and reduce stress for me.
“It takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption.” – NY Times
2. Delegate Responsibly: Over time, many business owners have built a qualified team with skilled, reliable people to rely on and help with designated tasks. What good is our team if they sit idle while we’re running from task to task with our hair on fire? Let go of some of that unnecessary control and utilize your team to help with more of the workload this coming year. As the business owner, you can now focus on marketing, networking and expanding your target audience. There are many tasks and aspects of my design projects that can easily be delegated to the right person, so I’m looking forward to have more creative time for new ideas, more training, and building new partnerships.
3. Targeted Networking and Sponsorship: One thing I learned last year is to be careful and do much research before you spend your time, skills and money on networking organizations or sponsorships. Make sure the organizations or groups you join align with your values, goals and schedule. Groups that favor only a specific demographic, are cliquey or focus more on the social than the business development are not worth the time or money you’d need to invest to be a part of. There are so many groups out there that need and want your involvement, offer value to its members and are growing as a result, so ask around before you join! Without spreading myself out too thin, I’m looking forward to exploring my options this year through new business groups, more networking events and becoming sponsors to organizations that truly need and will appreciate my time and experience.
4. Take time to Relax, Unwind and Enjoy! Small business owners work so hard, have especially long days and often are thinking about our businesses long after the work day ends. So it’s especially vital, that we find time to unwind with family and friends, our hobbies, spiritual pursuits and outside interests so that we are refreshed and ready to start our week. Take time out to ‘smell the roses’ as they say by taking a walk outside, finding some quiet time alone in meditation, reading or even just getting a few minutes of shut eye. These few minutes alone can make the world of difference in improving our focus and being prepared for the hurdles ahead.
We wish you all a great year in 2015!