For your company to move forward, evolve and grow, it's important to set key goals. It's these objectives that form the core of your business planning for the year ahead – they're the foundations on which you're measure your overall performance across the year.
But how do you define these goals? And what other areas of the business do you need to work on if you're going to support and nurture these key objectives?
We've pinned down 5 key ways to achieve your business goals in 2019
1. Set clear goals for the year
Reaching your business goals starts by defining what these goals are. And with the next 12 months ahead of us, January is an ideal time to sit down and plan out where you're going with your business strategy – and to pin down the key goals you want to achieve.
Obviously, you want to turn a profit and bring in sales, but think about the wider picture too. As an entrepreneur or owner manager, you also need to factor in your own personal aims, the income your need to support your lifestyle and your overall aims for your business.
To get those goals down in writing:
- Consider your life goals and aims – are you aiming to run a 'lifestyle business' and create a healthy income? Or do you have a burning passion to revolutionise your industry sector and build a business empire? When you understand your own aims and motivations, it's much easier to set the right goals for your business.
- Think how your business can support this – with your own aims and vision for the business locked down, you can think more about the revenue-generation potential of your business – and how you create the productivity, income, investment, cashflow and profits needed to meet your key goals.
- Set key strategic, financial and team-building goals – define your goals across each period of the year, so you and your team know exactly what the business is aiming for in the next year and beyond.
Having defined objectives helps to motivate you and our team to do more in 2019, and provides a clear idea of the end destination when trading, planning and decision-making.
2. Measure your performance in real time
Having the right reporting and management information in place helps you to measure your performance against your new goals – and that's vital for driving your underlying strategy.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) and customised management reporting allow you to track sales, revenues and financial health within the business. And that gives you a consistent, real-time overview of how we'll you're meeting your key goals.
Think of your KPIs and performance measurement as a Fitbit or fitness tracker for your business – recording how you're doing, keeping score and letting you know if you've beaten the monthly, quarterly or annual goals you've set (and pushing you to do better each time.)
3. Stay in control of cashflow and financial management
Being in a positive cashflow position is critical for the underlying health of your business. If you're going to achieve any of your core goals, you need the liquid cash in the business to do this – or you'll run out money before you reach your objectives.
To keep your cash position driving the business forward:
- Have the best possible overview of your cashflow – regularly review your cashflow statement and operational cashflow so you can drill down into the numbers and see exactly where cash is flowing in and out of the business on a regular basis.
- Forecast your cashflow position – use cashflow forecasting tools, like Fluidly or Float, to predict your future cash position. By looking forwards, spotting the cash holes and planning accordingly you can sidestep any potentially damaging cashflow issues.
- Keep cash aligned with your goals – have clear budgets for any growth, hiring or expansion goals, and keep a close eye on whether there's enough cash in the business to fund these goals on a day-to-day basis.
4. Focus on education and training
Education is central to keeping your business relevant. No business can stand still in today's ever-changing business market, so meeting your short and longer-term goals will require you having a team that's up-to-date, trained and with the right skill sets.
If you and your team want to meet this year's challenges, that means keeping your skills sharp. Stay abreast of local industry changes and developments, keep your software skills on the ball and look at having regular training sessions – both for management and staff – to instill a desire for knowledge into your people.
5. Make sure your team are happy and productive
Having an engaged team supporting you will make it far easier to achieve your 2019 goals. So it's important to make your people feel part of the business vision and to involve them fully in each stage of the journey.
Your people really ARE your business, so it's vital to keep them happy and engaged with your business goals. To keep engagement high:
- Keep your team in the loop – be transparent around your business goals, what they mean for the business and how you're currently performing against your KPIs.
- Act on ideas and feedback – good ideas come from within, so listen to your team's feedback and encourage them to get involved in the bigger picture.
- Reward hard work and performance – we all like to be rewarded for what we do, so make sure you praise good work, reward people when targets are met and offer a benefits package that keeps your people happy and in tune with your vision.
Talk to us about achieving your 2019 goals
At Day Accountants, our aim is always to deliver the very best advice for your small business. And working with you to define your goals is a central area where we can sit down and drill down into the foundational vision you have for your company.
If you want to lock down your goals for 2019, come and talk to us and we'll work with you to outline your objectives, plan your year and have all the KPIs and measurements you need in place to meet your goals.
Talk to us about achieving your business goals