Actualising your business goals for the new financial year

Brent Szalay

With the new financial year around the corner, it naturally prompts us to start circulating thoughts, as we ask ourselves…

  •    ‘What do I want to achieve this year?’
  •   ‘How do I want to do things better; different?’

What I find frustrating about the goals conversation is they usually stay as just that, words. Without actions. Nor an action plan mapped out, with regular evaluation ‘check-in points’, to see how progress towards achieving them is going.

I have devised a way to ‘walk my talk’, so to speak. To make my goals for my business a reality, and I’m going to share my practical steps and tools with you, so you can do the same in your business!

So, what do you want to achieve for your business over the next 12 months?

To avoid any overwhelm, I encourage you to channel your thinking to focus on these 4 areas:

  1. What are your goals for Growth?
    Such as: more new clients, revenue, profit, business value, new services/products, team size, referrals, etc.
  1. What are your goals to boost People Performance?
    Such as: team productivity, average hourly rate, new training, client satisfaction score (NPS), etc
  1. What are your goals to improve Efficiency?
    Such as: turnaround times, client inquiry/customer support response time, streamlined systems, automate communications, etc.
  1. What are your goals to make a greater Impact?
    Such as: team engagement and happiness, community involvement, thought-leadership initiatives, fulfilling what you deem as your business’s purpose, lower environmental footprint, etc. 

To sharpen the validity of your goals and determine which you should prioritise, use these questions as your soundboard check.

  • Is this goal in line with our long-term vision for the business?
  • Do we have clear reasons as to why achieving this goal is important to the business?
  • Is this the right time to be working towards this goal?
  • Do we have the capacity and resources to realistically achieve this goal
    (i.e., people, time, cash, the right space)?

5 steps to turn your ‘goal conversations’ into action (and actualisation!).

  1. Ask yourself – what is the ‘key result’ to signify if my goal has (or has not) been reached?
  •   Example WITHOUT key result:  “We want to increase our staff efficiency (productivity)”
  •   Example WITH key result: “We want to increase our staff efficiency (productivity) and see our average hourly rate increase from $160 to $200.”
  1. List the ‘activities’ required to make each goal a likely outcome.
  •  For example: if your goal is to “increase revenue by 15% to 1.8million”- your activities might include:
      • Increase our capacity by hiring 2 new people
      • Invest in a marketing expert’s help to generate new leads.
  1. Allocate responsibility – determine who’s accountable for making your ‘activities’ happen (teams or key individuals).
  •   Tip: the aim is to divide and conquer! Friendly warning: if your goal plan is 100% reliant on you, you might be setting yourself up to fail (even burn out).
  1. Link each ‘activity‘ or ‘key result’ to a relevant measure of success, i.e. key performance indicator (KPI). So, you can effectively track, measure, and evaluate monthly progress towards each goal.
  •  Tip: Aside from the typical financial KPIs (e.g., monthly sales revenue), you could track:
      •  your number of monthly referrals
      • your team engagement score
  1. Lastly, put it all on paper. Ideally into an Action Plan and use it as a tool to map the right next steps with your team.
  • Tip: People are more motivated when they know what they need to do, and they can see how their role is contributing to progress.

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