What is it you’re looking to achieve with your business? Many of you will have heard the Simon Sinek concept of ‘knowing your why’. His argument is most businesses know their ‘how’ and their ‘what’, but don’t really know or communicate their ‘why’.
We encourage you to think about your why, so you can communicate it clearly.
Once you know your ‘why’ and can communicate it internally to your team, it’s much easier to communicate to your prospects, clients and supply chain.
We use this diagram with all our clients in the early stages, to make sure they’re doing what they love, what they’re good at, and what pays them well. Often when one is missing, we find they start to fall out of love with their own business.
- You might love what you’re doing, but it doesn’t pay you well - this gets frustrating, and you start to blame it on bad clients or customers.
- You might get paid really well and love what you’re doing, but not be so good at it - which makes it a bit of a dream and puts your work at risk of fizzling out when others realise.
- You might get paid really well and be good at your work, but have no passion for it - which ultimately may leave you rich, but very bored of your day to day.
One of the common traits we see working with small businesses scaling up, is that they don’t know what they’re striving for. This means they don’t know when they’re off target, and they don’t know when to celebrate things - and that’s a big part of running a business. A lot of businesses are just striving and striving.
Without a vision how will you know you're on the right journey?
A big part of your mission, goals and vision is effective goal planning.
So what makes effective goal planning?
What we’ve found is most people set goals and set a timeline for when they want it to be achieved, and then they jump into action and start running towards their goal. They hit a brick wall - can’t get round, over or under it and they bail out.
Take New Years Resolutions for example. Most of us set a resolution at New Years and we’ve already given up on it by February. This is because we decided what we wanted, started striving towards it, but haven't actually thought about it or planned for it properly.
To plan your goals better:
- Get some sort of Accountability - share the goal with someone else. It might be someone external, someone in the team. The gym is a great example. You might have the need and desire to go to a gym and exercise regularly, but having a gym buddy can actually keep you accountable to going three times a week.
- Understand the emotion behind it - are you driven by the benefits of achieving your goal or are you driven by the loss of not achieving a goal? Pain or gain. Document both the positive and negative of achieving your goal and the knock on effect. What’s the deeper impact? For example, you may be disappointed not to have reached a goal, but the knock on effect of what that goal would have meant for your life may be more disappointing.
- Write it down - And not just the goal. Write down the motivation for the goal and you’ll be far more likely to achieve the goal.
- The power of goal planning comes back to your high power activities, which we talked about in our part 2 blog: Making time for your priorities.
One exercise to help you discover and achieve your high power activities is to define the obstacles and solutions.
- Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left hand side, write out a full list of obstacles that are going to stop you from achieving that goal - and exhaust the list.
- On the right side, write down a solution for every single one of the obstacles. Is it money, resources, time?
- Then when you build out your actions list (of high power activities) you pull all those solutions into the list. This way, when you ticking things off, you’re ticking off solutions. As you tick off the solutions you’ll find those obstacles are no longer an issue in achieving your goals.
Share your business destination with the team to get them on board
So to recap:
- What’s your reason why?
- Do you know that with clarity?
- Are you able to communicate it to others?
- Do you know what you are striving for?
A great analogy we always use is an aeroplane. When you get on an aeroplane with no issues, it lands in a particular place because it knows where it’s going. When we get there, we’re happy and we celebrate that.
Is that your business? Are you sharing the destination with your team to get them on board? And can you celebrate with them when you get there?
On page 5 of the work book we’ve attached here, we’ve provided a one page plan. This is to help you capture your vision, mission goals and objectives.
And don’t forget, you can take a step back to parts 1 and 2 of the Ten Steps to Significant Growth right here: