3 Steps for Business Owners to Start the Year Off Right

Many white arrows and a big yellow arrow pointing up

We then drill down quarterly, monthly and weekly goals to determine actionable activities each week to meet my bigger goals. For example, some of my personal goals to be in good shape and be active in my kids’ lives break down into weekly goals of working out three to four times a week and helping coach my son’s soccer team. Establishing long-term business goals could involve setting weekly client meetings and meetings with centers of influence (like estate planning attorneys and CPAs). 

While it’s not a revolutionary idea, there is power in this type of session because I’m writing it down, thinking about it, putting it on my calendar to review again, and then sharing some of the goals and actionable ideas with the group. Basically, I am being held accountable for achieving the goals I have set. The group format is also interesting and powerful because you hear incredible stories from people within the group that have overcome some significant challenges and achieved major life and business milestones. 

The coach will also focus on values that drive your success (and others that could be holding you back) and where you see yourself personally and professionally in three years. We also use the Wheel of Life, which provides a chart to help score yourself in seven core areas of your life (career, family, social, health, personal finances, personal development, and spirit) to reflect on what areas you are strong in and others you might have neglected. This helps you decide if you need to refocus more time and energy on a particular area.  

3. Make a Strategic Plan

Milestones and goal setting are important, but what is the purpose? In a video, author Simon Sinek makes the analogy that if a car is like our company, money is the fuel and purpose is the destination. Fuel helps us to get to the destination, but accumulating fuel is not the purpose.

Strategic planning for senior management is a great way to determine the main business goals for the year ahead, the purpose for each goal, and how to achieve each one. We have used the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) methodology, but there are many resources to help with goal setting, including consultants.

The most important part of strategic planning might be what business professor Michael Porter has said: “The essence of strategy is that you must set limits on what you’re trying to accomplish.” Disciplined strategic planning should save everyone time, energy and money to keep you and your team focused. 

 It always feels like we should and can be doing more to better our services or products, but the important part of strategic planning is keeping true to the goal and activities that we have set for the year and quarter. If you think you should take on a new project, then you should confirm that it’s as important or more important than the current items in your strategic plans. 

Remember, goals with purpose are more likely to be met because there is intent behind them. Strategic planning, coaching and personal goal setting help keep you and the people within your company setting goals that have purpose and are true to your values. 

Nick Strain, CFP, CPWA, CEPA, AIF, is a senior wealth advisor and Chair of the Wealth Advisory Committee at Halbert Hargrove. 

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