STEP TWO: Set reasonable, but challenging goals.
When you go to a gym, it’s unrealistic to think you’re going to lose in one month all the weight you put on over several years. Similarly, you shouldn’t expect that everything you don’t like about your business and its performance will be resolved overnight. The best physical fitness includes a balance of strength and cardio training, as well as proper nutrition. In other words, you have to keep your eye on the total package, not just fixate on one area. We’ve all seen the person at the gym that has huge arms, but little tiny legs. That person looks awkward. You don’t want your business to look like that. Your business fitness routine has to be balanced. You may not want to, but your business has to do its share of cardio.
In step one, you identified a lot of the issues you need to work on. In this step, you need to gain focus and set SMART goals that will ultimately lead you to your overall desired business fitness. If you are trying to build and/or scale your business, there are four goal areas on which you should focus:
- Growth – a goal that identifies the ways in which your company will grow over the next 12 months (e.g., revenue, team, number of clients, margin, etc.)
- Continuous Improvement – a goal that identifies how your business will improve current processes or practices (e.g., reduce collection of aging receivables)
- Systems Development – a goal that identifies how you will introduce new systems that will lead to repeatable and predictable quality (e.g., creating a customer relations management system to track communications with clients)
- Advancing Culture – a goal that identifies how you will clarify and communicate your business values internally and externally, so everyone knows what you believe in and how it makes you different from your competitors (e.g., content on your website that describes what your values look like in action within your business)
You may have several objectives under each goal, but everything you do should connect to these four goals. When attempting to get in shape, you have to balance adding mass with building cardiovascular fitness. You have to introduce new practices and habits, while improving existing efforts. Getting your business into shape is no different. You won’t get your business into shape if you only pay attention to revenue. You have to have balance.
Give it a try. Write some goals for your business. Make them meaningful. Feel free to share your goals below in the comments, and we’ll help you think them through. Remember: This is a workout. Put in the work to get the results. We look forward to seeing what you come up with.