So you’re a business operator and you consider yourself a visionary. You have all these amazing ideas and plans you would like to accomplish, and with the start of a new year, you realize it is the perfect opportunity to start bringing your ideas to fruition.
It’s not that simple, is it?
While everyone is busy coming up with personal resolutions; you are tossing and turning at night thinking of your business goals, and you are excited to accomplish them all. You see a clear future for your company and you know where you want to get, but not necessarily how you are going to get there. You’re also aware that the journey is just as important as the destination. So what can you do to make sure you accomplish these goals?
By looking at the following checklist and completing all the tasks, you are already doing better than last year.
Annual Review Checklist
1- Look at the previous year, and take notes!
Every company has its own process to review the previous year and take action. At Big Bang, for example, our annual review process consists of getting feedback from each department including:
- What worked best for them,
- What didn’t work so well,
- And what improvements must be done to avoid the challenges they encountered in the past.
This review is extremely critical in defining your new objectives and should be done before moving on to anything else.
2- Define your objectives
Once you have all the necessary information from the previous year, you can visualize better what you expect for the coming year. Knowing what you know now allows you to take your ideas and turn them into realistic goals. Consider the different resources, procedures, and other relevant factors including the fact that priories will constantly be changing and you will have to pass (think opportunity cost) on other opportunities in order to accomplish your business objectives for the year.
3- Get a second opinion
It is important to share your personal goals with your loved ones to keep you accountable so they can help you work towards your goals. It is not so different in business. Consult your board members, your direction team, and your community of entrepreneurs, and get a second opinion regarding your goals. Make sure you can answer the following questions when setting your goals and discussing them with your team:
- Are they realistic?
- Can they be done in one year?
- Have other people attempted to reach these same goals? What was the outcome?
- Do you have the right resources?
- Do these goals serve the greater purpose of promoting your brand purpose, values, mission, and vision?
You cannot reach your objective without a plan. Write down the step-by-step plan you will need to follow to efficiently reach your objective. In the plan, make sure you include:
- The different responsibilities and roles, including who is accountable and who needs to stay informed
- The expected budget and areas to cut if needed
- The expected result
- Challenges that may occur (so your team is prepared)
- Other important information you think will be relevant to the realization of the goal
- The timeline
Planning carefully will increase your chances of reaching your goals and will help you track your progress easily. Remember, it is important to be flexible as your plans will likely change. Ensure to get the plan down quickly, as you want to focus more energy on actually doing the work, not just talking about it.
4- Delegate responsibilities
You want your employees to be aligned with your vision and work as a team. That means that every single department and every single member within your organization has a role to play in order to achieve these objectives. Make sure they understand their respective responsibilities and take the time to coach them at the beginning. You might need to delegate a few times before finding the right balance, but as long as every team member plays the role they need to play, you are moving faster towards your goal. Spend an hour being clear today, rather than wasting many more hours tomorrow.
5- Get going and track your progress!
Get busy! Keep in mind that the first months of the year are critical for achieving your objectives. It is when your team will be most motivated, but just like every resolution, you have to keep in mind that there is a chance things will not go exactly the way you planned them, and other (fun and not so fun) surprises will turn up as your year progresses. What’s important is giving it a shot, and evaluating what you did well and what you could improve, as you get closer to the end of the year. Don’t forget to track your progress and assess your strengths and weaknesses as you go so you can adapt and increase your chances of reaching your goals faster.
Now that you have a game plan, it is up to you to convey the message to your team, the way you see fit. Complete these few tasks and keep improving them whenever you get the chance. Remember, as long as you’re doing SOMETHING… you’re already doing better than last year!