Sticking to New Year’s resolutions is tough! We’ve all experienced vowing to lose a few pounds of holiday weight or to pay off a credit card, and then finding we’re not able to keep that vow. Unfortunately, this can happen in business, too. It’s easy to start out the year determined to increase sales or reduce spending, for example – but ultimately, it takes more than determination to get it done.
If you want to make positive changes in your organization in the New Year, my experience is that there are three things you need: a clear goal, a set of practical steps for following through and a strong system of support for getting it done. That’s what has always worked for us at MyITpros, and I’m confident it can work for you, too.
I’d like to share some of our process for setting and meeting annual goals, in hopes of helping with whatever you resolve to achieve for your business in 2017.
Set clear and specific goals
Being clear and specific about your goals is a critical part of being able to achieve them. You see this all the time with New Year’s resolutions: Saying you’re going to pay off $2,000 of your credit card debt sets you up for success much better than just vaguely pledging to reduce your debt. That’s the thinking behind our approach to goal setting at MyITpros.
Last year, for example, we knew generally that we wanted to achieve significant growth for the company. After getting input from our employees, we decided to aim for 20% growth. Then we refined that further to specifically mean 20% revenue growth. We did that because revenue is a simple but effective measure of growth, and it would give us a good way to track our progress.
Follow through with a plan
Once you know what you want to do, you need a plan of practical steps to reach that goal. Again, this is something you see all the time with New Year’s resolutions. It’s one thing to say “I’m going to lose 20 pounds,” but it’s another to say “I’m going to go to the gym for an hour three times a week, drink a gallon of water every day and talk a walk after work with the dog.” Taking the latter approach gives you a practical set of tools to use to reach your goal.
Here’s how MyITpros followed through last year on our revenue goal. We did the math and figured out how many more clients we would need to reach our new revenue target. Then we backed out from that to calculate how many sales opportunities we would have to have to get that many clients, and how many leads we would need to get to the number of opportunities. And with that information, we were able to plan specific sales and marketing activities to generate leads.
Get the support to get it done
When you make a resolution for your business, you have a powerful resource on your side: people. At MyITpros, we engage everyone in the effort to achieve our goal, starting with getting their input while we’re in the initial stages of setting and defining goals. Then when we move on to how we’re going to follow through with a plan, we enlist their support in carrying out that plan.
For example, once we know we need to win 20 new accounts to achieve 20% revenue growth, we ask the sales department to come up with a plan for getting that business. That could mean working on the effectiveness of our proposals, or adding staff or something else. The point is that when you have many motivated people working together to make something happen, their collective power makes them pretty hard to stop.
Goal-setting, planning, working together – these are the activities that have been effective for MyITpros in the annual pursuit of improvement. While no two companies are exactly alike, I believe deeply that the general principles we’ve applied can be broadly useful to all kinds of companies. I hope they provide good guidance for your own efforts, and as always, I hope you’ll contact me if I can help in any other way.
Have a happy and safe New Year!
The purpose of this blog is to answer the questions you ask! To learn more about how we set our goals, or to talk managed IT services please contact us today!