A 3-Part Framework for achieving New Financial Year Goals
With the tax return on its way out the door, the new fiscal is a great opportunity to re-group, re-think, and realign your new financial year goals. Here are some great tips on how to start the new financial year with the clarity with which you intend to continue!
Why is this time of year a great time to re-align plans?
With the desks cleared of end of tax year paperwork, and the tax returns on their way out the door; July is the perfect month to clear your mind as well as your desk! If your new financial year budget just landed, then what better time than now to ‘check-in’ on how your business is serving it’s purpose and values; and how you are serving your own purpose and values.
What’s the best way to ‘check-in’?
There’s a simple 3-Part framework I use to help business leaders check-in; as follows:
GOAL: Do you know what you’re trying to achieve?
We can never arrive unless we know our destination. It may sound obvious, but I can’t tell you the number of businesses I work with who have no idea what they’re trying to do! We all get caught up in the day-to-day ‘urgencies’ of life; and often forget to stop and check whether we’re on the right path. As business owners we all ultimately have a goal to sell our products or services, but I’m suggesting we get a bit deeper than this, and take a look from deep within. What do you want? What are your values?
These questions will help you get to the heart of it:
- What would you like to happen that is not happening now?
- What is happening now that you would like not to happen?
- With the answers to the above 2 questions in mind; what does long term success look like?
Ask these 3 questions for yourself, and then separately for your business. If you find there is a misalignment, then it could be time to re-assess your overall purpose.
STRATEGY: How are you achieving it?
Now, check in on your strategy. Your strategy is the link between the destination you’re trying to reach, and the action that is going to get you there. Strategy is the roadmap that steers and guides you along the journey, and it is so often dismissed as a ‘time-waster’. Far from it, business leaders who recognize the importance of having a clear plan are the ones who see their goal become reality far faster than those who settle for; ‘any route will do’. Never mistake action for productivity; or completed tasks for achievement.
The questions should always be:
- What activities am I engaged with right now?
- How are these activities serving my goal?
- Are they serving it at all?
- What activities am I NOT engaging in that would serve my goal?
- How can I integrate them into my world?
- What can I do differently tomorrow, next week, next month to set myself back on the path?
If you find misalignment between the activities you are mostly engaged in, and the activities you know will get you to your goal; then it could be time to re-assess your business strategy and your personal time management. Why not bring in an outsider? An objective viewpoint from a strategic mind with no vested interest in any particular aspect of your business is a proven way to drive strategic, measurable outcomes quickly.
MESSAGE: How are others experiencing your plans?
This is the clincher. You can spend as much time as you like in developing a clear, measurable goal, and aligning on a strategy; but if you don’t execute your plans through clear, succinct communication, then how can anyone be expected to come on board with you, or your business offer?
How well your brand communicates with its customers depends on how well you’ve planned your marketing – both channel and message.
As yourself these questions;
- Do I truly understand my audience? Do I know where they do life? Do I know what they want from my business?
- How does my business serve their needs? What problems are we solving for them?
To what extent do they understand how we solve their problem and what they get from us?
If you don’t know the answers to some of the above, then it could be time to re-assess your marketing strategy and activities. It’s always best to bring in an expert to help you develop your marketing strategy, and to come up with the ideas that can help you effectively communicate your message.