Something a little different this week that I hope will appeal to all different types of businesses, not just the financial world. Perhaps, like me, you’re constantly thinking about new goals for your business? You come up with brilliant concepts – new ideas and challenges that you can’t wait to get started on, but because your day to day is so all-consuming, you end up doing very little with those ideas! Or maybe you have so many brilliant lightbulb moments that you just don’t know how to prioritise them!
So, what do you do? Do you store away your ideas for a later date, only to lose track and then another idea pops up, pushing down the other equally brilliant ideas further down the list? Or do you start to put the plan into place but find that you don’t have the time or resource to make it work (even though it should and could), you think that it’s simply too big to deal with right now! You could make it happen though; it’s all about planning properly. I find that the best way to achieve a goal is to break it down into manageable, smaller goals, so you can reach the bigger goal while staying on-track with your day to day business.
Why Goals are So Important
Having goals is crucial to success but it is even more important to set out a short, middle and long-term business plan. Whenever we at Adviser Outsourcing go into a company to add value or assist, we always take time to understand the nature of the busines first. We ask our clients to tell us about their business, who they are, what they do and where they want to be in 1, 3 and 5 years. We also ask what the biggest challenges are. Having an understanding of our clients’ businesses allows us to assist in the best possible way we can, but most especially, understanding where our clients want to be in the future is crucial. If a firm doesn’t have clarity on where they want to be, how can they work towards their goals? How can they ask their teams to contribute towards getting to that goal and how can we deliver the best possible service?
When we apply the same rule to ourselves, we take our list of ideas and start with the furthest away goal, we work back to the goals that are the easiest and quickest to achieve. In other words, we break it down as mentioned earlier. This helps us to produce very clear objectives for the coming months, quarters and year(s). It also ensures everyone’s time is directed to the overall vision of our company. We encourage our clients to do the same. This helps us to understand how we slot into our clients’ businesses, for example, how we can make sure that the software we recommend for our clients’ slots in and how it grows with their needs. We can then work out the scope the software needs, the data that is required, what outputs will be possible. We believe that in every business, there is a client delivery need and a business operating MI requirement, it’s as basic as that.
Here’s an interesting example. Often, we go into companies to assist with their use/value being obtained from their CRM system. A common phrase used is “it’s a very expensive address book”. Firms struggle because they do not know the capability of the software. They don’t have the time to learn what it can do and then to learn how to do it. Very quickly it can become a very big headache in any business with no easy route out.
Our expertise comes in developing a simple plan of action. Using simple SMART project plans we provide firms with the order to tackle the actions needed. Not everything can be completed at once and we all have a day job to still try and do while propelling a business forward. Every small task accomplished is still in-line with achieving those larger goals. Our goal is to give clients the specifics to achieve that vision, give them ideas, tell them what is and isn’t possible and guide them to doing it in the most cost-effective manner based on the resources, time and knowledge they have.
As for our business, we constantly revisit our ideas and work them into short, medium or long-term plans. New ideas often go on our list, but we prioritise and review regularly.
As well as reviewing, we understand the need to be flexible with our plans. No doubt the need for flexibility is something that has touched every business with the pandemic which proves that goals constantly need to be re-evaluated, especially as things change rapidly.
Like you, we know how important it is to have goals but making sure that you focus time on reaching those goals is the key, if the goal is a very sizable one, then break it up, and make those chunks short term – so they add value to your long-term goal and result in the ultimate, business success.