Boy, what a difference a year makes. 2020 put all of us through the ringer as they say. How much did you grow last year? Where are you now? What do expect from 2021? Have you allowed yourself the time to sit and reflect on your business? Being able to answer these questions can and will guide, empower and enable you to set realistic and attainable goals for 2021.
When we focus on the first question. “How much did you grow?” What did you answer? Did your answer simply focus on your business or did it include your personal growth as well. Remember, your business and personal lives are interrelated. What impacts your business will affect your personal life. The two may differ in the results but the effects will be felt. A few questions to think about regarding How Much are: Did I …
- Increase my profits this year?
- Have to hire or furlough any employees?
- Expand my skills or education?
- Reach some, all or none of the goals had established for myself? my business?
These questions when answered, can help guide you. Remember the S.M.A.R.T. goal guidelines.
Secondly, this segment of your reflection is figuring out how far you have come. It is not always linear either. Taking a look back over the last 12 months, can you identify 3 main themes? Where were you a year ago? What goals, milestone or successes happened over the last year. We know that the pandemic negatively impacted so many small businesses. Can you identify specific and direct impacts the pandemic caused? The impacts can be positive as well. Such as it provided you time to refine your business plan. Or the opportunity to reprogram how your client interaction happens. Over the next few weeks, be sure to ask your self the following questions to determine how far you grew last year:
- What goals were achieved during the last 12 months?
- Did I need to adjust the goal deadline or expectations? If so, how much. Which direction?
- What concrete evidence do I have regarding my business and growth – good or bad?
- Can I graph or put together an infographic to depict that distance my business moved?
Your business deserves the time and energy to work through these as the answers will help you set and outline your goals for 2021. Knowing the difference from year to year is not just for accounting purposes. It supports a healthier marketing approach too!
Difference in Expectations
At the beginning of 2020 you were setting expectations based on what was considered the ‘norm’. Well then, the pandemic hit. And all heck broke lose. Am I right? What are your expectations this year? How do they differ from last year? Are you more prepared for the unexpected this year than last year? Setting expectations is very similar to setting goals. With expectations you are making assumptions. Yes, yes, I know. Never assume. Unless! Unless you are clear about what you are assuming. Set out a your parameters for your assumptions. From there, outline your expectations. Finally you are able to draw out your goals. Remember your S.M.A.R.T. goals we discussed earlier? Yes, those. You will want to make sure your assumptions and expectations also follow these guidelines.
Ok, now that 2020 in the rear view mirror. With the above points, you are able to choose a lens to see 2021 more clearly. Balancing your goals with time to reflect, learning, adapting to the unexpected and to implement will empower you to choose the correct lens. There will be learning opportunities everywhere to stretch your thinking in 2021 as well. Be sure not to miss them.