Note from Larissa for Donna... 2023 is nearly at an end, and Sooter Consulting is moving into an important stage of the business design process: goal-setting. An involved process that marries last year’s metrics with next year’s desires. Today we would like to share with our readers how a Run Like Clockwork certified partner sets their goals and designs a better business for next year.
At the beginning of 2023, I had one goal to put emphasis on: stability. My business had seen a significant increase in profitability and client quantity over the last three years, and my team was asking me to take a break. And so we focused on developing documentation, processes, and methods to increase capacity and make the business more efficient. Oftentimes, stability is achieved through increasing human capital through training and hiring. I achieved my stability through additional training and educating my team to be the best we could possibly be. Another way to increase stability is by increasing the quality of clients at the cost of client quantity. As I have achieved my goals, I am now asking myself what I want to achieve in 2024.
For me, 2024 is going to be a year of growth. My goal is to gain clients, saturate two of my new packages with clients, and expand my business. If you are in a similar boat and are looking to increase profitability, there are several easy benchmarks we can use to guide how much we are looking to expand. Looking back at years with average levels of revenue growth is a simple way to benchmark our expectations for next year. Another way is to set arbitrary-yet-manageable milestones quarter-to-quarter, but be sure to give yourself a level of wiggle room to avoid frustration if those goals aren't met. The point isn’t a scientifically accurate metric, but to be making the decision. For me, I am looking for 5 Profit First clients in the coming year and an additional 3 Run Like Clockwork clients to meet my goals.
Now that we have determined our goals, we must break them into stages. As business owners, we must design a proper workflow for our team to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. This means that some of our goals should come with the expectation that we do not do the “work” of achieving them and instead delegate certain tasks to team members. For me, my goal to gain those clients requires a solid marketing campaign. This means I am planning a 10-week marketing campaign now and am delegating a significant amount of that work to them. I have to remember to trust them because I might not have the skills they have to make this campaign a success. As a result I must be open to the possibility that they fail forward, and must have a plan to use their accomplishments as best as possible. This means that I must plan for either result to occur, and part of designing my business means that while they are in charge of this part of the marketing, I might be in charge of a different part of the marketing.
Finally, and here is the part: documentation. Simply put, things that don’t get tracked and documented don’t get done. Even when delegating tasks to team members, we must ensure that we remain in contact with them to hold them accountable to their goals. While this might sound confrontational, in some cases I believe that uncomfortable conversations are a requirement for success. Just as maintaining respect for our team throughout is a requirement for a healthy work environment when times become difficult.
And really, that’s it—just designing a goal, creating milestones on the journey to that goal, delegating tasks and creating backup plans in case of failure, and consistent documentation for accountability. It’s surprisingly simple from the outset, and I think that one of the hallmarks of a good process is its simplicity. If everything in business was complicated, then businesses wouldn’t exist. However, there can be nuance within those steps that is unique to your business and environment. This is where working with a coach can help us navigate the oddities of our own businesses. During this part of the year, I am often asked, “Donna, what can I do with my budget next year?” Or, “Hey, why did my revenue not reach its projected goals?” I know that after a coaching call with them, they come away understanding that they themselves must also be held accountable. Or perhaps they might realize a fundamental flaw in their execution and how to correct that flaw in the future. Getting an outside perspective when going through the design process is monumental for a successful strategy.
If you are looking for that type of help, consider reaching out for a Clarity Call; we are here to help!