• Set SMART Goals, Grow your Business

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    You probably already know that without setting goals, you will accomplish far less than you would with them. We all need a clear destination to move toward. We all need an objective, a concentrated point, a flag in the sand…in order to stay focused on what we wish to accomplish.

    It’s also important to remember that the setting of your goals is just as important as the steps made toward achieving them. Not just any old goal will do. Learning how to set SMART goals is going to be necessary for the success of your business growth strategy. In fact, poor goal setting leading to wishy washy outcomes is yet another reason that business strategies fail.

    What is a SMART goal, anyway? If you don’t know, you’re definitely not alone. Goal setting is not taught in school (although it is, in my opinion, a fundamental life skill as important as reading and writing). Learning how to set SMART goals will help stretch and challenge you to grow personally, encourage you to develop new skills, inspire you to be more productive in getting things done…and move what’s important to you from being just a dream to being tangible reality.

    SMART stands for:

    Specific

    Measurable

    Attainable

    Relevant

    Time-Bound

    • Specific: Every goal should contain precise details about what is to be accomplished. There should be no grey area; no wondering if progress is actually being made or if the goal has been achieved. “Increase sales” is not a specific goal. “Increase sales by 10%” is a specific goal.
    • Measureable: An agreed-upon measurement of success needs to be decided, in order to know when the goal has been achieved.  A system must be in place to measure progress—so that everyone involved knows, for certain, how far the team is from reaching the goal. Be prepared to show, in real numbers, that your sales goal (for example) has been realised.
    • Attainable: Every goal should be reachable—but never within your comfort zone. Always sets goals that are outside that comfort zone, so that you will need to stretch and develop yourself whilst working toward achieving it. Your goals should not read as a to-do list. Every one of them should motivate, excite and scare
    • Relevant: All goals should align with your corporate [and personal] values. Any goal that conflicts with your value system will be difficult to achieve (And why would you want it anyway?). Your goals should complement the holistic view of your life. Never sacrifice the reaching of one [SMART] goal for another. Never strive for a goal that will not make a positive difference in your work or your life. To sum it up, ensure that all goals you set fit well into, and advance, what you’ve already achieved and what you’re passionate about.
    • Time-Bound: Every SMART goal needs a target date for realisation. This helps to create focus and urgency to getting it done.  It’s not a deadline (that sounds so terminal), but rather a lifeline—a time when you will feel more alive because you’ve achieved something that will improve your life. Set a time limit that is not impossible, but that will challenge you. Avoiding this step means that you may never achieve your goal, because you will always have the freedom of mind to put it off until tomorrow, next week or next year.

    And to take it two steps further, every goal should be a SMARTIE goal, meaning that every SMART goal should also:

    • Inspire: Your goals should be the blue print for how you want your life or business to be in the future.  If your goals don’t inspire you each day to want to achieve them, then get some new SMART goals!
    • Empower: Reaching your SMART goal should leave you feeling great and with a sense that your life or business is better in some way for having achieved it.

    Start by writing down your SMART goals. Confirm that they are SMARTIE goals, too. This will set a clear intention in your mind and will put your subconscious to work achieving them. Everything is always created twice—first in your head and then in reality. As you clarify your thoughts with writing, your hand is creating the words, your eyes are seeing those words and each goal becomes more real.

    Always remember that your goals must be compelling. Each one should be a stretch and take you out of your comfort zone; therefore if a goal is not inspiring, motivational, mentally challenging or emotionally energizing, you are likely to give up before you achieve it.

    If you have set New Year’s Resolutions in the past, but have rarely realised them, then this can be one of the reasons (i.e. they are “shoulds” and “ought-tos,” rather than SMART goals that inspire and empower you).

    Are you ready to set your own SMARTIE goals? Are you excited about what you can achieve when those goals are broken down to the objectives and actions that will lead you to positive change and success?

    If you already have goals, are they SMART and are you clear on how to take the next step for creating a plan to achieve them?  Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation, so we can figure out, together, where you are, where you’re going and how SMART goals can help to get you there.

     

     

  • Sat Nav for Business Growth Strategy

    Isabel Knich coaching

    Your business growth strategy is what you want and need to do to achieve the growth you desire.  Is it devised after thorough and extensive industry and market research to identify what is required to increase your access to more customers, more talent and more capital—the three things that most companies need to grow their business.

    As we have discussed in earlier blogs, in order for your business growth strategy to succeed you need to have some key elements in place:

    • You need to know WHY you’re in business…your desire.
    • You need to establish a clear VISION for where you’re going…your destination.
    • You need to identify your core VALUES that will show HOW you are going to deliver your vision…your drivers.

    After you have put these elements in place, it’s time to create your PLAN:  WHAT you’re going to do to move toward realising your vision.

    Your plan is the map showing the route you need to take to get you to your desired destination.  It sounds obvious to have a map or to use a sat nav to get to a place you have never been to before, but it is astounding the number of businesses who don’t have any sort of plan for getting to their desired destination. But then, many businesses also don’t know where they are heading. Remember that a having a vision in place is crucial.

    In many cases, stopping to take the time to create a plan isn’t a priority for management.  However, as you may have experienced in your car, finding your way when you are lost without a map is really very hard. You need that map; you need that sat nav—you need it to make the plan that will get you there.

    So what sort of plan do you need to create?  There are many different types of plans that you could use. The best ones, however, are those that are clear, short and easy to follow.  They should plainly state your destination, which can vary depending on the time frame, but the goals or outcomes that you want to achieve should be clearly stated as objectives.

    The specific strategic goals in your plan are then the places you know you need to get to on route to reach your final destination. They are your pit stops; the necessary stopovers that will contribute to the success of the arrival at your final destination (your vision).  For each goal, it is important that the objective is clearly stated with a timeframe (for more information about setting SMART goals, click here).  After all…

    A goal without a plan is just a dream.

    Do you want to turn your business’s dreams into reality? If so, then read on to learn how you can achieve your business growth goals with the help of a strategic plan…your Sat Nav for your business.

    Sat Nav for your Business

    As any good sat nav should, your plan will represent the fastest route by which you can get to your desired destination. It will help you to stay on track and, most importantly, get you back on track if you lose the right road along the way.

    To keep you focused on the right path, your plan should include the statement of your why, your vision and values. These help to keep the focus on the bigger picture and create a greater context for the actions that you and your team need to take to achieve your vision through your plan.

    Here are a few points to flesh out what I’m talking about:

    • Every strategic goal should have a champion—that is, someone who is committed publically to making it happen. The goal champion is accountable for the achievement of the goal (albeit not necessarily for all of the actions to ensure its delivery).
    • Every strategic objective or goal should be accompanied by specific milestones to achieve it over the months ahead. This helps create focus points along the way.
    • The entire business plan should be reviewed regularly with the team, (monthly at a minimum) to ascertain whether the work toward each objective is advancing and what obstacles need to be overcome to keep moving forward.
    • Progress on actions taken for each goal should be measured every month to continue progress in each area.
    • All employees, not just ‘the team,’ should be made aware of the business growth plan. If people know where they are heading and that there is a plan to follow to get there, everyone is much more likely to want to engage and support the champions for each goal so that the objectives are delivered.

    A business growth action plan is a well-defined and specific step-by-step set of actions for implementation. Whilst you may go off-course some of the time, your plan will help you to stay focussed on where you want to get to and help you get back on track and determine the next action. With the right plan, this creates the structure and discipline for efficiency (doing things well) and effectiveness (doing the right things) to achieve your goals and vision. Your plan—like a sat nav—will always be there to guide you and take you to where you have decided you need to go.

    Are you ready to design your plan for WHAT you need to do to realise your business growth strategy? Or are you ready to improve a plan that perhaps hasn’t been working so well for you? You may be wondering where to start, what road to take first, and how to strategise your route for the fastest and most effective way to get to your destination…your goals and vision. Please contact me via email or phone for a free 30-minute consultation. We’ll talk about how you can get clear on the plan for growing your business, with a sat-nav-type guidance system that will guide your business in the direction of unprecedented success.

     

     

  • Every Business Growth Strategy needs a Why

    What is your why?

    Does your organisation have a business growth strategy? Is it the guide for all your business activities and supported by clear intentions and purpose? Or is it the product of obligation?

    There are two types of business growth plans. Allow me to explain:

    1. The business growth strategy that is drafted to answer questions asked by lenders and investors and to tick the box “Yes we have a business plan”: This strategy is created solely for the purpose of satisfying the demands of people outside your organisation. It is usually very detailed, pages long and extremely dull. Once created, your 25-50 page business growth plan then languishes on a bookshelf forgotten and gathering dust.

    2. The alternative business growth strategy is one created for and by those within the organisation, to focus them on fulfilling strategic aims, as well as the purpose of the organisation: This business strategy is usually short (1-5 pages), and often visually centred and definitively designed to inspire. This business strategy is not sat lost on shelves or hard drives, but is ever-present, referred to regularly and used to guide and motivate staff to implement and deliver the strategic goals of the business.

    Is your Business Growth Strategy Destined for Failure?
    Sadly, most business strategies fall under category #1 – the business plan drafted simply to satisfy an obligation. This type of growth plan is generally a list of what you are going to do and how you plan to achieve certain targets. More often than not this type of business plan is lacking a clear purpose or a clear reason why your company is doing what it’s doing. Without a clear why this type of business growth strategy is likely to fail.

    Your why is the passion in your business. For a business to grow it not only needs structure (e.g. a typical business plan), it also needs passion to motivate staff to want to accomplish that growth.

    Your business growth strategy must be derived from your why. Without a clear purpose for coming to work, people are just turning up. With a strong sense of why, your staff members have a clear reason or purpose for coming to work and evidence proves that people who enjoy coming to work are more productive and creative.

    Once you have a clear why, your business growth strategy is then simply a description of the route (the how and what) your company intends to follow in order to create that future.

    Your Business Why:

    Why are you in business? Why do you believe what you’re doing is important? Why do you believe you are changing people’s lives?

    Why are you investing a large portion of your life in this business? And why is the thing you believe in driving it?

    The answers to these questions will help to form your why. Your why is shaped by the thing you love to do (your passion) and the thing that you wish to change. Making money is never a viable why. Search deeper for what having the money means to you.

    The why does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there. It is not born out of any market research and it does not come from extensive customer interviews. Your why comes from deep within yourself.

    “Great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand
    they must win hearts before minds. They are the ones who start with WHY.”
    Simon Sinek

    Why is the starting point for creating your business growth strategy. Once you are clear on your why, you will be able to identify what you will do to realise it and how you will do it.

    The outcomes (or what you will do) can be mapped out easily because when you know why you’re doing it, you’ll be clearer on how to achieve your vision and on how to differentiate your business from the competition. Your how will be based on your mission, your company values and the people in your organisation.

    It is crucial that you do some business soul-searching to identify your why before creating your business growth strategy. However, once you have done this, you may be surprised at how simple it is to draft that strategy (and to carry it out), because you have a clear path of intention.

    Do you have a business growth strategy? Are you concerned that it isn’t fit for purpose? There are steps you can take to inject the right elements into your existing business strategy, or you can rewrite it so that it better supports what you really want to achieve in your business.

    If you would like help with your business growth strategy or business plan, you can contact me by email or through our Contact Us page. I would be happy to spend 45 minutes with you on the phone discussing your business growth strategy—to see how it can be improved to help you grow your business to the next level.

    Failing to plan is planning to fail.

     

  • 10 Tips for Success with your New Year Resolutions

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    broken-resolutionsNew YearIf you are one of 40-45% of people who have made a New Year’s Resolution this year how are you doing so far?

    Did you know by the second week of January 25% of you will have already given up on your resolution and that less than 10% of you will actually achieve your resolution.

    How can you become one of the 10% of people who do succeed in achieving their New Year resolutions?
    We make New Year resolutions because we want to change something. Of course it is possible to change the results in your life but to do so you need to have a different strategy.

    Albert Einstein “Insanity is doing same things over and over again expecting a different result.”

    So if you want to do something different and succeed with your New Year resolutions in 2016, here are 10 tips to help you to avoid the common mistakes when setting resolutions:

    1) Know your why
    The most important thing in making any change is being clear about your reasons for wanting to do this. Making any change involves a real cost to us (e.g. losing weight: cost not able to eat chocolate biscuits/junk food; getting fit: not being able to slouch on the sofa after work: getting more clients: cost: investment in marketing, training etc.).
    If you don’t have a clear, strong reason why you want to make the change you are likely to fail along the way, especially in the middle when the going gets tough.

    2) Change your mind set
    Undoubtedly it is the thoughts in your head that have stopped you in the past from achieving the success you wanted. To achieve your New Year resolutions, or any goal you set, you need to change your mind set.
    Identify the limiting thoughts that are holding you back e.g. I am never going to: be thin/fit/smart: earn enough money etc. and replace them with new positive thoughts that support your desired result.

    3) Set SMART goals
    The issue for most people is their New Year resolutions are too vague e.g. I want to: lose weight/get fit/earn more money etc. To have a much better chance of success in achieving your resolutions turn them into SMART goals:
    S – Specific e.g. I want to lose 5kg, run 10km in under an hour, and earn £100k this year
    M – Measurable – find a way to measure your goal so that you have a target to aim for
    A – Attainable – they should be a stretch to motivate you but not delusional
    R – Relevant – they should be relevant for your life
    T – Time bound – set a deadline to create urgency. Without this we will put things off.

    4) Make your goals compelling
    People give up on resolutions because they aren’t compelling enough. To maintain the discipline and commitment to achieve your goals make sure they are also Inspiring and Empowering for you, (SMARTIE goals) e.g. physically or mentally challenging, intellectually stimulating, emotionally energizing etc.

    5) Write Your Goals Down.
    Too often our resolutions stay as dreams stay in our head. Did you know that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down? This works because writing down your goals is the first step to translating your intentions into actions.

    6) Track your progress
    You can’t improve what you don’t measure so you must track on a weekly basis how you are doing. Have the courage to face how you are doing. Celebrate the successes and acknowledge the disappointments and move on from them.

    7) Identify the next step
    Sometimes big goals can seem overwhelming and we don’t know where to start. Break down goals into bite sized pieces and focus on the next step.

    8) Take Action
    The biggest obstacle we face is procrastination. If you want to achieve big things, you’ve got to start.

    Zig Ziglar “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” 

    Excessive planning can be detrimental and whilst you might seem busy you aren’t actually taking the actions you need to get results you want. High achievers are action takers.

    9) Keep Your Goals visible
    You know that old saying “Out of sight, out of mind”. One of the biggest mistakes is not keeping your goals visible. Print them out and look at them every morning before you start the day. This will help them to stay conscious in your mind and support your to take the actions you need to achieve them.

    10) Get support
    All successful people have a coach or someone to help them reach their potential. If you really want this year to be different and achieve the goals you strongly desire, then find yourself a friend, coach or someone to support you and hold you accountable.

    Make this year your Best Year Yet!

     

  • How To Create Extraordinary Results In Your Life In Under 500 Words!

    How To Create Extraordinary Results In Your Life In Under 500 Words!

    Since we are all so busy in life trying to cram in as much as we possibly can, we don’t stop to take the take the time necessary to think and make the behavioral changes required to create different results in our lives.

    I thought that in this blog I would condense down the key elements of making transformational change into 500 words or less – thus by keeping it short leaving you time to actually take the actions necessary to achieve the results you desire!

    Here goes….

    Listed below are the key steps for creating change in your life to help you to achieve the success you want. Follow the practical steps listed below and you will be on the way to creating extraordinary results in your life.

    1) Create a Vision that Compels you and Fulfills your Personal Core Values – this is a blue print for how you want the future to look like

    Practically how to do this:
    a) Take at least one hour to reflect and answer the following questions:
    i) What does success look like to you?
    ii) What does your ideal day(s) would look like?
    iii) If money was no object what would you be doing right now with your life?
    iv) How do you want to be remembered when you are gone?

    b) Write out your inspiring vision for your life touching all areas of your life.

    2) Create Internal Alignment – align yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually

    Practically how to do this:
    a) Review yourself on how well you take care of yourself in terms of your:

    i) Physical well-being, (how well you sleep, eat, exercise, take care of yourself),
    ii) Mental well-being (how well do you focus, get things done, have fun),
    iii) Emotional well-being, (how well you connect with others, take time to experience joy, love, gratitude, appreciation, etc)
    iv) Spiritual well-being (how well you live your values, live life with passion and purpose, enjoy boundless energy, give to others)

    b) Create daily habits and rituals in each of these areas to improve your current score in each area.

    c) Measure each month how you are doing in each of these areas to move towards greater alignment.

    d) Examine your limiting beliefs that don’t serve you any longer and change them for new empowering beliefs.

    3) Relentless Execution – take actions until you have achieved the results that you desire

    Practically how to do this:
    a) Break your vision down into small chunks e.g. different roles and timeframes 3,6,12 months, 3,5 years from now etc

    b) Make a plan.

    c) Set SMART goals for all areas of your plan.

    d) Establish ways of measuring each goal.

    e) Track how you are doing with your plan every month. (You can’t improve what you don’t measure!)

    f) Get support in your life e.g. a network of inspiring friends, a personal coach to create accountability.

    4) Celebrate your Successes

    Practically how to do this:
    a) Spend time at least once a month reviewing your plan and highlighting all the things that have gone really well in your life. Note down what worked so that you can repeat this and do more of the things that work for you.

    b)Take 5 minutes every day to be grateful for the things that you have in your life and then acknowledge yourself for all that you are.

    c) Find someone to share your success with. Failing that, make sure you pat yourself on the back and do something fun to celebrate how amazing you are!

    For more information on how to create aligned, high performance teams click here to get your free e-book:

    Engage, Enthuse and Empower your Teams

     

  • Planning Your Way to Business Success

    Planning Your Way to Business Success

    How many people would choose to build a house without a set of plans to work from?  How many people choose to build a business without a business plan to work from?

    I am in the process of building a chalet in the Alps. I would never think of starting this project without a comprehensive set of plans.  In order to create the plans I had to have an initial vision of how I wanted our home to look like.  I had to be able to articulate my desires and wishes to an architect who was then able to translate what I wanted into a drawing.

    Having plans of how to achieve what I want is crucial for building the chalet.  Without the plans the builders would have no idea what they were trying to create. No one would be aligned and everyone would be doing their own thing.  Inevitably building the chalet would take significantly longer to complete and with no plans who knows what the finished chalet would look like.  Certainly nothing like I had planned and it would be simply luck if I liked it or not.

    This example sounds ridiculous but lets take a look at the process of building a business. In many ways this is similar to building a house.  You have to start by putting the foundations in place before you start a business – what product are you going to sell, to whom, where for what price.  Once the foundations are in place it is possible to build the business from here.  By putting the external structure in place, by connecting up to the networks that will supply the business, create the space for people to work in and to grow the business level by level.

    Very surprisingly though only 4% of businesses have a clear plan of what they are trying to build.  With no plans employees have no idea of what they are trying to build.   There is no team alignment and very often poor communication within the organisation.

    Whilst planning is simple it certainly isn’t easy.  If it was, more businesses would have a business plan.  Thinking about what you want takes time and requires the space to be able to do it.  It is too easy to dismiss the time taking for planning as a “waste of time” as things are getting done in the business. However this is short sighted as too often business leaders get caught up in working “in” the business rather than “on” the business.  Having a plan is critical to knowing where you are heading.

    Taking the time to step back and view the business from a different perspective can help to change how you see things and lead to innovation and efficiency within a business

    Having a plan can help to create a clear direction for the company and help you feel more in control.  If you have a plan it becomes the tool for focusing on what to do next, what the priorities are, and how to keep everyone aligned.

    So do you have a plan for where you are heading?

    If you don’t have a clear business plan and would like help to create one, please contact me for a free strategy consultation