PART 1 — RE-VIEW
“If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.” — Maya Angelou
To get your business back on track for 2020, you need to start by doing a review of the past 6 months. This is the exact process I used earlier this week in my business.
Step #1 — Re-assess your financial position
The first step is to do a practical assessment of your business. Review your sales and expenses from the past 6 months. Then, get a clear snapshot of your current financial position.
Many business owners may find they’re not on track to meet the financial goals they set at the beginning of the year. The effects of COVID-19 and economic downturn have had real financial implications for a number of businesses.
If this is you, consider if you need to re-adjust your expectations when it comes to your revenue and profit goals. Where do you need to cut back your spending? Do you need to refocus your sales and marketing efforts or adjust your pricing?
Step #2 — Re-view your marketing activities
Next, review your marketing processes so far in 2020. What tasks and activities moved the needle in your business? Do more of this — consistently.
What actions haven’t worked so well this year? Tweak or eliminate these moving forward.
Consider where you’ve pivoted your target market, offers or marketing activities. What will you continue to do — or remove — in the second half of the year?
Step #3 — Re-flect on your successes — and learnings
If you’re anything like me, you set big goals back in January. Then, you work hard to reach them and tick each one off your to-do list. But so often, we rush onto the next goal without taking time to celebrate our accomplishments along the way.
After a tough few months, it’s more important than ever to savour your successes. What goals did you reach and what challenges have you successfully overcome? Find time to acknowledge and celebrate these before re-setting your goals for the next six months.
Next, think about what you’ve learnt so far in 2020. Yes, I’m talking about the mistakes made or the (many) things that didn’t go to plan!
Remember — failure doesn’t exist. Any goals you didn’t achieve are an opportunity for learning and growth. And errors offer you the chance to course correct in future.
Get clear on your biggest lessons and why these are important. What will you do differently in future as a result?
Step #4 — Re-visit beliefs + habits holding you back
Looking back on the past 6 months, what stopped you reaching your goals?
Think about the fears, limiting beliefs and habits holding you back. Imposter syndrome, perfectionism or procrastination. Fear of failure, people pleasing or a lack of boundaries.
Where have you experienced negative thoughts or feelings — disappointment, frustration or unfulfillment?
What does this cost you? Consider the impact on your time, energy, health and important relationships. Identify what needs to change as you embark on the second half of 2020.
Step #5 — Re-connect with your intention
Setting a ‘personal word of the year’ is a practice many successful business owners commit to each year. If the concept is new to you, this involves choosing one theme word to sum up your intention for the year. The idea is it gives you a clear focus during the year and guides you towards the right goals and action steps.
I like to check in every 6 months to see how I’m tracking towards my ‘word for the year’. My guiding word for 2020 is ‘JOY’. After a personally challenging 2019, I made a commitment to focus on the work that lights me up, take time to celebrate and find joy in all I do.
Reflecting on your intention is an important part of getting back on track in 2020. Especially when we faced so many unexpected challenges and uncertainties in our businesses and lives over the past six months. Reconnecting to this has reminded me of my priorities and where I need to take action for the rest of 2020.
PART 2 — RE-SET
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” — Tony Robbins
The second part of the process is to use this information to reset your goals and get back on track for 2020.
Step #1 — Re-establish your financial plan
Start by resetting your financial plan for the next 6 months. Do you need to establish more realistic revenue and profit goals?
It’s hard to predict what will happen economically or make long-term financial projections. Especially when government programs — such as Australia’s Job Keeper and the UK’s furlough scheme to help businesses retain workers — are due to cease in September/October.
However, goals give us focus. After doing a review earlier this week and putting a new financial plan in place, I know exactly what I’m working towards. And I feel more motivated to achieve my goals as a result.
So, if you’re disheartened by your financial performance or have avoided logging into your bank account — don’t bury your head in the sand any longer! Face your finances and make a plan. But be prepared to review it regularly and adapt quickly if needed.
Step #2 — Re-charge your marketing activities
Next, get clear on who your target audience is and what their current challenges are. Be sensitive to any uncertainties they might be experiencing. Remain flexible to adjusting your messaging or offers as and when required.
Look at your current offers — if you pivoted during the last quarter, is it time to revert back to your signature offers or pricing? Did something work well that you’ll keep on doing? For example, moving your business online or conducting part of your service virtually.
What marketing activities will you commit to consistently for the next 6 months? Like many, I’m looking forward to attending in person events again and my diary is quickly filling up with 1:1 catch-ups! Even though my business is mostly online and I work with clients across Australia and the globe, I know the power of building face-to-face relationships.
Have you felt uncomfortable ‘selling’ during a pandemic? It’s time to rethink the definition of ‘selling’. Selling is being of service and providing a solution to your customer’s problems.
Focus on building relationships and adding value to your clients and prospects — now, and always.
Step #3 — Re-linquish unhelpful habits + beliefs
What do you want to let go of? Consider the fears, limiting beliefs and bad habits holding you back and keeping you stuck.
The things you feel you ‘have to’ or ‘should do’ based on other people’s agendas or opinions. Commitments or relationships no longer serving you. Or anything you’re no longer willing to say YES to in the second half of 2020.
Ask yourself — Why do you need to let it go now? Get crystal clear on why it’s a priority. And make a commitment to yourself to honour those promises over the next 6 months.
Step #4 — Re-calibrate your priority goals
To reset your goals, always begin with a clear vision of what you’re working towards. From there, you can easily identify the over-arching goals you need to reach to make your vision a reality.
Start by doing a brain-dump. List out all your desired goals. Then, reduce this list to your most important goals and projects.
To narrow it down, think about priorities, passions and profits. Remove anything that’s not truly important or the activities you don’t want to dedicate time and energy to in the next 6 months. Prioritise the tasks and activities that move the needle in your business.
Pay particular attention to any goals appearing on your to-do list consistently and never get completed. Ask yourself — do I really want to commit to this goal? This will help you determine what to let go or focus on.
Step #5 — Re-new your plan
Ever heard the saying — failing to plan is planning to fail? Your time is a precious resource. The last step to keep you on track to accomplish your goals is to create a plan to reach them.
Schedule each project under a different month in your calendar. Prioritise what’s important. And be realistic about what’s possible for you to complete within a month.
Finally, keep a list of ongoing projects. Map out the exact steps you’ll need to take to complete every project. List them as a separate task under each project.
Moving forward, you’ll use this main task list to plan your schedule on a daily and weekly basis. Be sure to keep adding new projects and tasks to the list throughout the year.
I’m sure you’ll agree a mid-year audit is important. But because of the unexpected challenges and future uncertainties created by the pandemic, it can be difficult to know where to start. I certainly found it required some extra thought this time round.
After adapting my usual review process and testing it out this week, this is what worked for me. This two-part, step-by-step process helped me get my professional goals back on track for 2020. I hope it supports you to reach your big business or career goals too.