Christmas Hangover

Have you woken up with a jolt this week? Has it just become glaringly obvious that it’s the 4th week in January and you had better get cracking? Don’t panic you’re not a teapot (spot the reference?). Yet!

If you are like me, you are probably still wondering where Christmas and New Year went and why on earth all the work is piling up again (Probably has something to do with the fact you didn’t put it all away before Christmas, however that’s another blog). Anyhow, lets focus on what we should be doing in order to break away from the hangover now that we are smack bang in the thick of it.

It’s this time of the year that setting business goals, like New Year’s resolutions, tend to be full of energy, bravado and pig picture thinking. The question is how many of them will you actually achieve by year end? I daresay all the simple ones might get actioned and some of the medium-hard ones will be attempted and probably most of the really exciting ones wont see the light of day. The key to success is really being able to understand yourself, your business and the related life cycles (the ups and downs of the coming year) in order to prepare a truly achievable list of business goals.

I am firm believer in setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals. However, don’t get so carried away that none of them will ever make it beyond the realms of the dream factory. Why not have a think about setting some warm up short-term goals such as clean the office or make contact with key suppliers. Then maybe consider some medium term goals like reviewing our website strategy or changing suppliers to reduce costs. Then, when you have a clear picture of some goals that you can easily sink your teeth into and ensure success, set yourself 1 or 2 big year long goals that will involve some strategic thinking and involvement from other partners or employees. i.e Achieve a revenue increase of 100% by end of year, with the same resources we used in 2010.

The point is, make sure you can warm up, get into the groove and feel your way back into the discipline of business. Don’t overwhelm yourself early on and then have to completely change the direction or strategy for the year half way through. And of course, once you have your goals documented somewhere that has visibility for those that need to be aware, plan, plan, plan!

The planning of the actions required to reach your goals is way more important than setting the goals themselves:

• Cleaning the office – plan to bring some music, some special treats to keep you going and think about a reward for the end of the day when it is complete.

• Reviewing website strategy – document what you want to achieve (renewed traffic or SEO optimisation), research what you like then plan to speak to experts that can help.

• Achieve a revenue increase of 100% without increasing costs (utilising existing resources) – brainstorm ways in which this might be achieved, have a whiteboard exercise to capture all crazy ideas. Prioritise the key elements. Actively explore the step-by-step actions required over the course of time to ensure you are heading in the right direction. Or that it is achievable. Share the strategy with key members of your team. Seek buy in and offer incentives. Remember to keep your actions specific, measurable and don’t forgot to check in time to time. Taking 5 different routes to achieve this goal may not be the best courses of action therefore plan wisely.

So, there you have it. A hangover guide to kick-start your year without swallowing a single headache tablet. Remember, it’s easier to take time now to prepare than it is to have to change course mid way through the year after something drastic has happened.

If you would like some help with your goal setting, your planning or taking action then give us a call. If you have an actual hangover, sorry you might need Panadol.

Simon Thomas
Small Fish Business Coaching St Ives

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