If you're anything like many of the entrepreneurs and business owners out there, you're probably already thinking ahead to 2019.
And if you're not, you should be. After all, strategic planning is a key piece of any successful business.
Whether you already have a draft of your annual plan or you're just starting the process, be sure to avoid these strategic planning mistakes for the best chances of achieving your goals.
1. Setting goals that are too broad.
Sometimes, being really specific about your goals can seem intimidating. What if you don't hit them? Will you feel as though you failed? What if your numbers aren't as strong as someone else's?
Here's the thing: your goals are not set in stone. They can be modified along the way. If you hit them early, even better! You can adjust them as you need to. If you don't quite reach your goal, it may be smart to spend time investigating possible reasons why you didn't and how you can revise your strategy.
To avoid this mistake, be sure your goals are specific, measurable, challenging, and motivating.
2. Too many goals to focus on at once.
Overwhelm can quickly become the enemy of execution. Strategic plans often fail when businesses have too many initiatives and goals, or are simply too complicated.
Instead, narrow your focus. As much as we all have dozens of goals we may like to achieve in a 5, 10, or 20 year span, not all of them can (or should) be done at once.
According to Steven Covey, having any more than 1-3 goals can reduce the likelihood that you achieve any of these goals by roughly 80%!
Choose your high priority 1-3 goals for 2019 and keep the other ideas in a notebook or Word Doc for future use.
3. All talk and no action.
And last, but definitely not least, strategic plans commonly fall flat when they don't include action steps in order to actually achieve the goals listed. This is where the plan comes into play!
Once you know what your top few goals are and you've defined them well enough so they aren't too broad in scope, schedule out a course of action for each goal, with deadlines to complete throughout the year.
Will you need to start networking more? Do you need a mastermind group to hold you accountable? Are you in need of additional skill sets? Write these steps down in your plan to keep you on track over the next several months.
Meet with a Coach to Grow Your Business
Of all the dozens of "secrets" to being a successful business owner, many leading professionals out there say that working with a business coach has been the best business decision they've made to get where they are today.
Having a coach by your side can be an effective way to get really clear on what your goals are, to hold you accountable when you're feeling unmotivated or lost, and to push you farther . . . faster.