If there is one area that all the businesses seem to struggle with, it’s strategic planning. The ability to precisely and coherently make plans is critical for success in a variety of different areas, and strategic planning is a unique necessity all its own.
As a parent business owner, there are a lot of benefits to come from strategic planning that you’re going to want to find out. To try and help with this, we are going to take a look at five of them here and now.
We perform best when we have a plan. A clear goal helps to channel resources effectively and efficiently, and ensures that nothing is wasted. Strategic planning allows for the transparent deployment of a long-term strategy, which serves as a guide for how to proceed. You have the direction, and you have the tools, so nothing is stopping you from pushing on forward.
A Crucial Sense of Direction
A sense of direction is critical. If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you expect to move forward? All businesses have a goal, a destination they want to reach. One of the advantages of strategic planning is that it becomes easy to chart a course. You can know where you’re going, what the road may have ahead. That information is critical and will help you out many times.
The real test of any businesses how durable it is. We all think that our companies will march on forever, gaining more speed and power as they go. However, that is no way is the case. There are instances where a company starts to fracture under stress when they find the challenges to be too significant. Strategic planning allows for a more durable enterprise and ensures that you, as a parent, have a secure and stable company.
A dedicated strategic plan can yield many benefits for a business. You have access to market trends, interactions with customers, and a selection of data to look at and extrapolate information from. It helps to increase profitability because you’re generating reports about every facet of your business. This naturally leads to more targeted advertising and more focused efforts.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of a strategic plan is that you become a proactive force instead of a reactive one. So many businesses fall into the trap of waiting for something to happen and then reacting to it. However, being proactive in how you run your company means that when a situation occurs, you’re not afraid. Instead, you’re ready to deal with it, having already put the correct pieces into place on the board.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to strategic planning for a business. As a parent business owner, you have to take every measure possible to ensure that the future of your company is secure. As you lack the considerable financial backing of major corporations and the legal expertise of many organisations, you have to be careful about how you operate. Strategic planning is a core resource which allows you to make informed and sensible decisions about the direction of business takes, so it’s well worth taking the time to start developing a cohesive plan now.
If you are running your own business and juggling this with bringing up children and family life, you will not be alone in having days where you feel a bit like you are standing in quicksand while the world floats past your head. Parent entrepreneurs have a unique life that means they can often spend more time with their children than if they had to go off to the office every day, but they can also feel like the business will never thrive because there are just not enough hours in the day. This is where the benefits of setting better goals come in.
Goals Bring Focus
When you are setting goals, you are effectively making a list of what is essential and stating your intention of getting these things to reality. So set goals for both work and home in order to create that fantastic balance you have read that parentpreneurs can have. Be sure to think through the goals so that you make them realistic and achievable and be clear in what you are setting about doing.
Goals Bring Decision Making
If you have defined a better set of goals that are well thought out and robust, they also act as a decision-making tool. Knowing where you are going and what you want to achieve means that when unexpected situations and opportunities arise you will be in a strong place to know instantly if you’re going to move forward with them or shelve them. It will be easy to see if they fit into your goal-oriented plan or if they are going to take you off on a distracting tangent that means your original targets will not be met.
Goals Offer Direction
While we may not want to consider a final destination having goals helps move you through the phases of life and makes it easier to plan for the future. Some working parents actually prefer to have long, long-term goals as this offers them a focus and helps them stay on track. Whether it is home ownership, a specific retirement date or just the knowledge that you have created a strong business that can support your family, goals give you the direction you need to stay on track.
Goals Provide Balance
When you are working and looking after children, it can be easy to flounder and never entirely be sure whether you supposed to be having a parent day or an entrepreneur day. Having clearly defined goals that are better than a vague list of things that might be nice helps you find balance. You will be more readily able to see what needs doing and how you can get the home work-life harmony you are looking for. It makes planning for events with the children more manageable, and you can schedule appointments, paediatrician visits and more around your goals and account for this downtime more effectively. By using goal setting, you should feel less like you are sinking and more like you are flying high.
Running a business and raising a family isn’t always the easiest thing to do. With so many things to juggle, it can seem that you have far too much to think about and focus on. This can leave you struggling to keep your eye on your goals.
So, how do you stay on track with your goals? Here are some of our top tips for making sure that you remain focused, no matter what you are looking to achieve.
Commit to your goals
There is a reason why you have set a goal; often it’s because you want to reach them. Which means that you should always ensure that you commit to your goals. Committing to them is important because it gives you the determination to achieve them, which can be particularly useful on those days when you feel that you might go off track.
Break them down
Some goals that you set are going to be small, some of them, however, are going to be larger and therefore harder to reach. If you feel that you haven’t made a dent in your goal, then you are going to be much more likely to give up. This means that a simple way to ensure that you stay on track is to try and break them down as much as you can. Having smaller chunks to aim for means that you are much more likely to focus on them.
Have long-term and short-term goals
Similar to the above, having only long-term goals is going to make it much harder to stay on track while having only short-term goals could leave you feeling that you don’t have anything in the future. It is a good idea to try your best to mix both long-term and short-term goals as this will help you to not only have mini-milestones to reach but that you also have a long-term goal at the end of the tunnel.
Take action on your goals every day
It isn’t always easy to find time to do things for yourself, particularly if you have to think about children as well as your business. However, one of the worst things that you can do is to try and work on your goals in one huge chunk of time. This will take far too much out of that particular day and means that it could be something that you keep putting off. Instead, focus on tackling your goals every day, this only needs to be a small amount of time, which, when you are busy seems a whole lot more achievable.
Celebrate your achievements
Giving yourself a pat on the back can feel incredibly alien to us all. However, when it comes to achieving your goals, there is nothing wrong with celebrating how far you have come. Celebrate yourself, praise the effort that you have put in and that will help you to keep on going, even when things are tough!
Staying on track to achieve your goals is not always easy. However, by trying out these things you are much more likely to get there, no matter what it is that you want to achieve and where it is going to lead you.
Setting a goal is incredibly important for not only your business but also your personal life too. But why is this? What makes setting a goal so important and how can you make sure that you set effective goals?
Goals motivate you to do your best
If you have something to aim for, then the chances are that you are going to try even harder to get there. Without a goal, what is going to motivate you? Chances are nothing. Having a goal, even a small goal is always going to help you to ensure that you do your best.
If you make small steps towards your goal, then you are going to feel ready to go even further
Motivation can be something that is hard to find. Not only for your personal life but also your business life too. With so many things to think about and spend your time on, sometimes it can feel easier to hide away and not even make an effort. Having a goal is a sure-fire way to motivate yourself to get up and get going. Even better if you set yourself a few small milestones along the way to reach.
Goals help you to focus
It is all too easy to lose focus. Particularly if what you are focusing on is proving hard to do. Once you lose focus, much like motivation, it can be incredibly hard to regain momentum. One great way to try and help you to focus is to have something to focus on, such as a short-term or long-term goal. This could be something that will have an immediate impact or something that could be a way off, no matter what it is, having that thing in the pipeline is going to help to drive you forward.
How to set effective goals
Now you know why goal setting is so important, you may want to know more about how you can reach those goals. The best way is to ensure that the goals that you set are going to be effective, this can be achieved in a number of ways.
Having a long-term goal is excellent. However, these can be the hardest to achieve. Not only are they going to take maximum effort and time, but they are also the hardest to see any progress on. A great way to help with this is to make sure that you set milestones along the way which will help you to measure just how far you have come.
Another top tip is to remind yourself why you have set that goal. This could be something in your personal life such as getting fit and healthy or something in your business such as securing a new client. When you feel that things have got on top of you, remind yourself just why you are doing it, and you will soon have enough motivation to carry on going.
With this in mind, why not try some goal setting for yourself? Think about where you want to be and what you want to achieve and in no time at all; you will be reaching those goals and improving yourself as well as your business.
This podcast episode covers our obsession with setting goals and the benefits of setting goals.
Thanks for listening!
We all know that goals are important in everyday life. They give us something to aim for, to reach. They keep us motivated and keep our eye on the end prize.
The only downfall that comes from goals, particularly those that relate to our businesses, is if they are unrealistic.
Unrealistic goals can have the opposite effect. Whilst, at the beginning they may seem fine, if you have goals that are not likely to be reached, then you will be left feeling deflated. You may even end up wondering if there is any point in carrying on trying, which could lead your dream to fail.
So, with this in mind, it is important to think about how you can set realistic goals for your business. Here to help, we have put together our guide to set business goals.
Think about what motivates you
Without motivation, achieving your goals is never going to be easy. Therefore, during those early stages of setting business goals, you should make sure that you think about the things that motivate you. Not only this, that you perceive a value in achieving them. There is little point setting a goal that is irrelevant to the end vision for your business, not only will it seem so pointless at the end, but the chances of even getting there is much slimmer.
How often do you look at your to-do list, only to feel swamped by the sheer amount that you have to do? The same can happen with your goals. Set too many and you can end up feeling hopeless and that you are never going to get where you need to be. Instead, focus on those things that seem urgent to you right there. You are much more likely to get to the end.
Set SMART goals
Have you ever completed some form of performance report at work? If you have, then chances are that you might have had to consider the idea of SMART. SMART means that you set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Essentially, you need to think about the particular things that you can measure as they progress. They need to be relevant to your bigger picture and also something that you can complete in good time. Paying attention to this concept means that you are much more likely to succeed.
Write them down
Whilst it is great to think about the goals that you have for your business, there is something much more final about writing them down. Perhaps it is the physical act of writing, an act that commits you to achieving the goal, or the fact that when you feel that you are flagging, that you can re-read it and find a whole new push towards getting there.
The main thing to think about when it comes to setting a goal is to stick at it. It is going to be hard at times, anything that is worth doing is, so keep on plugging away and you will get there! By this time, you may find that you need to set some new goals!