One fourth of the year is almost over. How are you doing in meeting your goals? How are you doing compared to your budget? In my last article, I talked about how business systems aren’t just for big business. Guess what? Neither are goals and budgets.
Big businesses put tremendous effort into creating detailed budgets and detailed goals each year and checking their progress against them monthly and quarterly. Investors eagerly await the announcement of quarterly earnings and stock prices jump up or down based on the results. They go to all this expense and trouble for only one real reason. It works.
Big businesses very seldom wander from the tried and true. They set goals, budget and compare to their budgets frequently because successful businesses before them did it. I’m not saying that you have to have goals and a budget to be successful, but it sure does increase your chances of success. That’s also why you are reading this. To help increase your chances of success. So here are some tips for you:
If you don’t have goals and a budget, stop what you are doing and create them. If you do have goals and a budget, stop and take a look at them. Ask yourself the following questions:
How have you done so far this year?
Are you awesome or average?
What can you tell from your results?
What’s working and what’s not?
Where could you use some help?
What successes can you leverage?
Now is the time to start looking at what adjustments you need to make to continue your successes or cut your losses. It’s also a good time to revise your estimates for the rest of the year. Don’t stop at just revising the numbers. Now is the time to revise your action plan too. Where do you need to step up your action and where do you need to cut back? Again look at what’s working and what’s not. Don’t have an action plan? Now would be a good time to create one. Goals and business plans only get you so far. An action plan is what makes your goals and budgets work.
Does this all sound like a lot of work? I’m sure it does, but it is time and effort that will pay itself back tenfold. Knowing where you want to go and then comparing regularly is the only way to assure yourself you’ll get to where you want to be. Otherwise, you might end up like Alice in Wonderland.
Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cat: “That depends on a good deal on where you want to get to”.
Alice: “I don’t much care where.”
The Cat: “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”