Let’s be honest with ourselves–2020 was tough for many business owners. Even some incredible businesses scaled down or even shut their doors permanently as a result of the unexpected changes that we experienced last year. Though it is sobering to see our fellow business owners experience hardship the best thing we can do is learn from it. So how can we safeguard ourselves in 2021 with so much uncertainty? Set. Financial. Goals.
Recently inspired by Steve Larsen’s discussion of Just-In-Time Learning we have created a short list of steps that you can take for your business in 2021 to meet your financial goals.
STEP 1: Declare your financial goal. If possible — declare it publicly. If you don’t have a team to hold you accountable then live by it. Focus your financial goals into one measurable goal and figure out when you want to achieve it. Is your financial goal something you would like to accomplish by the end of the quarter? Or the end of the year? Be specific.
STEP 2: Be brutally honest about where you are NOW. Don’t be afraid to face your financial reality. Look at the numbers. Even if your circumstances are less than ideal you are still capable of achieving your goals. But we are here to tell you that you will never achieve your goals if you are not able to acknowledge your current reality.
STEP 3: Develop a SINGLE next step. So many of us get so caught up in the long-term planning and having a plan is not a bad thing. But like 2020 taught us plans can very quickly and very drastically change. If you are afraid to take a step forward in your business because not everything is perfectly planned we are here to tell you it will never be perfectly planned. As soon as your perfect plan is all ironed out it will need to change. So identify the next important thing your need to do within your business and take a step of faith, have direction but be adaptable.
STEP 4: Know the framework for your industry. Understand the financial frameworks for your industry, study the models but be willing to challenge the status quo.
STEP 5: Ask — How can I increase my speed? Look for areas that can be aided with improved efficiencies. If you have employees work to create a culture where they are empowered to achieve more and work harder within their work day. Carefully balance the relationships you have with your employees, customers and your vendors. One of the simplest ways to increase your speed is to care about people.
There is so much more that could be said within the realm of financial goal setting and follow through but ultimately it comes down to mindset. With the five steps above you will be empowered to approach your finances in an emotionally intelligent manner which will save you from financial panic. We hope that no matter what 2021 or the years that follow hold you will have the tools necessary to prosper.