Welcome to 2019!
The start of a new year is always an exciting time. It feels like a fresh start, like you can achieve anything you could imagine in the year ahead. Each year, we set ourselves new year’s resolutions for our personal lives, whether it’s learning a new language, giving up alcohol, or starting a new hobby. But, why not use all this motivation to make resolutions for your business? Keep reading this article for our top tips on goal-setting, and make 2019 the year you achieve your business dreams.
1. Time to Reflect
Before you can settle in to the task of accomplishing your goals, you’re going to have to come up with some, right? We all get caught up in our everyday lives, the 200 calls we have to make, the 1000 errands you have to run, and the 456,000 emails you have to read and reply to. All this noise can get in the way of ever seeing the bigger picture.
So, this January, schedule some time to really think about what you want to achieve in 2019 – reflect on the past year and work out what you want to improve, or imagine where you want to be in 3 or 5 years, and consider what it will take to get there. You could even use techniques like SWOT analysis or benchmarking to discern areas where your business could perform better.
If you struggle with reflection, there are lots of tools you can use to make yourself more motivated. Whether you make mind-maps with lots of coloured pens or paper, use post-its, or just write a lot of lists, find the method that suits you and your particular brain.
Writing your goals down also helps you to commit to them, plus you can refer back to your list in 2020 to see if you’re any closer to achieving your dreams.
2. Break things down
You’ve decided what you want to achieve, but big ambitions can be pretty intimidating. It can be easy to become overwhelmed by your goals, and end up putting them off so much that you never actually get anything done. So, to resolve this issue, break your goals down into step by step actions.
For example, one of your goals this year might be to create a social media presence for your business. This goal could be split into three stages, researching and planning, acting, and measuring. The researching and planning stage can then be divided into:
- Look into the different platforms available to you and decide which ones are the best fit for your business.
- Visit the profiles of other businesses in your industry to find inspiration for the kind of content you want to create.
- Set targets for the number of posts you want to make each week.
- Think about the way you want to run your social media accounts – will you post each day when you find a spare moment, or will you use a social media management platform to schedule a whole week’s worth of posts in one go? If it’s the latter you need to:
- Research and select a management platform to help you run your accounts.
- Compile a list or calendar of relevant dates or events to your business, such as Wool Week, or Back British Farming Day.
- Create a rough plan for the content you will share in the first two weeks.
As you can see, the smaller the action, the better. After breaking all your goals down in this way you’ll have no excuse to put them off – small tasks can be easily scheduled around your workload, and with a step-by-step plan, you’ll achieve your goals in no time!
3. Set deadlines
I don’t know about you, but I find that leaving tasks without a due date is a recipe for procrastination. By setting achievable deadlines you will ensure you have the drive to keep moving towards your goals, and if you put them in your diary or online calendar, and set reminders on your phone, you’ll have no excuse for forgetting to complete your action points on time!
Hopefully these tips will help you to set, and achieve your goals, making 2019 your most successful year yet!
How can the Rural Business Awards help you achieve your goals?
Entering the Rural Business Awards is a great tool to help you reach your goals in 2019!
Firstly, filling out the entry form forces you to reflect on the past, present and future of your business, so if you are struggling to set time aside to think about your goals this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
If your goals include attracting new customers, the publicity gained from entering the awards can be a step in the right direction – we send three waves of press releases out to promote our entrants, the first after shortlisting, the second after the regional ceremonies, and the last after the national final. This means that whatever stage of the awards you reach, you will hopefully receive some coverage in either the regional or national press.
Being recognised as one of the best rural businesses in your region, or indeed, the United Kingdom, can have a huge impact on the reputation of your business, and increase awareness of your brand.
The ceremonies are also a great way to network with other rural business owners – who knows what kinds of opportunities might arise from the people you get to meet.
So, if you’d like to achieve your business dreams in 2019, why not enter the Rural Business Awards?
What are your goals for 2019? Let us know on social media using #ruralbusinessgoals
If you’d like to enter the 2019-20 Rural Business Awards, click here.