This is the time of the year I have the brain space to reflect on my ‘business focus area for improvement’ for the year ahead. But how do I decide what that should be?
I’M NOT A FAN OF THE WORD ‘GOALS’.
Call me a rebel, but for me, it’s a very loaded word. And if a word immediately carries a negative connotation… it will not be very useful, will it?
Which means,… I’ll have to come up with another word. I guess I could talk about ‘business focus areas’, or about ‘intentional focus in business’? ‘Focus area for improvement’?
Considering that the start of a new year is my preferred moment to set my intentions for the next 12 months, I could call them ‘new year’s resolutions for business’?
I don’t know… What’s your ‘don’t-call-it-a-goal’ word of choice? (Seriously, I’m keen to know.)
All silliness aside (they don’t call it the silly season for nothing), by the time you read this, I’m probably lying next to the pool, sunnies on, sunblock my loyal companion. Heck, I might even have a cocktail within arm’s reach.
This is the time of the year (December-January-February), my events business is going through a few quieter months and it gives me brain space to reflect on my ‘focus area for improvement’. At the start of 2022, I talked about how I plan for the year ahead.
But one thing I have left untapped is how I decide what should be my focus area of improvement for the year ahead?
HOW DO I IDENTIFY MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS?
Yep… I am a girl on a mission
How I Figure Out My Focus Area Of Improvement For The Year Ahead?
Step 1: Looking Back Before We Can Move Forward
This is a pretty obvious one.
Before you embark on a strategic journey for your business, it never hurts to take stock.
I dedicated a podcast on this topic called ‘The 6 Month Business Review Worksheet’ and you can find it here.
I like to use the 6 Month Business Review Worksheet twice a year: once in December or January to look back on the past year and make new plans for the year ahead, and once halfway through the year to see how I’m tracking and to make any adjustments if needed.
You can download the worksheet here.
Step 2: Identifying My List Of Key Business Focus Areas
From there, we brainstorm.
This step was born 5 years ago out of frustration, exhaustion and the realisation that if I didn’t take action, both me and my business were not going to last for much longer.
Desperate, I wrote down everything that I wanted to change about my business. The list was extensive, but I started to chip away at it. And now, 5 years later, I can finally say I’ve ticked off the whole damn list. My business feels so much better because of it!
That original list was the crude form of what I use now. These days, I’m a bit more organised.
Here’s how I do it.
1. I break my business down into six main headings. For each, I list business focus areas that need my attention.
These 6 main headings are:
- Service Delivery And Fulfilment
- Finances And Cash Flow
For each of area I ask myself what is limiting my business from scalable growth? I identify the areas of my business that are holding me back. I’m not preconceived while doing this. Anything that pops up in my head is game. At the end, every heading has quite the list and there is no way I can focus on all these bullet points.
2. Next, I narrow it down.
How do I do that?
I put an E next to all actions that are easy.
I put an I next to all actions that are impactful.
Any items that have both an E and an I next to them are the low-hanging fruit that is going to make a big difference. These deserve my attention, and I highlight them.
3. And I narrow it down even further
But this list is still too long. So, I take a new piece of paper and rather than pitching the bullet points under the heading against each other, I now pitch all shortlisted low hanging fruit against each other.
This should give you a much shorter workable list of focus area for improvement.
Anything that didn’t make the end-list, you just park until this time next year.
Step 3: Create An Annual Plan Without Falling Into The New Year’s Resolutions For Business Traps
From here, you’re now ready to start create your annual plan.
Again, I’ve created a step-by-step guide that will help you achieve your focus area for improvement without falling into the usual New Year’s resolutions for business owners pitfalls.
What pitfalls am I talking about? You know the ‘gym membership trap’? January 1st: “This year I’m going to… (fill in any new year’s resolution)”. And then before January has even ended, it’s “Bye, bye new year’s resolutions”.
You want to set your focus area for improvement, BUT you also want to make sure they last the year.
AND THIS STEP-BY STEP GUIDE I MENTIONED IS GOING TO HELP YOU WITH THAT.
I call my step-by-step guide the ‘From Dream to Done Guide’. I created it to help you break down those big focus area for improvement into bite-sized actions that make it easy to maintain your focus area for improvement without feeling overwhelmed.
It’s very simple if you know how to do it! But even better: IT WORKS!
You can find it here.
All right, my friend. That's it for this episode. I hope you have got some fun things planned for the days and weeks ahead!
Now, when you get to the end of your business focus areas list and you're thinking: ‘Hot damn, this is going to be an amazing year! But I need someone to help me work through this plan.’ Then you’ll be very pleased that at the moment I am taking on new clients for 2023.
There are several ways can work with me.
Option 1: Business Coaching Sessions. These 1:1 coaching sessions are perfect to help you get unstuck when you don’t know where to start. The commitment is just one session. You bring a focus area to the session, and we unravel it.
Option 2: Business Strategy Sessions. These are 1:1 strategy sessions with either a focus on Scalable Growth or on Team Growth. Again, these are one-off bookable sessions.
Option 3: You Can Come Work With Me In A Three Month Container. This is a mix of coaching, accountability, and strategy. Depending on what you need on any particular day, focus is on making sure you stay on track to reach your goals.
For any of these options, head over to my website, sandrajulian.co/work-with-me. You can fill out the application to work with me.
Finally, there is Option 4: The FREE Scale Strategy Session, for my friends who really don’t have a clue about where they should start. During our session, we look at your current situation to see what is what is your number 1 bottleneck. From there, we develop a three-step growth plan for the next 90 days and beyond that will get you results in your business as soon as possible.
Send Me A Voice or Video Message. I'd love to hear from you!