You want your business to grow and succeed. That’s a given. But how do you accomplish this? Wishful thinking won’t cut it. Obviously, you have to invest in your business. But how do you know which resources to invest in and when to do it? The answers aren’t obvious, and there is an overwhelming number of choices you can make. But if you’re thoughtful and systematic about it, you can devise a plan for growth that helps you determine where your resources should go.
Start with SMART Goals
The first thing to do in order to invest in your business is to write down your goals. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s hard to plan out a route. The problem is that establishing your business goals is more complicated than it sounds. For example, “I want my business to succeed” is an obvious goal, but it doesn’t really help you plan.
Instead, you need SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. “I want to sell some widgets” is not a SMART goal. How do you measure it? How do you know when you’ve achieved it? However, if you say, “I want to sell 100 cases of widgets by February 10th,” you will be able to benchmark your success.
Your first step is to write down goals that are: specific and measurable (100 cases vs. some widgets); achievable and realistic (if you’ve only sold ten cases of widgets so far, 100 cases isn’t an attainable or realistic goal); and timely (give yourself a deadline).
Reaching Your Goals
The second step is figuring out how you will reach your goals. Do you need to invest cash? Hire more employees? Do more marketing? Remember that you might need to divest resources as well. The tools that got you where you are now may not be the ones you need going forward. You may have software subscriptions or services or other investments that are no longer serving you well. Divesting yourself of these expenses will free up money to invest elsewhere. Yeah, I know it’s like ditching your security blanket, but, trust me, it’s time to get rid of ‘em.
Goals need to be constantly examined and reevaluated. Possibly you’ll need to make some adjustments along the way. It’s sort of like changing out your children’s clothing as they grow. Closet space is a limited resource, after all, and you need to constantly evaluate which shirts and pants are worth keeping and which are no longer helpful.
Come to think of it, closet space for adults is limited as well. (If you have unlimited closet space, please share with me how you managed to warp the time/space continuum.) And your wardrobe needs are constantly changing. For example, most people didn’t wear many suits over the past year, but there was a massive increase in the popularity of yoga pants and nice tops (so you’ll look good on Zoom).
Similarly, you need to constantly reevaluate how you are investing the resources for your business. Don’t make the mistake of limiting your definition of resources to “money.” Those resources can be anything: software, hardware, personnel, education, skills, time, office space, etc. For instance, if one of your employees has expertise in the IT industry, accounting—or even snowboarding—that’s a potential resource for you.
Remember that your resource needs will constantly change—just like your wardrobe needs. Companies succeed when they stick to their goals while remaining flexible enough to recognize opportunities—and reallocate resources if necessary.
In next month’s blog, we will discuss how to know if your resource allocation is helping you to meet your goals.
Do you need help in identifying your goals or investing your resources? Then, contact Office Accomplice today.