How to Set New Goals for 2019

by | Jan 3, 2019 | Blog

Did you accomplish all your goals in 2018? If you did, GREAT! If you aren’t sure, now’s the time to become better prepared to answer this question next year. Goal planning for your business doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, with some tips and tricks, planning can be a powerful motivator for you and your team!

If you are a member of Financial Advocates, the easiest way to get started with your 2019 goal planning is to schedule a meeting with your Business Development Consultant. They are very familiar with your practice’s strengths and weaknesses and industry trends. If you share your vision for the future, they can help you formalize measurable goals to accomplish. If you are not currently a member of Financial Advocates, please keep reading.

Let’s start by reiterating why goal planning is so important. Setting new goals keeps us ambitious, holds us accountable, and keeps us competitive. Without new goals, we are likely to become complacent, and as research suggests, unhappy. So, if you want more success and more happiness in 2019, set new goals.

When it comes to goal planning, there are two acronyms you’ll want to remember. The first is SWOT and the second is SMART.

SWOT is a collaborative process used to identify a business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The more information you can glean from staff members and key clients, the more valuable your SWOT analysis, so multiple perspectives are key! Everyone’s answers are organized using the following matrix.

To get started here are some questions to ask for each area of the matrix.

  • Strengths –  Strengths are internal, positive attributes of your Financial Practice. These are within your control.
  • Weaknesses – Weaknesses are negative factors that detract from your strengths. These are things that you might need to improve on. Examples include: Client Experience, Time Management, and Relationship Management
  • Opportunities – Opportunities are external factors in your business environment that are likely to contribute to your success. This could be adding additional services or outsourcing.
  • Threats – Threats are external factors that you have no control over. You may want to consider putting in place a contingency plan in the event something occurs. Examples include Technology, Competitors, Market Trends, etc.

Creating Smart Goals

Once you’ve completed your SWOT analysis, direction on your new goals will begin to emerge. You can set new goals to help strengthen weaknesses, seize new opportunities, thwart potential threats and even capitalize on your current strengths!

The next step is to write your goals. Yes, you have to write your goals down or your odds of achieving them becomes greatly diminished. When writing goals, you’ll want to utilize the acronym, SMART. SMART goals are:

  • Specific – What are you going to do? Use verbs.
  • Measurable – How will the goal be measured?
  • Achievable – Make sure it’s within your scope of expertise or those you plan to enlist.
  • Relevant / Realistic – Will this goal improve your business?
  • Timely – What’s the due date? Be specific.

Here are a few examples of SMART goals:

  • “We will conduct six financial education webinars this year to educate clients and attract prospects, on a bi-monthly basis starting in January. Each webinar is to be attended by a minimum of 10 clients and two prospects.”
  • “We will increase new site visitors per month by 25% by posting original content on social media and implementing paid advertising.”
  • “We will implement Orion to achieve integration independence and sync our client data by June 2019.”

Hopefully, these tips will motivate you to start working on your goals for 2019. Many businesses look forward to this process every year, probably because they have reaped the rewards of meeting past goals. If you aren’t alone with your goal setting, try getting away from the office for a bit. Reserve a conference room at a local resort or host a planning meeting for your team at your home!

If you want to learn more about goal planning, read our post from last year: How to Plan for Growth in 2018.

You may also contact the Business Development Team for additional assistance. Our number is (360) 866-2345.