How Small Businesses Can Achieve Big Results

Achieving dramatic results for your company takes leadership, focus and communication. Instead of striving for results by hiring more employees or adding more, get back to basics. “Achieving results is not about the number of employees you have,” said Heidi Pozzo, author of Leading the High-Performing Company. “It’s about focusing on what your goals are and taking steps to achieve them.”

At the September MAP Alliance forum, Pozzo explained the importance of realistic goals and a plan for achieving them. More than 80 percent of small businesses fail to keep track of their goals and thus fail to reach them. Look to the bottom line, Pozzo advises. “Financial results are a symptom of what you are doing in your business,” she said. “When you’re working toward your goals, you’ll see it where it matters most.”

To develop a plan for your business, Pozzo suggested five main steps:

Step 1: Set your goals

  • Write out your goals—Whether in print, on a spreadsheet or on a visual board, make sure they are clear and easy to understand.
    • Create a step-by-step process—Break your goals into daily, weekly and monthly steps to keep you on track.
    • Define how to measure your goals—How will you know you are reaching them? Through revenue? New hires? What does success look like?
    • Set a deadline—When do you expect to achieve your goals? Remember that smaller, incremental deadlines can keep you moving toward your larger deadline.

Step 2: Share your goals

  • Align with partners—Make sure others in the business share your goals, and create a plan so they can help implement them.
    • Keep your goals in plain sight—A daily visual reminder can help ensure consistency.

Step 3: Allocate resources

  • Connect with people who can help you reach your goals—From hiring contract workers for specific jobs to reassigning current employees to capitalize on their strengths, don’t be afraid to delegate. It frees the owner to focus more on the overall plan.

Step 4: Be accountable

  • Appoint someone to hold you accountable—Consider an advisory board or an accountability partner.
    • Set regular meetings—This will help keep your step-by-step process as well as your overall goal top of mind.
    • Write down weekly tasks—Note whether or not you completed them. Postponing things until tomorrow will quickly put you behind schedule.

Step 5: Create Time

  • Track where you are spending your time—For example, only 10 percent of your daily work time should be devoted to email.
    • Keep meetings short—15 to 20 minutes—and focus on decisions. Discuss agenda items and details via email beforehand.
    • Create blocks of time for specific tasks—Take advantage of your most creative times of day.

Remember, to truly get set up for success, make sure your goals are achievable.  

Originally published on WSU Vancouver Business Department webpage