‘G’ is for Goals

You have made the decision to launch your business, you know your area of expertise and what makes your product or services unique. Now what?

Goals are an important part of any business and putting those goals into tiers is a smart way to go about planning. When we’re in the midst of goal setting, we’re looking at a number of different timelines: Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. I find it to be easiest to grab an Excel document, map out the next 52 weeks, dividing them by month. Next, I look at each individual cell and work to fill them with a variety of goals.

When I’m setting goals, I’m looking at them from both a personal perspective and a business perspective. Because I’m the face of our company, both types of perspectives tend to meld into one.

First, I begin with my charitable contributions (this includes not only donated cash, but also services). Each year I evaluate which organizations I’m supporting and the level of our relationship. These nonprofits are selected based on a few different criteria:
1.    What’s the connection to my own life? For some causes, like ovarian cancer, there is no question that I will be involved in some capacity because that cause is so close to my heart. For other causes, like a pet-related organization, my heart strings have been pulled and I have to help.
2.    Are there networking opportunities? Because I’m a business owner, with every activity I do, I’m always looking for opportunities to network. As I’m looking at my affiliations, I’m also evaluating where I’m going to meet movers and shakers within my community. My cancer group feeds my soul, my pet group feeds my heart, and a business group feeds my belly.

Once I’ve established which charities will be a focus of mine in the coming year, then I begin exploring exactly how I’ll be involved. With each group, my involvement varies. For some I may sit on a board, for others, I’m merely a volunteer that helps on a limited basis. The calendar I mentioned earlier helps plan volunteer efforts quite nicely. Being able to see the groups, the time commitments, etc. in one place puts it all into perspective. You don’t want to under- or over-promise your level of commitment.

Then professional development is explored. Professional development for me is daily blog reading, business groups, mentor sessions, and sometimes conferences. I’m always looking for ways to not only better myself as a public relations professional, but also as a CEO.

By outlining my commitments throughout the year, I can challenge myself to fill voids, find new organizations, and constantly tweak how my time is spent. After all, time is money.

And finally, the business is reviewed. For business goals, I’m looking across the board: How we run the business, who works with us from an employee perspective and also from a client perspective. What can we do better? What can we do that our competition is not?

By stepping back and looking at the business, it’s efficiencies and where we need to improve, I can set thorough goals. Some examples of past goals include: Improving client service, finding a better way to track time, locating CPG PR pros, etc.

For the business, in addition to laying the goals out in that Excel document I mentioned, I further examine each goal by laying out the problem and the solution. An example:

Problem: Because we’re a network of associates throughout the country, team communication can always be better. Let’s explore ways to keep everyone connected.
Solution: Yammer.com. Through Yammer, anyone with a Snackbox.us address can be a part of an online community where we share account progress, media pitching tips, etc. Through the iPhone and desktop apps, we’re able to quickly update each other.

By planning and setting goals for yourself and your business, you can work to improve your work life. And, I can say this with great confidence: The better your work life is, the happier you’ll be which affects your employees, your clients, and your bottom line.