Want to increase profits, improve staff retention or undertake a comprehensive review of your insurance policies during the 2018-19 financial year? Here’s some advice on making your vision a reality.

Just as a no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, few EOFY business goals survive contact with the day-to-day demands of keeping a business afloat. Below, we speak to three businesswomen with an impressive track record of achieving their goals.  

Lyndall’s lessons

In 1997, Lyndall Mitchell spotted a gap in the market for ‘urban retreat’ spas. Twenty-one years after launching Aurora Spa, Mitchell now has spas in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland and her own range of spa products. She employs more than 100 people. She also has a coaching business that helps people “achieve their vision of success”. Here are some strategies that have proven effective for her and her clients. 

Start with a 20-year plan: It’s best to start with the macro vision before drilling down to the micro. Imagine the best-case scenario for your business then work back to create 10-year, five-year and 12-month plans. 

I built Aurora Spa into what it is today by progressively setting more ambitious goals, all of which tied back my ultimate destination. I started off by building brand awareness. Fortunately, both Hugh Jackman and Deb Hutton were fans and helped me get the word out. I concentrated on providing a consistent standard of service, then focused on systematising processes (a big part of achieving those last two goals was developing a comprehensive manual and training staff to follow it so the client experience was consistent). As success grew, I focused on opening more locations and launching a range of products.

Chunk things down:
People try to achieve too much, too soon then become discouraged. Instead of setting a goal of doubling revenue in the next few weeks, it’s more effective to set a goal to increase revenue by 5-10 per cent each month over the next financial year. That’s a more feasible aim. Plus, when you do make your monthly target, you’ll get a dopamine hit instead of feeling deflated because that new client has only boosted revenue 10 per cent rather than 100 per cent. Of course, if you do increase revenue by 5-10 per cent most months, you will easily double your revenue in the space of a year. 

Avoid going goal crazy: If you set lots of goals, you’re unlikely to achieve any of them. That noted, it’s possible to have several goals spread across different areas of your business. You can have a financial goal, such as doubling revenue, as well as an operational goal, such as launching a new service. I never set more than five goals for any 12-month period. 

Regularly review your goals: Every Sunday I read over my goals and work out what I need to get done over the next seven days to move closer to achieving them. That process gives me a sense of clarity and purpose and makes it less likely I’ll get side-tracked by trivialities. That’s what’s powerful about goals; they act as beacons that allow you to keep steering your business in the right direction in a sea of distractions.

Goal setting from the get-go 

You might be thinking that in the early years of a business it’s nigh on impossible to focus on anything other than survival. Two women with newish businesses would beg to differ. 

““The best goals are the ones that are achievable but which push you to do something out of the ordinary.” ”

Peggy Willcox, licensee of Mooney Real Estate Penrith, is a “firm believer” in the power of goal setting. “The best goals are the ones that are achievable but which push you to do something out of the ordinary,” she says. “My goal for the first half of this financial year is to double the rent roll. That’s an ambitious but not ridiculous target.” It’s not a target I can achieve individually, so I expect staff to bring in new business by proactively responding to enquiries, asking existing clients to refer them to others and generally doing their jobs in a way that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Willcox encourages her employees to set and achieve goals. “I ask staff to come up with a list of goals for themselves each month. There are weekly team meetings where everyone discusses how they are going with their goals. Those who achieve their goals are rewarded with bonuses and other benefits. I also put a lot of effort into creating a culture where staff feel like I have their back but maintain a friendly rivalry with their colleagues. Real estate is a competitive industry and a bit of rivalry keeps everyone on their toes.”

Jane Tweedy, the owner of FAQ Business Training, is big on setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals. 

“You need to be able to precisely state what your goal is and track your progress towards achieving it,” she says. Tweed has no time for those who say they have no time to devote to pursuing non-urgent but important goals. “Almost any goal can be broken down into a series of 10-minute tasks. Everyone can eke out at least 10 minutes a day to do one of those tasks,” she argues. 

Tweed’s final tip is to seek support. “There’s no shortage of fellow business owners, business coaches and even government-funded business advisers happy to help you realise your dreams,” she says.   

That insurance review resolution 

Have you spent the last year promising yourself you’ll make sure your business has the appropriate insurance cover? Fortunately, this one goal that can easily be achieved by outsourcing the task to a Steadfast insurance broker.

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