The new year always brings with it the desire to make changes and resolutions that will better both yourself and your company. It can be exciting to look back at all that you’ve achieved in a year and look ahead to what else you can do in the future. Maybe there are certain projects your team didn’t get to that you hope to complete, or goals you didn’t quite reach that seem even more achievable now.
While “new year” projects are an exciting prospect, it can also be overwhelming to try to accomplish so many new goals and initiatives at once. Below, nine Young Entrepreneur Council members shared their best advice for prioritizing and planning during Q1.
Young Entrepreneur Council members share tips for prioritizing projects for the new year.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Ensure Your Chosen Goals Are Attainable But Challenging
Setting goals that you don’t truly believe in is a dangerous game, because whenever you set a goal that you do not meet, you train yourself, habitually, to not meet goals in the future. This is unacceptable. That said, you do need to stretch yourself slightly with your goal setting; otherwise, you’ll be forever set for the status quo. What’s the solution? When setting goals, ask yourself, “Is this goal reasonably attainable?” If you comfortably answer, “Yes,” and you feel that this goal stretches you a little, then that’s the goal you should set. Once you meet this goal that you have set for yourself, celebrate your success and tell your worried mind in the future that you are a person that hits your goals successfully. Then, set the next one a little higher. – Jonathan Sparks, Sparks Law
2. Identify Areas Where You Can Improve
The key to prioritizing for the new year is reviewing your long-term “North Star” goals as a business and then comparing those goals against your current challenges and learnings (i.e. reviewing “what’s going well” and “what needs to be improved”). A few good work sessions with your key leadership team can ensure your current strategy is getting you where you need to go. Such a session should highlight the “gaps” that need to be prioritized and the “wins” that can be leveraged for greater success in the new year. – Cooper Harris, Klickly
3. Make A Timeline Spanning Eight Quarters
To avoid being overwhelmed with too many goals in the new year, I suggest you plot out your future growth in a timeline for the next eight quarters. What do you want to do in each quarter? How do you see yourself growing into new divisions and within your industry? Write that down and then type it up. After seeing your plan from a high-level viewpoint, now take the first two approaching quarters and add as many details as possible to make a better plan for the near future. Always be two quarters ahead. Don’t worry about sticking to it, as plans will change, but plotting a detailed plan will always leave you less stressed and more capable of achieving your goals. – Michael Sinensky, WeShield
4. Consider The Domino Effect Of Decisions
Have your top-line goals and also think about what the big domino is that will knock down a lot of other dominos. Be aware of dependencies—where things that need to be done require other things to be done first. Solving those dependencies is crucial because it allows you to do other things later and focus on the bigger picture. At Bounce, for example, if we can successfully bring new partner stores on board, everything else is built on top of that. If we went the other way around and focused on perfecting some other process, the impact wouldn’t be as great. So it’s very important to know those parts of your business that everything else relies on. – Cody Candee, Bounce
5. Look To The Trends
Prioritize the trends. You can’t make a big deal about scheduling your projects. Prioritize what’s hot and strike when there’s a chance. Be flexible enough to extend when it works and stop when it doesn’t. What matters most is that you get it done with efficiency and awesome results. – Daisy Jing, Banish
6. Focus On What Not To Do
I have “shiny ball” syndrome and can easily be distracted, so part of my morning ritual involves writing down the three most important things for the day so I’m laser-focused on what needs to be done. This supplements my bigger goals that I break down into quarterly chunks. I identify these quarterly goals by first writing down the 15 to 20 most important things I want to achieve this year. Then I give a score from one to seven to the things that are most important to me. Everything with scores of four and below gets crossed off, and I dedicate myself to ignoring those goals. I focus on what not to do. Whatever is left on the list goes through a second round and process of elimination, and I’m ultimately left with three goals for the year. These are broken into quarterly metric goals. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office
7. Remember Your KPIs And Resources
Prioritization is the hallmark of any successful manager or entrepreneur. Always keep your KPIs and goals in mind, and then let your decisions be made to accomplish those. I always prefer to evaluate everything I can do and select the tasks I should do based on high value, low effort. Pick tasks that can result in the most benefit with the least amount of time and resources to go into it. This way you can complete more important tasks faster and work toward your goals faster. – Andy Karuza, Base64.ai
8. Speak With Your Team Members For Their Insights
As they say, it’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Start the new year off by getting feedback from your team. These individuals know your business better than anyone. They know what works, what doesn’t work and what could be improved upon. They can share experiences over the past year and shed light on processes that need to be thrown out or strengthened. They hold the answers to all of those where-do-we-go-from-here questions, and they can provide the best ideas about what to go for in Q1. To achieve this, sit down with your team and really listen to all their ideas and suggestions. With their sharp insights, you can hit the ground running with your 2022 planning. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
9. Complete A Time, Cost and Resource Analysis For Each Project
Create a matrix that lets you see what each project will cost, the time to completion and the elements you need in place to make it happen. Try and plan out these projects so that you can get the higher-percentage tasks (the more likely to succeed) and those with an estimated higher ROI done first. Getting the more accessible and more lucrative projects out of the way will give you the momentum and the funds to take on the other projects in the coming year. There is always a chance the more complex projects will stall in their progress, and this can put an undue burden on your teams and get in the way of other critical tasks for months to come. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
Source by www.forbes.com