Crafting your goals
We all want our businesses to grow, otherwise, we wouldn’t have opened in the first place. However, It’s pretty hard to track progress if we don’t set goals for ourselves.
It sounds easy, but take your time when doing this. Goals can help you track your progress and see where you should go next. They give you and your team something to strive for, something to push yourselves towards. Psychology Today offers some great tips to creating goals for yourself, your team, and your agency, but here are some things to keep in mind when crafting your goals.
Write it out
Take time and jot down ideas from your head; they don’t need to be fully formulated or formal. They don’t even need to be coherent. Just get the swirling thoughts down, then start to sift through them to clarify and hone in on what you specifically want to achieve. Creating an outline-type of goal sheet will help you remember other goals and think of new ones since it’ll jump start your thinking process.
Lofty goals are great to have, but if they’re too out of reach, they will dampen spirits around the office. You want to push your team to pursue higher goals, but you need to keep them within reason. They should be challenging but reachable, so that when you do achieve it your team feels empowered. This will create a momentum for your agency; your team will want to keep pushing themselves forward, and they will believe in the goal even more. Goals can mean the difference between growing your business and maintaining a stalemate of non-progression.
Keep it positive
Goals are great things to have, but they should always be positive and progressive in their wording. Instead of saying “spend less time on processing commissions” you could turn it and say “process my commissions more efficiently” or “upgrade my technology to simplify my commissions processing.” Goals are things you want to achieve for the better, keeping them positive will make a big difference. They’ll excite you more if they’re positive because you’ll feel how they are bettering you, plus it’ll be a benefit for your psyche. You’re striving for this, make sure you’re always striving for the positive.
Don’t be too generic
Don’t just say “I want to make more money,” because of course you do, we all do! Be specific in how you want your agency to improve. For example, “I want to generate x amount more leads” or “I want to reach x amount more people" or “I want to grow my agency (clients, polices, agents) by x amount.” Generic goals won’t provide you with much satisfaction when completed, and they won’t help you track your agency efficiently. You won’t be entirely sure if you’ve achieved it or not since the goal is too gray. The more black and white you can be with your goals the better, you’ll be able to track your progression and feel better because you know for certain that you have achieved your goal.
Split up the goals
You don’t want a large goal constantly hovering over your head. That’s just tedious and a bit negative on your momentum. Break your goals into tinier bits that you can disperse throughout the timeline. When put together, the small pieces equal the larger goal, but it will help you stay on track throughout the timeline. If you can, assigning different segments of the goal to different people can help ensure that it’ll get done since everyone will have a task and an individual goal within the overarching goal.
Utilize your team members to help you set goals. You know where you want to go, but your team members might have ideas you hadn’t thought of or insights about the realistic nature of the goals you’ve set. Making your goals a team effort is key, the more you let your team be a part of the company, the stronger your team will be. Having a stronger team will also push all of you to achieve the goals, think of all the ideas you could accomplish if you all worked towards a similar one!
Don’t be lazy
Once you have your goals set make sure you pursue them. There’s no point in taking the time of crafting your goals if they’re just going to sit on your shelf gathering dust with the books you never read. If you want to progress, then you will have to put in the work to reach that point. If you do split the goals into smaller segments, then make sure you celebrate each achievement when you accomplish one of those segments. Regular positive feedback can be supremely beneficial for your team and will empower them to keep reaching and pushing themselves.
Put your plan into action
Figure out the time frame you’d like to see these goals accomplished. Do you want this done by the end of this month? This year? Next year? Even five-year goals are beneficial; they’ll help your agency have direction. No matter what the deadline is, make sure it exists. Not having a timeline could mean the lack of accomplishment, which isn’t profitable for anyone. Also, note that these time frames should be malleable, you might need to adjust a couple of months down the road, you might have to adjust more than once, that’s okay, just make sure you always have a deadline.
Another way to be sure your goals are beneficial for your agency is to determine if they’re SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based) goals. Do you have some goals in mind? Use this spreadsheet to determine if they’re SMART goals.
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