WoW Blog

Resolutions vs. Goals | What is behind the door in 2014?

Posted By Victoria WoW January 6th, 2014

 *Photo by WoW Member, Karen McNeil Photography

Tis the season. The post-season, if you will. The pine needles have been swept up. The ornaments go into hibernation for another year. The last of the holiday treats are tossed into the trash in a symbolic gesture of getting a healthy start on the New Year.

And of course, tis the season for the endless debate about RESOLUTIONS. It seems everyone wants to know: do you make them? Do you keep them? For how long? If you don't make them, why not?

Whether or not you choose to make New Year's Resolutions, as business owners, the start of a new cycle always seems to invite us to reflect on our past year's successes, plateaus, missed opportunities and failures, and then look ahead to contemplate our future. How will my business be more successful this year?

Perhaps you are a new business. You might have your sights set on acquiring new clients, or investing more in marketing, or hiring someone to take on all those tasks that make your palms sweat.

Or maybe you are the owner of an established business whose focus is to maintain your competitive edge amongst your competitors. Maybe you want to expand your business to attract a different clientele.

You may even be a mature business. Perhaps you are considering selling your business, or creating a succession plan for someone else to take over. Or maybe you want to dip your toe into social media marketing to see how you engage more with your current clients.

Regardless of the maturity of your business, planning for future growth is an exercise we must all engage in. This is where our resolutions come in.

But is a RESOLUTION the same as a GOAL?

Yes. And no.

Think of some resolutions you have made in the past. They can be personal or business-related. They might sound something like:

Get healthy.
Quit ___________ <insert your vice here>.
Spend more quality time with my loved ones.

Attract more clients.
Market more effectively.
Prepare for my retirement.

A resolution is an intention you set. It is an outcome you want to achieve. But in and of itself, a resolution is not a plan of action to hold yourself accountable until you achieve your desired outcome. This is where goal-setting comes into play. And perhaps you have heard this before, but goal-setting needs to be S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T Goals are universally recognized by business experts and leaders as the methodology to ensure you transform your best intentions into achievable goals.

A goal that is S.M.A.R.T is:

Specific : Each goal needs to be focused on a specific outcome. It must reflect WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, HOW.

Measurable : You must establish how you will measure your progress, and whether you have achieved the goal.

Attainable : Your goal needs to be realistic within the time frame you have specified; otherwise you might become discouraged if you don’t achieve it quick enough.

Relevant : The goal must represent something that fits into your overall vision and values.

Timely : Each goal must reflect a concrete time frame to create a sense of urgency.

*Photo by Rita Steensen, WoW Team Photographer

Let's say your resolution is to "Attract more clients" (because who doesn't want that?). Your S.M.A.R.T. Goal might look more like this:

WHAT: This year, my company will launch a referral program that will bring in more new clients.

WHY: I want to celebrate the loyalty of my existing clients, and save money on print advertising by leveraging my reputation to bring in new clientele.

HOW: I will reward each of my existing clients with a $25 credit towards their next service for each client they refer to me.

WHEN: I will launch this program by April 1st, 2014.

WHAT ELSE IS NEEDED?: To promote the program, I will need postcards that describe the incentive which I will mail to my past clients, and I will need to update my website to showcase the program.

WHO ELSE IS INVOLVED?: My graphic designer, my web designer.

MEASURE OF SUCCESS: At the end of 2014, using the data I collect to add to my mailing list, my number of new clients will have increased by at least 15%. I will review this data at the end of each quarter to see if I am on track.

When you transform your resolutions into concrete, accountable goals, you set yourself up for success. You give yourself a timeline to work within, and a yardstick to measure how much of your goal you have already achieved, and how much is remaining. The key is to continue to check in on a regular basis.

So Happy New Year to all our WoW Members! Go make your resolutions and set your S.M.A.R.T. Goals. We wish you all continued success in 2014, and we will do as much as we can to support your business.

In the wedding industry, the start of the new year represents a new bridal season. Following the flurry of romantic holiday proposals, newly engaged couples are starting to envision their dream weddings. The marathon of bridal exhibitions is about to begin, and before you can say "never-ending nuptials", your business is in full swing. Are your goals in place?


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