PKF International
PKF Poutsma Lemon Limited
PKF Poutsma Lemon Ltd, Keri Keri, New Zealand
Accountants and business advisers

How's your New Year Resolution going?

New Year Resolutions are fun to make and they make you feel good at the time, because it's always about something you really want and generally about something you know you can do. Nobody really makes a resolution that's too hard for themselves.

The University of Scranton (USA) published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, that roughly 1 in 3 people resolve to do better in some way or another. However, a much smaller percentage of people actually make good on these resolutions. Of the 33% that make a New Year Resolution, 75% stick to it for a week and only 8% achieve success.

Studies also say (which should be no real surprise to anyone) that if you commit your goals to pen and paper and work alongside another person, you are more likely to achieve success.

Whether your goals are personal or business, it makes no difference. Success is determined by the same formula. Success does not just happen by accident, you have to work at it.

Today I saw a new client that wants to achieve a fairly big goal over the next 5 years. So in our meeting we talked about how they were going to achieve success and attain that big goal.

My advice was to start with a 5 year Strategic Plan, pin it to the wall so they always have that vision in front of them, make sure they read it regularly and to ensure any decisions are aimed towards achieving that goal. Remember it's a BIG goal, so there is not a lot of room for messing around.

From their 1 page Strategic Plan (yes that's all it should be not a copy of "War and Peace") will come a 1 year Business Plan (we can allow two pages for this), with steps to achieve the first year of the 5 year Strategic Plan. Breaking it down into manageable steps within a 1 year Business Plan is what I call working "SMARTeR".

This is an acronym for goals that should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realisable, Time Bound and Related to the Strategic Plan.

You can't do this in your head and keep it all there, and if there is more than one of you "not a hope", it needs to be written down. That's the first 2 great steps towards success, setting the goals and writing them down into "SMARTeR" plans.

If you then throw it into the bottom draw and keep doing what you have always done, you will get the results you have always had. Believe me, this happens often with businesses.

The excuses: We are busy in our business and personal lives; Other interrupters just keep on demanding our attention, Something comes onto the horizon that looks like a good idea and diverts us from the ultimate goal; Or the most common problem (and no one is immune from this) just plain and simple procrastination.

So the third step to success is to monitor what you have achieved against the goals that you set and do it on a regular basis. This could be daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, but I wouldn't suggest any longer than quarterly - It just won't work.

If you are working alongside someone, such as your accountant and/or business coach, then you can be assured there will be regular reviews of performance, goals will be set for the next meeting, along with the next meeting, date and analysis will occur for those goals that were successful and those that are going to take a bit more work and time. We usually advocate monthly or quarterly coaching with our clients.

Let's face it, would the All Black's have won the Rugby World Cup once let alone twice in a row, without a good coach? So why should your business be any different?

Remember, business success doesn't just happen by accident, it has to be worked at and it is never too late to start, so don't wait for the New Year to roll around once again.

If you need help preparing a Strategic and/or Business Plan, to devise some strategies and/or to talk to someone about your goals to help you achieve success, then we are very happy to help with both our expertise and experience. We will give you the first hour free to have a chat and see how we can help you.

PKF Poutsma Lemon (Kerikeri) Limited

Alison Lemon



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