Creative Goal Setting for Improving your Solo Practice

If you realize that there are aspects of your business you should be improving, do not sit on your hands and blame everyone and everything else. Take a crack at organizing your goals in a way that will be motivating and fun, and see the result of an improved and more ethically sound practice. This is one of a series of mini guidance tips for you and your Business Practice future.

It seems that every solo practitioner I meet has a list of things they would like to be doing better in their practice. Sometimes the motivating factor is business growth, sometimes it’s efficiency. At the heart of many “to do” items, though, is a desire to create a more ethically sound practice. Where do you start?

Don’t Get Stuck, Get Creative

If you hang your shingle with little guidance or infrastructure, the list of things that could be upgraded and shored-up can be overwhelming. The choice is not to either change everything at once or do nothing at all.

The route to moving forward is to set reachable goals. This is not the time to list out the things you need to improve and to be done today as a crisis list. This is the time to think creatively about setting goals for your practice. That means taking a few hours to really look at what you want to have achieved by the end of, say, the end of the year, then in a Business Curve Process Plan work backwards in the steps of what needs to be done and by when.

Goal Setting Does Not Always Mean a To-Do List

A Business Curve approach removes that list and stops it becoming a long endless added to one – which usually means it is less likely we are to do anything about it. The psychological impact of its sheer length shuts down our motivation and crushes any belief that we can succeed.

Creative and Effective Methods of Setting Goals

Timeline your plans. With the Business Curve approach, you work backwards so each action you undertake means a progressive planned step forward towards your bigger end goal.

So how do you do this “Business Curve “plan”? Simple. Here is an example:

1.  List five major things you want to achieve by the end of the year

2.  Then break each one down into steps – going BACKWARDS.

What, backwards? Yes, here is an example. If you want to build a client base of 100 clients by the end of the year, then if the end of the previous December? Well, you don’t simply say I have 20 now so that’s another 80 and divide that equally over the next 16 months.

Understand that a Business Curve is a realistic approach in that the start is slow and time creates a greater momentum of growth speed.

So, getting back to the number needed in September. It might be, say, 80, therefore, you need to attain 20 in the last quarter of the year. Then go backwards to the next quarter and so forth until you get to your current quarter and you clearly see a calculated number required to attain not just a figure plucked from nowhere. Here is what a chart might look like:

  • December – 100
  • September – 75
  • June – 55
  • March – 40
  • December – 30
  • September – 20

Say at the end of July you have 15. You are now to focus purely on attaining five more clients by the end of September, and you are on track to reach your end goal of 100. This gives you a stronger feeling of achievement & focus and ensures you create your marketing focused on real targets to achieve and not “let’s print some brochures and hope we get some clients”.

If you realize there are things you should be improving, do not sit on your hands. Take a crack at organizing your goals in a way that will be motivating and fun, and see the result of an improved and more ethically sound practice.

In another post we cover how to attain clients. You will learn –  how to select a method, try it and measure its effectiveness. More important than which method you choose, is that you choose something and HOW you run with it. 

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