There’s no doubt that it can be remarkably difficult to focus on the future when you’re in the middle of an extremely trying time. Simply trying to manage day by day tasks can prove challenging in an ever-changing environment. Despite being months into COVID-19, do forgive yourself if you feel like you haven’t gotten it together yet.
This pandemic has had a massive impact on the economy and practically every business has been greatly affected by this global event. Certain things may feel completely out of control but it’s important to keep focused on your business and what you can do to move it forward so you can come out of this situation in the best position possible.
While it may feel like all you can do is survive as a business owner, it’s important to be diligent and purposeful in your goal setting now more than ever. While there is much that is out of our control we can manage the direction we’d like to see our business go in the future - even if that means pivoting or exploring different avenues.
While long-term goal setting is very important, right now the focus should be on short-term goals. By using short-term goals we’re keeping very focused on what is happening now and creating a practical response. With so much changing so quickly it may feel like a waste of time to spend too much time on the long haul goals when we just don’t know what the future holds. Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t be thinking ahead, you always want to know the direction your business is heading in and have a plan in mind, rather my focus of this article is intended to allow you to be more fluid in how you go about achieving your goals.
Short term goals are also great because they build momentum and can deliver quick wins for your business. In difficult times having a series of wins can make things feel a little more stable and in control. Keeping a more narrow focus and setting goals based on the current economic climate allows you to better serve your clients and make necessary adjustments along the way. Short term goals also allow you to see what’s working and what isn’t much quicker as you’ll be evaluating things more frequently. This means you won’t waste time or energy on things that aren’t serving your business or your clients effectively.
There is no doubt that these can be scary, overwhelming times. Uncertainty over what’s next has left many business owners feeling paralyzed over what their next move should be. A few things to take comfort in is knowing that economy has survived trying situations multiple times. In fact, since 1962 Canada has gone through four recessions and the economy has always seen strong growth in the period that follows.
It may not be smooth sailing. The ideas and goals you had previously set may not be viable or realistic during this time. That’s OK. As business owners and leaders, we adapt. We take stock of our current situation, evaluate, plan, and put that plan in motion. Don’t stress or beat yourself up if it feels like you are having to change your goals more frequently during this time. If you are changing it means you are paying attention to the current situation and modifying as necessary.
Be clear about your goals to those on your team and focus on keeping them productive and making the changes needed to adapt. Remember, economic hardship has happened multiple times in the past and we’ve always pulled through. Businesses that focus on changing to better serve their clients have actually flourished after downturns. Setting short term, tangible goals won’t only help to keep your business moving forward, it will also help with morale and give focus during these times of uncertainty.
Drop me a line to let me know what some of your short term goals are.