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Happy New Year – It’s Time for New Financial Goals

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Happy New Year – It’s Time for New Financial Goals

It’s time for new financial goals as you celebrate the old year and plan the new year.

Congratulations, you’ve survived another financial year and today is the first day of a new one. Is this year going to be different from last year, or will it be the same again… It’s time to review the past and reset your financial goals for the new year.

A new year is a great time for a reset of your business. However, I recommend a reset at least every quarter with a major reset at the beginning of a new year.

What is a reset?

For me, it encompasses a few parts. Firstly, it’s time to reflect on what I’ve achieved. I review the last month, quarter, year and usually take a few minutes to go back a few years to consider just how far I’ve come. I take a look at what I’ve achieved, what I haven’t achieved, what I’ve done differently, and what new skills I’ve learned. Then I also take a look at what is still on my to-do list that I haven’ done yet (that perhaps I had hoped to have done already). 

It’s a time to celebrate the good. If you don’t keep a list of your little wins each week (which I highly recommend you do), write down what you’ve achieved in the past quarter. If you’ve got your weekly lists, review them all for the quarter and write down your top 10. Then celebrate in whatever way is a celebration for you.

It’s also time to re-think and re-frame the bad.

It’s about taking responsibility for the things that didn’t go quite right, or were a complete disaster or failure and thinking about how I could have done things differently, could have thought differently and reacted differently to get a different outcome.

And, of course, it’s time to look at the numbers.

Take a look at how the business numbers were for last month, the quarter and the year that was? Did you achieve the financial goals that you’d set for the business? If not, why not.

It may be that opportunities arose that you hadn’t expected that had an impact, good or bad on the numbers. It may be that you achieved your revenue target but not your profit target. Or it may be that you’ve achieved your revenue targets, but you’ve no money in the bank because your clients or customers haven’t paid their invoices on time.

The next step is to plan the next month, the next quarter, and particularly when we’re at the beginning of a new financial year, the next year.

Time to set some financial goals, goals that are achievable and yet are a stretch too. Be realistic with your revenue targets. It’s better to set goals that you can achieve than be “failing” each month when you don’t reach an impossible revenue target, even though you should be celebrating because you’ve increased revenue from the previous month, or compared to the same period in the previous year. 

Beware, when setting your financial goals to also be realistic about your expenses, make an allowance for contingencies, for those unexpected costs that always happen each year. Each year it will be something different, but guaranteed something will crop up that you weren’t expecting.

Then look at your cash flow.

It’s good to do a twelve month projection based on your budget, but it’s equally important to have a more detailed rolling budget for the upcoming three or four months. This detailed budget could be monthly, or it may be more useful to have that broken down into the weeks of the month, particularly if you’re struggling with cash flow challenges.

My final step in my reset process.

As I’m a solopreneur, is to discuss my re-set figures with my accountability buddy. The key is to have someone who you need to “report” to on your progress. If you have a business partner, then this is a conversation for you both to have and to keep track on together. It’s a bit like going to the gym. If you have a personal trainer or a buddy to go with, chances are higher (for most of us) that we’ll go as we’ve committed to be there for them.

Left to our own devices, it’s easy to decide not to bother to go. It’s the same with your financial goals, having someone to report to is important as it may give you just that extra bit of encouragement to push a little harder to meet the targets. 

So, celebrate your successes, however small or big they may be, and reset your goals for the new financial year, both financial and non-financial and enjoy the new year ahead.

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