January 2017 - In This Issue:
Josh Paul, Owner of Chick-fil-A, Arden Fair, understands how to not only set strategic goals, but also recognizes the importance of monitoring them for success.

Q&A: New Year, New Slate
Q:  I own a moderately sized business, and we want to start the year out right. We have grown significantly over the last three years, and now we know we need to do things a little differently. What would you suggest we do to start the new year out right?

- Manuel, Service Business
A:  January means we're all getting ready to close out another year. I take the month of December as a time to reflect on my brand. Specifically, I assess what worked well during the past year, what didn't work well and what I'd like to tweak for the upcoming year. I would encourage you to do the same!

The new year provides a new start, the opportunity to grow your business and make positive entrepreneurial decisions. Don't waste them! 

How you start the new year, can set the precedence for the next 12 months. Here are some of the common pitfalls Entrepreneur Magazine lists that entrepreneurs tend to spend January doing, and what you can do instead.

1.Without Resolutions

Don't like resolutions? That's okay; just refer to them as something else such as goals. That aside, the reality is that it's time to re-visit and re-draft your business plan , or finally get a final draft on paper if that's where you are on your entrepreneurial journey. Even a family business is run like an entrepreneurial business. This is your blueprint of goals, challenges and the ultimate checklist. It's often one of the most dreaded tasks, unless you happen to be a writer.  Fortunately, the  Small Business Administration offers free help (online or in person), so there's no excuse to avoid it any longer! At Jeanne Reaves Consulting, we can also help. Call us for assistance. 

2.Without a CPA and/or a Tax Attorney
It's January, which means the last quarterly taxes are due for the 2016 year , and April will be here before we know it. A CPA , or possibly a tax attorney , is an invaluable tool for business owners, and the ticket to saving as much of that hard-earned income as possible. If you don't have a go-to expert, research one now and book an appointment. Don't wait until March or April, as it will be difficult to secure an appointment because they are preparing taxes for their current clients.

3. With an Undecided Corporation Status

Have you carefully assessed your situation , and think sole proprietorship is the best corporation for you? That's fine, you don't have to do anything fancy (or with paperwork) to keep the IRS happy. However, if you've been mulling over an LLC, S-Corp, or other type of status, get that filing done now.

4. Still in Holiday Mode

Just because January is a long month don't treat it like you're still on break. Actually, for early stage entrepreneurs, you shouldn't have had too long a break in the first place. There's more to starting 2017 right than following  Reader's Digest's tips for losing that holiday weight. You should also look at how to trim the excess from your business.

5. With the Same Problems as 2016

Not all business problems can be ditched overnight. However, sometimes they can. Whether it's letting a subpar employee go, or changing your outreach strategy, take a moment to assess what didn't work last year, and then tick them off your list. A fresh start is what the new year is all about, so get rid of the stale stuff from 2016.

6. Without Motivation

Getting motivated , or re-motivated isn't always easy, but as an entrepreneur you need to figure out how to maintain your motivation. Discover what kicks you into high gear , and what tricks just aren't cutting it. Without motivation, you're running on empty, and that's no way to ring in 2017.

Entrepreneurs are in a class by themselves when it comes to resolutions and starting the new year off with a bang. Get on board (whatever that means to you) , and make the most of the next 12 months. Become what you're destined to become! 

Jeanne Reaves Consulting can help you with strategic planning for 2017 and beyond. So, if you're looking for some assistance, contact us and we can help you make sure you reach your goals and implement your plan.

Setting Goals Can be Fun, and Achievable if Done Right

Can you believe 2016 has already come to a close? 2016 was unique; namely because a dynamic shift took place in our political landscape, surprising many. How was your year? Would you call it successful? Or did you experience some challenges, either personally or professionally? No matter what you may have experienced that was last year. We can't change what happened, good or bad, but we can look forward with hope in 2017. 
If we want things to happen in our favor, then goal setting is critical to our success. We may make a goal to eat healthier, pursue a new hobby, or even take a vacation because it's something we haven't been doing. 
Then there's goal setting at the office. Setting goals in the workplace is essential for not only motivating staff, but also to see success.  The 10/90 rule in smart goal setting says that the first 10% of the time you spend developing absolute clarity about what is to be done will save you 90% of the time once you begin. It can also save you 90% of the mistakes, the costs and the time of other people involved.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable
R = Relevant
T = Time-bounded
When setting a goal, you must ask yourself, "What do I want to accomplish? What is my end goal? Who can help make this happen? What are the steps to accomplish the tasks along the way?" Also make sure to consider this: have those who can help implement your goals been involved in your goal setting process? A common problem in achieving a goal stems back to a lack of clarity in setting the goal in the first place. If you don't know/understand what you want, how can you get results?

If you can't measure results, you don't have a realistic, attainable goal. Goals you can measure are often related to the financials, improving operations, broadening services or market penetration because you can measure your outcomes. The clearer the measures, the easier it is to focus and concentrate on achieving results. 
Analyzing where you are now, also allows you to understand what you will need to do. If your goal is to increase market share by 5%, then you need to know your current market share in order to know how much you need to grow by.
A = Achievable
Is the goal realistic? Can it be accomplished within the constraints of time, money, the external environment, the economy, the skills and abilities of the team members and other constraints from both inside and outside the company? 
One of the ways to make sure the goal is successful, is to have the people who will be involved in the goal's success become part of the decision.
It's also critical that you believe you can achieve your goal. If you start by doubting your possibilities, one thing will happen for sure: you will fail. It's been scientifically proven that a self-fulfilling prophecy, and what you expect will eventually manifest itself in your reality. On the contrary, if you really believe you can do it, you will start seeing all the possibilities to make it happen. This gives you more courage and energy to set a lofty goal. 
In addition to the SMART model, goals need to be set with a desire to complete them. 
R = Realistic
It is good to stretch yourself and your team members, but being realistic is critical to success. Is the goal within the bounds of reality, and is it something the staff can develop a high level of confidence in achieving? In goal setting, many goals are "merely aspirational" and do not reflect reality.
So what can you do to help you and your team believe you can achieve your lofty goals? Set the process up so there are attainable steps to reaching the goal, so everyone can see and enjoy the interim successes.
Be realistic about obstacles. I guarantee you will encounter difficulties on your way to achieving your desired outcomes. But, don't let that discourage you. Everybody who has achieved great success in his or her lives, had to overcome some kind of obstacle.
Think of what could be an obstacle. Knowing what the worst case scenario can be, allows you to be prepared. Therefore, if the obstacle does appear (though it doesn't always have to), you will know exactly what to do.
Brian gives a very interesting theory on obstacles. He uses a famous Pareto rule of 80/20 and explains it this way: 80% of all obstacles comes from within us, and only 20% are due to external factors. Keep this in mind as you steer the course towards reaching your goal!
T = Time-Bounded
If you have specific schedules for the attainment of each part of the goal, and the completion of each part of the task, it is much easier for people to achieve the goal on schedule. Another way of saying this, is that long range goals need to be set with milestones along the way.
The key to achieving your goal is persistence. No matter how much talent you have, if you don't persist you might just give up right before your big breakthrough. Don't let failures discourage you. You already know that obstacles will happen, and whatever those obstacles may be, work them out and keep moving forward. Once you decide you want to achieve a goal, make a decision to never give up.
When the goals are completed, celebrate the success! Everybody needs to be recognized for their individual accomplishments by the people around them, and especially above them. Since your team members are intrinsically motivated, it is the anticipation of the recognition they will receive for the completion of a task that motivates them internally to "go the extra mile."
A good tactic for motivating employees is to give positive recognition for an accomplishment, which raises a person's self-esteem, improves their self-image and motivates them to do even more in the future.
Interested in chatting more about goal setting? Contact Jeanne Reaves Consulting, and let us help you not only set your goals, but achieve them too.

Notable Nonprofits
Supporting Sacramento's Nonprofits is important to us.

About the Sheriff's Community Impact Program
The Sheriff's Community Impact Program (SCIP), was founded in 2010 by Deputy Mike Saigeon, who currently serves as a Youth Officer for the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. Drawing upon his early work experience in recreation programming, and combining it with his current law enforcement profession, Deputy Saigeon wanted to create a robust community program where law enforcement had an opportunity to reach out to and connect with underserved youth and their families in a positive way. In today's volatile climate, where many communities are questioning the relationship law enforcement has with the communities they are sworn to protect and serve, SCIP'S community-oriented approach is paramount to building public trust, and serves as an example for other communities.

SCIP is: 
  • A youth-serving non-profit organization that plays a key role in the Sheriff's plan to reduce juvenile delinquency in Sacramento County;
  • A community partnership helping youth make good choices in their everyday lives; and, 
  • A dynamic program of activities and leadership opportunities to develop youth in an environment where they can have a positive experience with law enforcement.
SCIP is also about empowering a community to reach out and work together in addressing juvenile delinquency. While activities and programs provide a safe environment for students, many organizations fall short in making a true long-term, sustainable impact in a community. SCIP strives to facilitate a collaborative environment where the concept of 'wrap-around services' can be woven into the police activity league (PAL) concept. SCIP  wants to work in partnership with social workers, counselors, teachers and probation officers to create a comprehensive program that gives parents and students the tools needed to be connected to their community and school.
For more information about SCIP, please visit their website at www.sacscip.org,
or call 916.333.6464 ext. 3106.

To learn more about Jeanne Reaves Consulting's community involvement and how we support nonprofit organizations, visit our website.

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