By Justin Zastrow, CEO of Smart Armor.
We're nearing the end of 2017. You have a new year ahead of you. When you're in the startup world, your resolutions will often look a bit different than most. You already wake up early and you most certainly know the importance of a solid gym session.
Put Your Goals on Paper
In any startup, you'll want to focus on your major short-term goals first. Once you start doing business, you'll be going through the initial period of trial-and-error before you can realistically establish long-term goals. Try setting two realistic, major quarterly goals. When those are defined and set, try sending up a few smaller, trial balloon goals that might evolve into productive endeavors. By doing that, you can focus on your major goals while experimenting with creative enhancements. With quarterly reviews, you'll be able to evaluate what's working and which balloons you might want to pop. You might want to put some of the following goals on your list.
Review Your Progress Daily
Your calendar and to-do list need to become your best friend. Start every day with a list and end every day with a review of what you accomplished. If there are things you missed that day, don't be too hard on yourself. Time management can be difficult but holding yourself accountable will make all the difference. Take the time each and every day to assess what progress you've made toward reaching your two major goals and the trial balloons that you've been floating. Progress on some things might have slowed down while others are showing results. Prioritize accordingly.
Increase Your Market Share
This is likely one of your two realistic major goals. You'll want to find more people to buy your product or service. By doing so, an increasing percentage of the market will select your brand. If you're able to increase the products or services that you can offer in the scope of your business, customers who were happy with you in the past will continue to buy from you.
Create a Roadmap for Your Goals
Some companies will set goals without any specifics on how they might achieve them. If you map out the specifics of how you're going to get to that goal, review them when you set your next one or two major goals next quarter. What worked and what didn't work? Substitute in a new idea on your roadmap for anything that didn't work.
Prioritize Your Customers or Clients
Excellent customer service must be reflected everywhere, from the new company values to who you might hire or partner with. Assess your customers' or clients' perceptions of your business and identify the perceptions that relate back to growth spurts. You're likely to find one or two common threads that run between each one.
While most people add traveling, getting in shape or learning a new language to their New Year resolutions, entrepreneurs have to dream for other things. While embarking on a path not yet discovered, it's easy to become discouraged. Always be honest and trust your intuition and your surroundings. You'll be needing to make some changes from time to time, but that's part of any business.
Justin Zastrow is CEO of Smart Armor. He works in the connected home/smart home/IoT/tech space.