What's your BHAG?22nd December 2017
It’s that time of the year when we’re all thinking about our resolutions for 2018, and the actions we are going to take to improve our private lives - and our businesses.
Unfortunately, most of these well-intentioned resolutions usually come to nothing. And they come to nothing fast. According to a piece in BusinessInsider.com, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.
That may not be life-altering if your personal resolution is to learn a new skill or hobby, but what about your business resolution?
Most company’s goals for the new year are financial. You either want to achieve more growth or more profit. As company owner, a good goal is also to put together and implement an exit plan.
The penalties if you don’t manage to follow these through are real and painful. Stagnation, loss of income, stress due to financial pressure, not being able to spend as much time as you’d like with your family and friends because you are tied up at work – these are all common outcomes.
If you’re not going forward, you’re going backwards.
So if you want to create a business resolution that will actually get you somewhere, and that you won’t just set and forget, what’s the best approach?
Well, first of all you need a BHAG – a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal.
The term was coined by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.
The idea is that high-growth companies don’t set small, short-term, easily achievable goals, but big, lofty ones that stretch you, inspire your team and give everyone a common purpose to work towards.
Examples might include Microsoft, whose BHAG under Bill Gates was to put “a computer on every desk and in every home”, or Volvo, which has vowed that by 2020, no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo.
These were ambitious – but achievable.
And even if you don’t quite achieve your BHAG, by shooting for the stars, you are still likely to land further than you ever would have done with a smaller target.
Let’s be honest: Who’s more likely to see their profits boosted by 40% next year? The company that puts in place plans to boost them by 60%, or the company that aims to boost them by 20%?
We’ve found that having a BHAG has really pushed Insight Associates forward.
This time last year, we set an ambitious goal of doubling our turnover over the next two years. We are already well on the way, having grown by 25% last year, and with plenty more growth forecast in the coming months.
Setting such a big, hairy, audacious goal really made me change the way I thought about growth. I was forced into problem-solving mode to figure out the “how,” and generally raised my sights, which — in turn — raised my business.
Of course, having a BHAG isn’t enough on its own. Over the next couple of blogs, I’ll give you some guidelines on how to make sure it actually gets implemented.
But let’s take first things first.
Are you on board to set a BHAG for your own company? Will you join me in setting one now so we can both see exponential growth next year?
Let me know what your BHAG is — I’d love to see it!
I’m looking forward to seeing your Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal, AND your company’s growth in 2018!
PS. Whenever you’re ready… Here are four ways I can help you sort out financial issues in your business:
1. Give your company a financial health check
Make sure there are no nasty surprises lurking in your accounts and that your cash is being handled safely and professionally. Click here to find out more.
2. Grab a copy of my book, Business by Numbers
Discover how to put the right financial foundations in place for your business, so you can grow faster. It’s like having me at your beck-and-call, 24/7, for less than £10. Click here.
3. Work directly with me and my team.
If you’d like to work directly with us to make sure you take the very best financial decisions for your business and grow faster, just reply to this message and put “Working directly” in the subject line. Tell me a little bit about your business and what you want to achieve financially, and I’ll get back to you with details.
4. Join our ‘Just One Day’ programme.
We’ll spend a day with you and your directors, putting together a detailed, workable plan to drive your business forwards. Perhaps for the first time, you’ll achieve complete clarity on where you need to take your business – and exactly how to get there. Mail me here for more details.