Why should an accountant be discussing personal goals? Surely that is life coach, tree-huggy, self-help book kind of stuff? Let’s put the record straight here and now in shouty capitals:
CLEAR PERSONAL GOALS ARE FUNDAMENTAL
TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Why? Because if your business is not providing your life with what you want then why are you bothering? Remember why you started your business in the first place - you wanted a better work/life balance, you wanted control of your own destiny, you wanted to run your business from Florence for four months every year (that was one of mine although now downsized to Dorset), you wanted to make a difference, you wanted to make shed loads of money.
Now be honest - does your business give you these things (or whatever particular things you wanted) in your life? If not now, then is there a reasonable expectation that it will do so in the next three years? Most business owners have lost sight of their initial aims and their business has taken over their life with no clear direction leading to stress, resentment and unhappiness.
Your personal and business goals must be aligned and work together so you have a chance of getting what you want out of life through your business. You need to know what path to take when faced with a choice and for this you must have the destination clearly in mind.
How your accountant can help
There are many tools that your accountant can use to help you define your personal goals, use these to derive your business goals, from here set budgets and forecasts and then, most importantly, monitor these on a regular basis to ensure that the business is on track or take remedial action if not.
Make a start now, consider these three questions:
- What would make 2019 a great year for me personally?
- What is the most important change that I need to make in my business to make that happen?
- What must I absolutely stop doing in my business ?
From these goals, we can start to make a plan and turn the plan into numbers against which your actual business performance can be measured. We can keep this plan rolling forward so you can see how far you are along the path to achieving your personal goals through your business success. If you come to a fork in the road with a tough choice to make, we can use financial models and current financial information to determine which road is the most likely to move you closer to achieving your goals.
The Cheshire Cat was right but you don’t need to be Alice (unless you are actually called Alice).