Every decision, whether large or small, plays a role in determining the future of your business and its level of success. To help ensure you’re making the right decisions for your business, it’s important to not only set initial goals in your business plan, but to take the time to periodically reevaluate them.
Here are three tips to keep in mind when it comes time to reevaluate your independent consulting goals.
To determine where you need to go next, go back to the days when you were first getting started as an independent consultant. What were your reasons for getting into the field? Why did you decide to go independent?
In other words, don’t lose sight of the driving motivation that got you started in the first place. Keep the first business plan you created as reference to your original goals. Use this document as a guide to move forward without veering too far from your original plan. Staying the course will increase your motivation as you realize how much you’ve already accomplished.
When reevaluating your goals as an independent professional, take a look back at the decisions you’ve made that lead you to your current point. What challenges and obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
Were you ever forced to abandon or drastically change your goals? Did overcoming a challenge shed light on previously unrealized areas of strength? Perhaps you had to reevaluate your clients, billing rate, or even area of expertise. By reflecting and analyzing your path up to this point, you can get a better idea of what has worked well for you—as well as what hasn’t. Keep both your accomplishments and failures in mind when you re-calibrate your goals.
It’s critical that you periodically set clear and specific goals for yourself, as well as a plan to achieve them. Develop these plans of action for every aspect of your business that needs to change and create a way to track progress towards reaching these goals. It’s imperative to have a way to measure your progress, as this will provide invaluable information for future reevaluations.
Remember, reevaluating your goals does not necessarily mean changing them. It’s possible that your current goals are still appropriate for your focus going forward, but taking the time to analyze them will help ensure that you’re on the right track and taking the correct steps.