Time is funny. In some ways, 2020 seems to have lasted a lifetime. In other ways, many of us aren’t sure what even happened to the summer. But whether you’re still clinging to your shorts or have been wearing boots since Labor Day, the fact is that it’s October and we have only two months left in the year.
You read that right, but we’ll repeat it again for those in the back. If you own or manage a business, that means you only have two months left to reach your 2020 goals.
We know what you’re thinking… this year has been a complete curveball, how can we possibly reach the goals we set back last December? Here’s the reality: COVID-19 aside, there have always been rough years for business owners and managers. Industries ebb and flow. People get sick. Supply chains get disrupted. Consumer needs change. Sure, the goals you set in December might be unrealistic at this point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t finish 2020 strong.
First, when was the last time you actually looked at those goals? If you updated them this summer with all the information at hand, then you’re probably in decent shape, but if you put them in your desk in mid-March and left them behind, you might have some soul searching to do. As you are looking at those goals again, think about ways you can celebrate the progress you were able to make in 2020 and the way your business fought to survive. Maybe you were originally hoping for a 10 percent growth in in-person sales – which might not have happened – but were you able to grow at all? Did some of those sales pivot to online?
Next think about the challenges you and your team overcame as you worked toward those goals during an unprecedented time. If you found your shop closed for months or your capacity significantly limited, what did you do super serve your customers? If you moved to online sales, is that something you’ll continue? Should it be a focus for 2021? What challenges were you unable to meet and how did that keep your business going? Assuming the pandemic continues, what do you need to do moving forward?
With 20/20 hindsight, next look back at the last six months. What worked and what didn’t? What do you wish you did differently? What would you change if you could do it again (other than buy hand sanitizer and toilet paper)? How has this experience made you and your team more agile? How can that positively impact your business moving forward?
Finally, as you think about the next two months, create a strategy for either meeting your existing goals or creating and then meeting a new set of smaller goals. Being able to set and reach even smaller milestones really change your mindset and help motivate your team as you reflect on 2020 and plan for 2021.
While this time of the year is often filled with suggestions about goal setting for the new year, it’s important for everyone to recognize that there’s still time in 2020 to make great strides and do great things. Don’t sell yourself short by looking too far in the future because, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we never truly know what tomorrow will bring.