Connect with us

Business + Management: Marty Mcghie

Forging a Smoother Road Ahead

Plan for 2006 by reviewing 2005.




Often, we begin the new business year by talking about goals,
projections, budgets, and other planning tools. Certainly these
are all necessities of any successful shop's operation. But you
don't want to overlook an equally important part of planning:
reviewing the past.

It's all too easy to enter 2006 with great plans and renewed
energy, and then forget to review your goals from the past 12
months. While it may be a little painful to do so, it's important
that you go back and examine what went wrong last year. Review
which goals you set for 2005 that you did not accomplish.

You can probably classify
the goals that you didn't
achieve into two general categories:
goals you set but
never got around to working
on, and goals you worked on
but did not achieve.

First are the goals that
you set but never really
worked on. These goals
may be those that were
“pie-in-the-sky” goals”?
ones that were not realistically
attainable. Perhaps,
in hindsight, you now realize that these goals may indeed have
been attainable, but you ignored them at the time because they
seemed too difficult to achieve and they required too much
extra work. Or perhaps they seemed liked good goals when you
set them up, but you decided somewhere along the way that
they were “meaningless goals.”

Whatever the reason, it will be useful when outlining this
year's plans to evaluate why these particular goals were not
achieved. Doing so will help you avoid the same mistakes when
planning for this year.

The second category of goals not achieved are the ones
that you worked hard to accomplish, but couldn't pull off. These
goals may be even more relevant to evaluate. Perhaps with
more consistent effort from your team”?or a little more time”?
you can still achieve them. If so, set them up as a new goal for
this coming year, modifying them to address any changes in
your situation.


Your smartest goals
Having addressed the past, it's now time to examine some
planning strategies for the upcoming year. I suggest you do
so using “SMART” goals”?goals that are specific, measurable,
attainable, relevant, and time-bound:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clearly spelled out so there
    is no doubt as to what you expect. When goals are specific, they
    also become easier to track and measure in terms of progress.

  • Measurable: If you want to know whether or not you are
    accomplishing your goals, they must be able to be measured.
    Without the ability to quantify progress in real terms, you and
    your staff can become discouraged and disinterested.

  • Attainable: Don't set goals that are unattainable. This can be
    tricky because if the goal is too easily achieved, no real growth or
    success will occur. On the other hand, if the goal is too difficult to
    reach, no real effort will be spent in trying and you will fail. The
    best goals are those that require you to stretch to achieve. At
    my company, “stretch goals” is a key phrase we use often in our
    planning”?whether it be monthly, quarterly, or annually.

  • Relevant: Make sure you set goals that, when achieved, will
    mean something. If you want your employees to work toward
    accomplishing something, they must feel that it's an achievement
    that will be relevant to your company's success”?and
    ultimately to their own success, too.

  • Time-bound: Your goals need to have a beginning point and
    an ending point. If the time frame of the goal is structured in an
    open-ended manner, then that goal will likely take a back seat
    to the daily tasks that will then seem much more imminent and
    time critical. The goal will eventually die on the back burner.

The calendar is not the boss
Two final points to keep in mind when it comes to setting company
goals for 2006 have to do with the calendar and the number
of goals you set.


Sometimes, to our detriment, we allow the calendar to
define our successes and failures”?slotting our goals into specific
time periods, and then allowing the schedule to become the
objective rather than the task you're actually trying to achieve.
But meeting a specific goal may indeed take 14 or 15 months
to complete rather than the 12 months you originally thought.
That's okay”?if the goal is a critical one, what's important is that
you meet that goal and do it well, not necessarily that you hit a
certain internally set date.

Another trap many companies fall into is setting too many
goals. If your goals are too overwhelming in quantity, you'll
likely lose focus and energy in trying to achieve them all. In
fact, you'll end up accomplishing very little. Setting a realistic
number of goals is the best way to ensure a successful 2006.

Marty McGhie ([email protected]) is VP finance/
operations of Ferrari Color, a digital-imaging center with
Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Sacramento locations.



Printvinyl Scored Print Media

New Printvinyl Scored wide-format print media features an easy-to-remove scored liner for creating decals, product stickers, packaging labels, and more. The precision-scored liner, with a 1.25” spacing on a 60” roll, guarantees a seamless and hassle-free removal process.

Promoted Headlines





Most Popular