2018 Planning: Beyond Goal-Setting

Step into 2018 - design-3047520_1920As we step into each new year, there’s always a push to set goals. We’re advised to be clear about our goals, write them down, keep them up front, and monitor our progress. But what’s behind those goals? There’s a lot more to creating or updating the plan for your business than simply setting goals.

To plan how to move ahead you must know where you are starting.


That often begins with looking back at previous years and understanding how you got where you are today. Determine what worked well and what didn’t. Consider what objectives you did or didn’t achieve and why. Ask and answer these questions:

  • How is 2018 going to be different?
  • What initiatives are we planning to back and what is the financial impact of those choices?
  • What people, products and processes will support our plan?

After taking a look back, it’s time to look forward.

Leaders must look beyond the present and be a visionary for the future. Your vision of the future you want to create must be clear so that your goals align with what you see your company being and accomplishing. At the heart of your vision is WHY you are in the business you’re in, WHY you do what you do each day. Being able to articulate why you do what you do will lead to WHAT you want to accomplish and therefore, what your focus needs to be. At this point you can start to map out your initiatives and HOW you will achieve them.

This kind of big-picture, visionary thinking starts at the top.

It is the foundation for a well thought out strategy for your business with goals that are truly meaningful and a plan with substance. If you’re not doing this kind of thinking, it’s not getting done. While your employees are focused on the tasks that are in front of them, it’s up to you to plant the seeds for the bigger picture.

The more thorough and applicable your plan is, the greater your success will be. It’s often of value to get perspective and input from a trusted advisor while going through the planning process. I can help ask the questions that can take your company to a new way of thinking, increased profits, and greater success and satisfaction. Contact me for help with preparing your plan for 2018 or to review your company’s financial processes as you head into the new year.

Written by

Rick Arthur is a CFO whose expertise is built on Financial Intelligence and 35 years in senior financial roles. Coupled with a CEO’s perspective and the experience of building his own $20 million company, he brings a unique depth of insight into business from the top down. Wired to get to know people, Rick works hand-in-hand with business owners of intentional, growth-oriented companies, solidifying relationships as a trusted advisor and confidant to his clients. He leverages his experience to help business owners gain traction and stay laser-focused on the company’s vision, cash flow, and profitability – all while creating big picture solutions for strategic planning, growth and sustainable success.