Justin B.Stivers T H E L AW O F F I C E S O F A P R O B AT E F I R M
Is Your Strategic Plan Static or Dynamic?
How Our Firm Goes About Goal Setting
Without a plan for where you’re going, it’s really easy to run in circles with your business operations. You can lose sight of what really drives success when you’re just spinning your wheels. That’s why it’s pivotal to sit down and go through the process of strategic planning. Setting goals and evaluating the future of your business gives you a target to aim for and a path to follow. Most companies go through this process every year and implement new strategies at the beginning of January, but I like to do it every quarter. Life has a way of changing throughout the year, and I think it’s important to adapt your goals to your environment. Once every three months, I’ll block out some time and find a location that inspires me to want more from my business and myself. I’m motivated by the ambiance around me, which is why I love Miami. It’s a city that is buzzing with vibrancy, and that helps me when I’m doing big-picture thinking. Sitting down in a lobby at a South Beach hotel is all the motivation I need to set goals that will grow my business and help me reach more people. I start by looking at the different areas of my business. Operations, finances, marketing, conversions, sales, and client success all go through an in-depth analysis. When I look at each area, I like to see the result I want and work backward from that. It could be streamlining a process, getting more reviews from clients, or expanding the budget, but I ascribe a goal to each area of business, and I set up the processes needed to achieve them. The objectives I set are very dynamic, which is a little different than what you might hear from business experts. Rather than having a static goal that’s written down, the target is always moving. If it looks like the firm is getting close to achieving what
was outlined in the plan, I move the goal so that we’re always pushing forward. In some cases, constantly adjusting like this can cause the sense of achievement to be lost, so I have to take notice of when I meet a goal and see that everything is progressing. I’m a competitive person by nature, so this approach helps me constantly push myself. As the firm grows, we might change how we go about recognizing accomplishments, but for what we’re doing now, it’s all about forward progress. While many of the aspects of the business go under the microscope once a quarter, how we approach marketing is constantly being adjusted. I look at our marketing almost weekly because it requires more attention and frequent micro-adjustments. When you’re scaling a business, auditing each cent becomes pivotal to long-term success. The
dollars you send out in the world have to come back with friends.
It might seem that constantly moving goals around is a narrow-sighted view of the big picture, but I’m always aware of what my objective is. I carry a notecard with me everywhere I go that has my five-year goal written on it. Having that present and available always helps me have the perspective needed to accomplish what I’ve set out to do. With it at the top of my mind, all I need to do is combine work ethic and effective management principles to make sure our services can reach as many people as possible. _Justin B. Stivers
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