Are you making excuses in business? At the beginning of each year you probably felt enthusiastic for the year ahead. You [hopefully] set some goals for your business, communicated these with your team, and got ready to start actioning those tasks to reach your goals.

However, the momentum can begin to dwindle and before your know it you’re back to making the same excuses of “I haven’t got time” and “I haven’t looked at my plan in weeks”.

Here are 5 ways to keep on track and to avoid making excuses in business:

  1. Manage and allocate your time

You haven’t gained or lost any time since the year began. You have the same hours in a day now that you had when you were full of enthusiasm for the year ahead, but something has changed. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day running of the business, and those tasks to achieve our business goals take a back seat and you begin to feel there’s just not enough hours in the day.

The solution? Manage and allocate your time! It sounds simple yet few of us do this well. Block out 2 hours a week in your calendar every week. Allocate one of those hours to reviewing your goals; where are you with your action points? what needs to be prioritised to achieve those goals? Now, the second hour is your team meeting, communicate with them and make sure you are delegating and managing efficiently.

  1. Communicate with your team

There are many benefits to communicating with your team. A team that feel valued and involved in the company will perform better. They have targets and goals to meet, which you set them, and if you’re lack of communication is the reason they haven’t completed their task you may find your staff frustrated and feeling undervalued.

As suggested in point 1, allocate an hour a week to a team meeting. This will have two main benefits – 1, they will feel involved and valued, which gives them motivation and drive. 2, it keeps you all on track and working towards the same target. Sharing all the information in your head is a step towards success.

  1. Set achievable tasks and milestones

We would all love to see a 50% increase in sales and double the profit at the end of 2018, and this isn’t to say that is impossible, but you need to be realistic when setting your goals and planning your tasks. In point 1 we touched on time not being an excuse, but it is a factor and if you set task deadlines unrealistically then you could be setting yourself up to fail or be adding unnecessary stress. It’s good to encourage and push, but don’t break!

Work out you and your team’s time, current workload and strengths, now set tasks and milestones that are realistic and achievable within those factors. Each completed task is a win and another step closer to your achieving business goals.

  1. Celebrate small milestones along the way

Our business goals can require a fair amount of work before we achieve them. Not being able to see the end in sight can cause our energy for a project to subside. By setting milestones along the way we create mini targets that we can celebrate once we’ve achieved them, a celebration as simple as buying your team a round of pizzas for lunch in the office. This little boost will set you up to work towards the next mini target, and that step closer to your final business goal.

Be careful not to make the rewards turn into self sabotage though, don’t spend the monthly budget on celebrations when there’s still a way to go, for example, if you successfully lose the weight you’ve been trying to shed you don’t eat a whole bag of donuts to reward yourself!

  1. Ask for help when needed

Progress isn’t always straight forward and you are bound to face hurdles along the way. These hurdles can come in many forms; time, money, customers, staffing, you! There’s nothing wrong in asking for help, whether it be to talk ideas over with a team member, delegate some of the workload, get external unbiased help from a business coach, and outsource work where needed.

You may also have to deal with the harsh reality that the hurdle is you! Many business owners can cause a bottleneck within a business as they feel everything has to pass by them. It’s great to keep track of things but don’t be afraid to share the load, communicate and keep your business running as a well oiled machine.