How’s your year going so far? Are you running around, tackling an endless list? Meeting with existing clients, generating more leads, making sure new clients are submitting all the documents to close fast? Hit the pause button. There’s one thing you need to be thinking about: goal setting. The most successful brokers know that creating business-centered goals for the short term, as well as the long term, can keep you and your team focused on the big wins and on the right track. We’ve got some great tips to get you started on setting your goals and making this year the best year ever!

Be Specific

Many businesses make the mistake of establishing goals that are too generic. Of course, you want to increase leads. But by how much? Everyone will be on board with something like boosting profits, but set a realistic goal. If you’re too vague or your goals are too ambitious, you may not be able meet them. Another factor to consider: Goals for a large broker business are going to be different from a two-man shop’s. Keep it all in perspective.

We suggest creating 2 – 4 clear, defined goals. Write them out. You can even find goal-setting guidelines online that can help. Studies have shown that you are 42% more likely to reach your goals when you write them down. That’s the power of the written word! And try this: Make sure every goal starts with an action word, like “add,” “eliminate,” “complete,” or “ensure.” It makes every goal more attainable.

Make Sure Goals Are Measurable

OK, you have specific goals. Next step? Determine how you’re going to measure the success. If you’re trying to increase your referrals, you can set a goal such as: “For every new prospective client, I want to create XX leads.” If you want to boost your social media presence, add a percentage to the goal: “I want to attract XX% more of my target on Facebook and LinkedIn.” If you want to increase traffic to your website by 20%, for example, use Google Analytics to accurately track your visitors. It’s free and easy to use.

Set A Timeline

Along with writing out your goals, set a timeline. For example: “I want to add XX leads by June for a total of XX leads by December.” Have a large-scale initiative? It might be better to split the goal into smaller parts, so that you can build on smaller goals first before attempting to reach the larger goal. Remember, don’t make goals too hard to achieve. This can lead to frustration.

Make Goal Setting A Team Effort

In order for goals to be achieved, your entire team needs to know what they are and who is responsible for meeting them. Once you’ve established your goals, schedule a kickoff meeting and share your vision with the entire team. If you wear many hats in your company, delegating is essential. You can’t be responsible for everything. And remember that you hired talented team members. Each one wants to prove that they can achieve a goal. Assign goals to specific team members and hold them accountable. When some goals have been met, celebrate them with your entire team. Maybe offer rewards (always a great morale booster). The most important thing about goal setting is getting everyone on the same page. In addition, regularly take a goal-setting temperature. Check-ins matter to achieve great goals.

Keep Building Your Relationships

If one of your goals is to increase your referral business, determine how you’re going to do it. For example, if you have a goal of getting 1 – 2 new referral relationships going every quarter, will you focus on existing clients or from outside sources like accountants, financial planners and real estate agents? Remember to maintain the relationships you have with existing clients. Check in just to say hello and see how the family is doing. Maybe it’s a call or email to provide new information about consolidating debt. Maybe it’s finding a nugget about their favourite hobby. Tell them about a vacation spot worth checking out.

Follow these simple tips for goal setting and you’ll set your business up for great success this year and in the future. Plan. Strategize. Invest. Reward. Reevaluate. And once your goals are met, it’s time to reset and create new ones.