SEVEN Ways to Improve Accountability in 2021

January 07, 2021

Roughly half of all Americans create New Year’s Resolutions at the start of each year. Yet, only about ten percent of these individuals have the accountability to follow through with their respective plans. The pandemic made it rather challenging for many to achieve their 2020 goals or to do so without pivoting in some shape or form.

Typical resolutions for most individuals include changing behaviors and habits. To achieve success, there has to be a certain level of accountability.

Small business owners may create goals related to achievements and advancements. Certain behaviors are required to achieve results. These behaviors include both a high level of commitment as well as mindful preparation.

Most small business owners are naturally self-motivated, focused on their goals, and exhibit accountability to achieve success.

Entrepreneurs typically position themselves to remain both accountable and successful due to their laser focus!

Goals can prevent a business from remaining static or, worse, declining.

Defining business goals allows an organization to move forward and set the stage for ongoing success. After this past year’s challenges, being prepared to adjust goals as needed is an absolute necessity.

Common goals for small business owners may include:

  • Increasing productivity
  • Documenting workflows
  • Developing a more customer-centric focus
  • Decreasing overall expenses
  • Preparing for growth and increased profitability.

Upon defining 2021 goals and documenting them, one must create an accountability plan for achieving them.

Here is a list of SEVEN tips to improve accountability to achieve your 2021 business goals:

1. Analyze Your List of Goals and Enlist Support

Businesspersons that analyze goals, identifying areas that enlist strengths and weaknesses, will delegate tasks that could be executed by an employee or a vendor with a matching skill set. For example, if a goal is to prepare for growth, an outside consultant could create a roadmap to support this mission. A business owner that wants to document workflows could delegate this task to individual employees and provide oversight. By nature, humans tend to avoid tasks that we are not good at or do not enjoy. Enlisting the support of others allows us to reach our goals while decreasing procrastination or avoidance.

2. Create Baby Steps to Break Down Specific Goals

Breaking a goal down into smaller “baby steps” with actionable items that include dates can help business owners remain on task without being overwhelmed. Small goals are more achievable and more actionable. Celebrate the success upon completion of these steps with a small reward to serve as motivation to keep striving towards the overall goal.

3. Celebrate the Wins

Businesses seeking to improve their customer service may want to have a plan to celebrate the achievement, a reward that can be as simple as posting a fresh, positive review in a break room or common area to provide public recognition. This can motivate employees to work as a team to continue to remain on task, working towards improving service and pleasing customers.

Companies that have set goals to increase profitability in 2021 may want to create monthly or quarterly goals and reward their team with a pizza party if their goal is met. Organizations striving to reach goals that may include adding new products, services, or new customers may want to celebrate with something a little bit more formal or provide an incentive to employees. It doesn’t matter how a celebration is executed, as long as it contributes to motivation and a positive culture.

4. Utilize Technology to Support Goals and Track Progress

Applications exist for almost every purpose today. Individuals setting New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight may be inclined to enlist a Fitness App to support weight loss. Business owners can use this same model of utilizing technology to reach their goals. For those with goals to decrease expenses or become more profitable, investing in QuickBooks could be helpful. Entrepreneurs citing goals to increase productivity could benefit from a time management software or project management software.

5. Persistence is Key to Achieving Success

Ensuring that one remains persistent may sound simple, but it is a necessary behavior characteristic to achieve any level of success. Tenacity is not a skill we are born with, but we continue to build on throughout our lifetime. Some refer to this as grit. Entrepreneurship is a game of attrition. It’s about having determination and discipline. Success is the completion of a marathon, not a sprint. Creating a mindset that recognizes this can be valuable in the face of adversity.

6. Create a Support System or Seek an Accountability Partner

Defining and citing a goal aloud publicly adds instant accountability. Business owners often have mutual respect for one another. They can easily relate to each other. Sharing future intentions can be helpful in not only motivating a business owner to keep working hard but also in enlisting support. Many business owners have found success in creating a circle of influence, joining local chambers of commerce, or building a support team that may include an accountant or attorney. Adding an accountability partner that can check-in and provide encouragement can make one feel sustained. Business owners should be aware of resources available that may include the SBA or other third-party entities designed to support small businesses.

7. Embrace the Power of Saying NO to Remain Focused

Individuals, in general, are conditioned to think that they can do it all. Many may not want to let others down or desire to be helpful or pleasing to others. We all have impulsively replied “yes” to responsibilities that take us off our beaten path. Business owner’s time is precious. It is important to be mindful in making decisions that allow us to spend our time in the right places.  “No” is a powerful word! Learning to say no can free up precious time and allows us to spend our time in the areas that mean most to us. When we spend our time focusing on what is important to us, we can accomplish more in less time.

This past year has been one of the most challenging times we have ever seen for small businesses.

It can be challenging to create goals when we are so very uncertain about the future. Together, small business owners will stand and support one another. We will get through the pandemic and its impact on small businesses. Small business owners will be better prepared for whatever challenges are thrown at them in the future. We will commit to our vision and achieve results.

PaySmart is a payroll provider located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, supporting small businesses in the Central PA region. We are dedicated to helping small businesses take care of their payroll needs. To learn more information about how PaySmart may provide payroll solutions, please contact us at 717-766-1777. Our New Client Concierge is waiting for you!