Whenever the new year rolls around, it is inevitable that individuals and small businesses alike will begin goal-setting. There are many different areas in which we’d all like to improve, and for good reason–we can’t move forward while standing still!
The inherent danger of goal-setting, however, is that it must be placed in the overall context of your long-term plan. If you don’t have a vision for where you would like your business to be, say, 5 or 10 years down the road from now, how can you possibly know what goals to set today? And, how can you possibly measure success?
If you allow faith to be a significant factor in your business, which is characteristic of many of the small businesses I work with, I believe you have an advantage. I believe that when God is receiving the glory for the work you do, He will help you in the work!
Briefly, I want to give you 5 ways how Christian businesses can find the best way forward this year.
- Practice submission. Bible-believing Christians will tell you that they believe God has a plan for their life, business, relationships, finances, etc. This plan is not accomplished by anything we do, and is not achievable based on any merits of our own. Submission to God is the key. When you give Him the glory for your successes and admit to God that you cannot do this on your own, God has the opportunity to work HIS will.
- Pray for direction. This may seem obvious, but–talk to God regularly about your business! Pray and make sure that God’s will is being followed by you, your partners, and your employees. Prayer works! I’ve seen God come through time and time again in seemingly impossible situations. DO NOT leave God out of your business dealings. He should be welcomed to attend all meetings, and you should definitely spend some quality time alone with Him.
- Pass on stagnant opportunities. Many small businesses are in the habit of accepting every job that comes their way. The reality is that not every customer and not every project is a good fit, and taking on clients with mismatched objectives could harm your testimony and be fatal to the project. No matter what industry you work in, you, as owner, should be in the business of prospecting. Know your customer. Learn to differentiate between who would best benefit from a mutual relationship and who would not. Your business will be better for it.
- Power through the messy middle. I love starting new projects. Just ask my wife! I also like finishing them. But you know what is truly hard? Working on them! I am in the middle of writing my first book, and let me tell you, it is hard. I am having to develop habits I’m not used to in order to get it done. But if that’s what it takes, so be it! Every project has a messy middle. Every month has one, and every year definitely has one! Keep your business excited. Motivate your staff through the messy middle to keep outputting top notch work.
- Praise God for your past and future victories. The Bible says that God inhabits the praise of his people. Literally, He lives in our praises! Owners–do your customers know where your strength comes from? Do prospects know that God is guiding the daily decisions of the business they are hiring? Do your current and future employees know what kind of values your business holds to based on your faith? Chick-fil-a, Hobby Lobby, and even our local Fleet Feet store are all well-known businesses who have seen great success by simply letting God have His way, praising Him for victories, and thanking Him for lessons learned.
Some of these ideas will not be easy for everyone to grasp. I am not perfect. I struggle with many of these things in my own life and business–that’s why I wrote about them! I understand the struggle! I understand how hard it is to promote Christian values in a world that has grown cold towards the things of God.
If you need help developing a content strategy to help you accomplish some of these goals this year, the door is open for you to reach out. Also, feel free to like and share your experiences by commenting below. I would LOVE to hear how your business has clarified its vision and paved the way forward in years past, and what your plans are for this year. God Bless!!