Making resolutions is easy. Keeping them is another story. For businesses, goal setting for the New Year is important, but so is regularly checking in on those goals. At Nick’s Pizza & Pub, we put structure around our New Year’s resolutions so our goals don’t just become a list on a piece of paper tossed in a pile of “things to do someday.”
The following is a guide to how we set our goals, and follow up throughout the year to make sure we meet them.
Set and share goals with your entire staff. We close down the restaurant on the morning of Superbowl Sunday to come together as a team and have some fun. We kick off the day with a nourishing breakfast, then play some team-building and icebreaker games, followed up with serious discussions about short-term and long-term sales goals for the coming year. This is also a time to discuss major company news and other non-sales projections for the coming year. Then everyone goes off to partake in Superbowl-viewing plans.
Schedule regular follow-up meetings. To set up a structure around goal setting, we host monthly meetings for our team leaders and managers to discuss our progress. This is also a time to share concerns, questions and strategies for meeting our sales goals as well as share feedback on regular peer-to-peer meetings held more frequently. We find these monthly meetings help our managers and team members remain accountable and experience a “healthy pressure” to achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the year.
Build in time for brainstorming. At Nick’s, nurturing creativity is of the utmost importance in everything we do, as individuals and as a team. During our monthly meetings and other get-togethers, we’ll take time to add to our “ideas wall,” posting one-word sticky notes to trigger new ideas and strategies for catering to our regulars, drawing in new customers, and boosting sales overall. These brainstorming sessions have led to a number of successful events and marketing strategies, such as our annual “Moose Madness” event held around the March Madness NCAA basketball finals. Similar to bingo, for every new menu item guests order, they can check off another box on their game card. Top scorers win discounts, free food and other prizes. We also link this event and others to our Facebook page.
Create and follow specific action steps. At the beginning of the year, we ask our team leaders and managers for feedback on what goals they would like to set for their areas of expertise. Then we develop a “checklist” with specific action steps and metrics for each area using Excel spreadsheets. Our weekly reporting e-mails serve as helpful reminders about these goals, and we can constantly track our progress in between monthly meetings.
For example, if an action step for our events coordinator is to reach out to x number of wedding planners or community organizations per month, she can cross off those achievements on her “checklist” to track her progress. Our kitchen manager, chief marketing officer, chief operations officer and front-of-house manager have their own sets of department goals and “checklists.”
Scheduling a halfway “check in.” While we check on our sales goals weekly, monthly and quarterly, we have recently started conducting “halfway” check-ins too, with an all-team meeting scheduled six months in advance. The halfway meeting is a time for us to revisit our sales accomplishments, but also review our budget and other expenses to make sure we’re managing any debts or outstanding payments. We also use this time to revise or create new sales and finance plans for the remainder of the year if needed.
Following these steps has helped us transform our New Year’s resolutions into realistic, actionable and attainable goals.
Looking for more tips and advice on making and meeting your goals? Check out all our articles on resolutions.
Nick Sarillo is the founder and CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub in Crystal Lake and Elgin, Ill., and the author of A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business.
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