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In This Issue
Think Goals - Not Resolutions!
SWOT Before You Sweat
A Business Plan: The GPS for Your Company
A Holiday Tribute to Our Troops and Veterans!
SCS e-xpressNov/Dec 2011

 
happy holidaysA Message from Sarah & Chris:

 

The theme of this issue is "setting goals."

As we approach each coming year, we often think about improvements we'd like to make in our personal and professional lives. With the best of intentions, we compile our list of New Year's Resolutions. Similarly, many businesses use the first quarter of each year to review and set corporate goals, objectives, and strategies. The processes used in setting these goals and developing implementation plans are just as important as the actual goals themselves.  Using effective techniques will pave the way for successfully accomplishing your goals. Read on to gain valuable insight into setting goals.

 
We hope you enjoy our free SCS e-newsletter.  Please send us your ideas and suggestions for future issues.  

SCS wishes each of you a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

SCS in the News

Sarah Simoneaux was quoted in a recent edition of Fiduciary News.  Click here to see what Sarah had to say about TPAs, recordkeepers and fiduciary services.

Today's Tip

Looking for ways to spend a little more before closing your books?  Take advantage of early bird discounts and register now for the Power of 3 Workshop, to be held April 18 - 30, 2012. Don't miss Sarah, Chris & Sal in action in Savannah, GA. 


Today's Quotes

"A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other!" 
  
"People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and New Year's, but they really should be worried about what they eat between New Year's and Christmas!"

Today's Laugh

Funny New Year's Resolutions
 
I won't take a bath everyday; this is my way to conserve water.

I will stop sitting idle and wasting time. I would much rather utilize my precious time by sitting on Facebook.

I will attempt to find out why I have an email address on almost every email service that exists.

I will spend less than $2,000 on coffee at Starbucks this year.

I will stop licking frozen flag poles and I will only eat white snow.

I will lose weight by hiding it in places where no one will find it.

I will put more faith in the GPS lady.
happy new year

 

                                                resolutions 

 
Think Goals - Not Resolutions!

  

  

One of the mistakes we make when we create New Year's resolutions is that we focus on what we think we should do instead of what we want the outcome to be and how we are going to get there.

 

A resolution like "lose weight" describes what we think we should do. But the "why" behind the resolution is important to understand if we want to succeed. The desired outcome might be "to improve our health" or "to feel better about ourselves and look better in our clothes." What we really should be focused on is writing our New Year's Goals - not Resolutions, recognizing the why behind the resolution. Let the goal describe the desired outcome, and then take it one step further and list the objectives required to help accomplish the goal.  This process defines the path to get where you want to be and is the same process that successful businesses follow when setting corporate goals.  

 

Sample Goal (desired outcome):

To implement healthier lifestyle habits and lose 20 pounds in six months

 

Sample Objectives:

  • Learn more about nutrition and make healthier food choices
  • Plan ahead for meals and snacks each week
  • Keep a food diary and a weight loss record
  • Cut back portion sizes
  • Study restaurant menus in advance when possible and select healthy choices
  • Exercise one hour at least four times a week

You may want to review the SMART goal/objective setting method as you prepare to set your 2012 goals.  

 

                                              sweat 

SWOT Before You Sweat 
  

Before you spend time and "sweat equity" setting goals for a department or a business, it is good practice to first do an environmental scan and a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Note any changes in industry trends, analyze the impact of legislative or regulatory changes, and review what the competition is doing. Then take an open, honest look at your team or company and perform the SWOT analysis. Some businesses choose to undertake these activities on their own while others choose to use the services of outside consultants like SCS to guide them through these processes because they can add valuable industry insight and fresh perspectives.

 

Once you go through the above-mentioned processes, you are ready to set your goals and objectives. Company goals should always be in line with the company's Vision, Mission and Values Statements. Ideally, some goals will  take advantage of unique strengths and opportunities identified in the SWOT analysis, and others may address the weaknesses or threats identified. Be sure to solicit input from employees during the process, like hosting facilitated employee brainstorming sessions

 

                                              GPS 

A Business Plan: The GPS for Your Company

Many of us use a smartphone's or navigation system's Global Positioning System (GPS) to get us from point A to point B. We can input our preferences into the system (i.e., shortest distance, most use of freeways, etc.) and the system will then select the best route. When we use a GPS, we have the added confidence that we will not lose our way and that we will get to our destination as planned with few or no surprises. It only makes sense that we should plan as carefully for our businesses so that we can be sure we are headed in the right direction. A well-documented business plan helps you map out the journey to take your company from where it is today to where you want it to go, keeping the goals and objectives in mind and identifying milestones, obstacles, and desired routes along the way.

 

Setting goals and objectives should be part of an overall strategic business planning process. We live and work in a rapidly changing world. Our industry is directly impacted by the economy, tax legislation, regulation, trends,
and technology.  Successful firms have ongoing strategic sessions and maintain an up-to-date business plan, incorporating goals and objectives, implementing a system to measure success, and identifying strategies to address current issues and challenges.  As part of this process, firms should be considering the following topics:  How will the new fee disclosure rules affect our existing book of business? How can we proactively retain our current plans? What processes should we change to accommodate the new fee disclosure rules? How will we respond to fee questions from plan sponsors and participants? How can we use fee disclosure as a way to open doors and get new business? 

 

Click here to learn more about the SCS business planning process.

 troops 

  A Holiday Tribute to Our Troops and Veterans!

  

The holiday season is a great time to remember that, despite what is happening on the Hill and our political differences, we still live in the best country on earth!  
 
 

If you happen to pass any soldiers on the street, thank them for their service.  Take time to enjoy this special holiday tribute video - an awesome holiday patriotic light show set to music. 

 

May God bless our troops and the USA!

 
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