Accountability as a business owner

Accountability is critical for achieving winning results, with these simple steps, you could be on your way to having great accountability!

Holding yourself accountable is one of the biggest challenges as a business owner. 

You have clear goals that you want to achieve, but it’s hard to stay on track. Your mind is constantly buzzing with new ideas and you’re always desperate to try new things.

Business ownership is also a tough journey, and it’s easy to get distracted, discouraged, or even give up. 

Goals are built from ambitions, but it can be a bumpy road to reach them.

As a business owner, you’ll have big dreams, so you might not see progress right away. 

Why is accountability important?

Accountability is so important for lots of reasons, but it’s key to running your business successfully. 

When you lack accountability, you lack a clear focus, and ultimately struggle to hit targets and reach goals. 

Anyone can struggle with this, whether you’re a fresh faced business owner or a seasoned entrepreneur. 

You need to have accountability to stay on track with your goals, and keep your team motivated too. 

Commit to a goal

To hold yourself accountable, you need to have clearly defined goals. 

You might want to consider the SMART framework and focus on Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals. 

This works well for both team goals and individual targets. Make sure you get this down on paper to really help define them. 

Another great way to set your goals is using objectives and key results (OKRs). This enables you to define measurable goals and track their outcomes. 

This is a brilliant way to outline your goals and see them clearly - which is particularly useful if you manage a team. At first, keep your goals smaller and more achievable. The progress on them is much easier to track than on big, undefined targets. This will help you stay motivated, too. 

Build a system

Systems are the way that you’ll begin to gain traction little-by-little. 

Like we’ve already mentioned, goals can get lost in the day-to-day grind. It’s easy to miss the bigger picture, and in turn, lose sight of your progress. 

Systems are outlined in the book, Atomic Habits, where it’s explained that small changes made consistently over time add up to big changes. Ultimately this will help you to reach the bigger goals. 

Focus on the inputs to get to the outputs. Keep your eye on the target, of course, but the way to hit the bullseye is to work on what’s in your control to get there. 

If you have clear measurements, then this will help you to track your progress as you go along. 

Try putting together a simple list of numbers that track how far away your goal is can be really motivating on your journey to getting there. It’ll also keep yourself accountable, as you have to be honest with yourself and where you’re at. 

Make it important

One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your business is remember why you set those goals in the first place. 

Your goals should be things that you really want to achieve, and if you consider how they will impact your business once you get there, you’re much more likely to put the work in. 

Regularly reflect on your targets and why you want to hit them. Why are they so important to you? 

On the other hand, if something goes wrong, embrace it. 

We all make mistakes, but what’s important is how you take those missteps and learn from them. 

Keep yourself accountable following these mistakes by constantly showing up every day, even when it gets tough.

Make it visible

Visualisation is such a powerful tool - but often underestimated. 

You can think about your goals as much as you want, but the best way to be constantly reminded of them is to keep them visible. 

Write them on your wall and remind yourself every single day. 

And at the end of each working day, summarise your progress. If you regularly review progress, and prioritise what to do next, you’ll always have the most important thoughts on your mind. 

Tell others

We often do our best work when other people are counting on us. 

If someone is relying on you, such as a team or a client, we’re more likely to power through and keep going when times are tough. 

By sharing our goals with other people - especially those who genuinely care about us achieving them - we can stay motivated. 

You don’t want to let yourself down, but you also don’t want to let others down either. 

In addition to this, if you build accountability into your team - or among those who are close to you - then you build a culture of ‘getting things done’. Everyone holds everyone else accountable, and it makes for a really strong working environment, where people push each other to succeed. 

You can use a platform like Peer, which is a great way of finding other business owners who can keep you accountable. 

Share your ideas with your network so that they can keep you on track. 

In summary

Overall, building accountability for yourself is key to succeeding in both business and your personal life. 

It helps you to push through the harder tasks and achieve the bigger goals. 

But make sure that those goals really matter to you. Remember why you set them in the first place, and why they are important to you and your business. 

Make sure that your team can also keep you accountable, and do the same for them in return. This keeps everyone on track and keeps your group strong. 

Finding other business owners in similar positions is also a big help. Create a network around you, full of people who really want to see you succeed, and make sure that you’re always doing your best work.

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