Do you set goals for your business? This is a question that you should take very seriously. Goal setting helps a business owner accomplish two specific things. The first thing that it does is it breaks down a huge task into smaller bite sized pieces. Let’s face it, running a business is hard. We all want to get rich and big. We want our business to grow at a fast pace and we want to enjoy the ride all the way to the top. Well, this is easier said than done, and there are about a million little steps that need to be reached before we reach the “top”. No one makes a to-do list that reads, “Get big, rich and powerful”. A persons list may have things like expand online presence, go to a networking meeting or call that potential client. These are small goals that need to be reached. Slightly larger goals should be set above these little goals like, gain 2 new clients this month.
The second thing that setting and reaching goals will do for you is boost your confidence and help you strive forward. Running a business can get a person down if things are not going well. When a business owner gets depressed about how their business is doing, it affects everything else. Making any goal, even a small one, will give you a boost and make you feel great. Give yourself a pat on the back and congratulate yourself. This kind of thinking is like fuel that will help you drive all the way to the top.
Here are 10 things you should think about when setting goals:
- Set short and long term goals that are measurable with deadlines for each. Long term goals are 3 to 5 years out. These are a vision for your future. These could be new services, products, rate changes, new policies, or growth/profit goals. Your short term goals can lead into the long term goals.
- Now you should think about how you are going to reach these goals. So answer the who, what, when and how of each goal. These goals need to be laid out in detail so there is no question how to achieve them.
- It is a great idea to have an accountability partner. This is a trusted person that you can share your goals with and will hold you accountable for staying on track to achieving them. They will check in with on a regular basis and make sure you are sticking to your goals and doing what needs to get done.
- Put the goals in a place where you can always see them so you can remember what you are working towards.
- Remember, these give you an idea of where you are going with your business. Without them you are like a ship without a captain.
- Goals should be broken down into years, months, weeks and even days. You should be working towards these goals every day; even just one small step is good.
- Your business and marketing plan should be a diving off point for these.
- There are perils of setting them too high or too low. If you set them to high you risk disappointment when you cannot reach these goals. But you also need to strive to work hard, so you shouldn’t set the bar too low.
- Keep track of your work towards achieving the goals so you know you are making progress.
- Stay positive throughout the process and be confident in your ability to achieve them.
Another great resource for setting goals is the SMART criteria. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. For more information, check out the wiki page.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
~Henry David Thoreau