No matter what size of your business, setting goals allows you to work towards success. It gives you a quantifiable framework to work towards and measure your business’ progress.
Goal setting – making all the difference.
For entrepreneurs, a vital part of your success is to establish personal goals. This differs from person to person but when choosing to go create a business, it is important to create something that inspires you.
Why? If you are going to invest a huge quantity of time and energy into a business, you need to be motivated to keep going when the work gets hard. This is a lot easier to achieve when your personal goals are aligned with your business goals.
For some, this could be creating a business that gives the freedom of controlling their time, to work remotely and to travel. For others, it could be financial freedom or producing community-wide benefits on a massive scale. Whatever these goals are, an entrepreneur should take the time to figure out what personal goals they want to achieve from their business. If the ‘why’ is big enough then the more likely you’ll get to your destination.
When establishing what your goals are, both with personally and for your business, it is also good to consider the following:
Long term vs short term goals
What are your long term and short term goals? By way of definition, goals are either long term or short term objectives. They are something you can work towards. They are met with measured targets and deadlines. However, entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges that demand attention. Therefore, it is good to break down your goals as to what you can achieve in the next 3-6 months (short term) and then have longer term goals that could be things to have achieved within a year, or five year’s time. It is worth noting that as your business grows, your long term goals will need to be flexible and adaptable.
Be specific about your goals so you can measure them. For instance:
‘To increase sales by 3% in the next quarter’ or ‘to have raised $250,000 in capital by the end of the March fundraising campaign’ are specific goals.
‘To raise money by a fundraising campaign’ or ‘to increase sales’ are not specific goals. By being specific, you can be in a position to measure your success.
Phil Knight wrote in his memoir, ShoeDog, in order to move mountains, you start with the small rocks first. When it comes to goal setting, what are your small rocks? You may be earning $10,000 by month and your long term goal may be to earn $250,000 by month. Setting that as your initial goal is not realistic. However, increasing your income by month by 25% is realistic. If you do this, you can then work on your next goal. They key to goal setting is to focus on the small and manageable.
The most important thing about setting goals is being honest. Being honest with yourself, your clients, business partners, your friends and family. If you can set goals that have realism and specificity in mind, you can manage expectations with greater confidence, and fundamentally more success.
If you require some business coaching to help ensure you are tracking towards your goals, please reach out to our team.