Updated: Mar 10, 2020
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Pablo Picasso
In a recent survey, more than 80% of small business owners said that they don't keep track of their business goals, and 77% percent have yet to achieve their vision for their company. Without goals and a process for tracking them, many small business owners will find it difficult to stay focused. That’s because even the smallest goals will allow you to gain clarity and will help you to create linkages between where you are presently, and where you want to be.
5 tips to help you with goal setting for your business include:
1. What’s your Dream?
In the earliest stage of goal setting, you should focus on the things you want to accomplish. These are your dreams - you get to create the largest, greatest version of your career, your business or your LIFE. No limits; it doesn’t have to be realistic at this point; so suspend any negatives and go for the gold!
Once the dreams are written down, the next step is to brainstorm your possibilities. Using this process allows you to unearth unexplored ideas-that can add value to your product/service offering. How you do it is really unimportant – mapping, making a list, or a brain dump-the idea here, is to put as many of your ideas on paper so you can gain clarity as to what skills/talents you currently possess and how best they can be utilized.
3. Look at your Options
Take all the information that you gathered in the first 2 steps - you will now start making sense of them. An easy way to do this is to categorize them - create mental “boxes” where you can sort them out. Here, the rule of thumb is to use a method that's important to you.
An example of this might be to rank your ideas; using descriptors that again will help you gain some perspective-your system might include:
What can be attained;
What kind of commitment will be required-time, finance, manpower, enhanced learning;
Your method isn’t important - but your process is. That's because as you create categories there will be a natural overlap - and you’ll get a clearer picture of what you want and how you’ll achieve it. There will also be a definite trend, as themes emerge. This is your indication that you’re headed in the right direction; as you can now identify your most important goals.
4. Create the PLAN
After the “sorting process”- 1 or 2 major ideas will emerge. They will still be loose but it will help you to focus on what is important to your product offering/service delivery. If this is not to the case, feel free to go back to the beginning-remember, nothing is set in stone!!! You can also use SMART Goal setting- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Resource-based and Timely/Time-bound.
Now’s the time for ACTION!!!
At this point, you should be defining specific actions that you can take in order to reach your goal. You will also need to focus on “why” each goal is important to YOU! - and how you’ll feel once you achieve it.
5. Focus on TODAY!!!
Goal-setting can be overwhelming- but it’s very much like the old joke about how you eat an elephant….one bite at a time!!!
If you follow this rule, then you’ll break your goal into bite-sized chunks so that you’ll eat (and digest) - a small portion at a time and you'll build the needed momentum (and confidence) to get closer to the eventual outcome.
Focusing on each step will not make you lose sight of the “Big Picture”; however, using this method will ensure that you make steady and purposeful progress- which will allow you to reach your destination.
Links to help you to set goals: