Why is business goal setting so important?
There’s so much hype at year-end or the beginning of a new year about making it the “best year ever.” What is that all about? Any smart business owner wants to top the year before. Successful entrepreneurs know exactly what to do to make that happen. Others just go through the motions for a while and, when they don’t see any sort of results, they go on to the next company or drop off the face of the earth all together. That’s why business goal setting is so critical.
You don’t need a new year to dawn to have a business goal setting session. You can, and should, do one quarterly, maybe even monthly or weekly when you are first getting started. To help in your projections, collecting data consistently. Any good business goal setting strategy involves knowing your key performance indicators (which we will talk about in just a bit).
A 5 Step Strategy for Business Goal Setting
To help you remember a good goal setting strategy, think of G-O-A-L-S. In your own business goal setting session, you need to …
- Get Specific
- Opt for a Few Goals
- Aim for Your Discomfort Zone
- Look at Your Progress
- Seek Support
David recently had me do an assessment of our own business over the past 12 months. We have been working with our business goal setting program. We scheduled a time where we could review each other’s assessments. Our business goal setting worksheet was very helpful. We’ve designed one just for you, and you can grab your own copy here to use for your own business goal setting.
In the corporate business world, you have a review with your boss every year. You’ve worked all year to get better at your job to make a good impression. Why should it be any different for a small business like yours?
As a business owner of your own company, you must also strive to be better, to learn more, to invest in what will benefit the business. You want to make a good impression because you are the owner. That’s a higher level than just an employee. Business goal setting should be a priority and focus.
Let’s take a look at the five principles of business goal setting we set out above.
Business Goal Setting 101 Principle 1: Get Specific and Write Goals Down
To define your goals, look ahead and ask yourself, “What will I regret if I don’t accomplish it this year?” What are you trying to grow and by how much? Pick a key performance indicator, an amount, and way to measure. A “key performance indicator” is simply a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success.
For example, perhaps you want to grow your customer base by 100 which will lead to $5,000 more per month (assuming $50/mo/customer in residual income). Your company back office keeps track of the numbers so your calculations are basically taken care of. (If it doesn’t, I can show you a solution to enhance your current business model.)
In addition, write down your goals, post them in a visible place, and know why they are important. I’ve heard a statistic that if you write down your goals, you are 42% more likely to achieve them.
Some people make dream boards. Dream boards are a great way to imagine a preferable future. By comparison, goals are actionable. So it’s just as important to keep your goals highly visible.
Business Goal Setting 101 Principle 2: Opt for only a Few Goals
Don’t overextend yourself and take on more than you could possibly accomplish. The longer you are in this business the more you realize that business goal setting is crucial and should include a minimum and maximum expectation. These goals can be broken down into short-term goals, mid-term goals, and long-term goals with no more than three goals in each category.
Imagine what would happen if you did nothing in your business this year. What if your business goal setting analysis came up with nothing different than what you had done before? Would you expect your business to grow?
Business Goal Setting 101 Principle 3: Aim for Your Discomfort Zone
Set goals that push you outside your comfort zone and make you a bit uncomfortable. When we set easily attainable goals, we don’t stretch or grow ourselves. On the other hand, if you go crazy and set completely unreachable goals, that can be demotivating.
Of course, the challenge with uncomfortable goals is that fear and doubt will creep in. If you don’t spend enough time doing your personal development, your confidence may be like a roller coaster. You’ll sometimes feel like you are getting no where fast. You see others around you succeeding and just wonder what’s wrong with you. You may even have results but not recognize them for what they are.
We’ve seen it. We’ve experienced it, too.
Each time we spend a few hundred dollars for another course, we wonder if we’ve lost our marbles. Then we realize that to get ahead in this industry we need to be knowledgeable and able to help people where they are. That’s what our business model is all about.
You’ll see that that is what a lot of the top trainers are about as well. They invest in themselves. If you’re just a product salesman, you still need to know these techniques, you just don’t need to teach them.
Do what makes you nervous. If it’s recording videos, make a goal to record at least one per week. Recordings are made to be edited!
Business Goal Setting 101 Principle 4: Look at Your Progress
Keeping track of your progress will help you have a better chance of meeting your goals. Keeping your business goal setting results front and center, on the radar so to speak, will benefit your business.
If you are promoting your business on social media, keep track of the different platforms you are using. How many contacts are being made? Of those contacts, how many are being exposed to something you have to offer? Of those exposed, how many are making a purchase? Of those purchasing, what are they buying?
You may need or want to keep this separated by platform (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) as well. While very similar, marketing on different social media is also very different. That’s a whole different matter and training for another day.
Your business goal setting worksheet should include options for evaluating and quantifying your results. The example in the foregoing paragraph is exactly that.
You will begin to see patterns. Use this data to help you in scheduling your daily tasks, knowing how many hours a week you need to work and when, etc.
Business Goal Setting 101 Principle 5: Seek Support
The goals you come up with on your business goal setting worksheet are for your eyes only. However, if you are working with a partner or spouse, they should also do an analysis. When done, you can compare notes for an even better assessment of reality.
However, sometimes we need to seek support. Accountability may be one of the most crucial elements to your home business success. Share your business goal setting results with a trusted friend or adviser. Work out a plan for them to keep you on track and accountable for hitting those goals.
Supportive friends or colleagues may even help you dream bigger to challenge yourself to a degree they feel is appropriate. (We often limit ourselves out of “protection.”)
A BONUS Goal
Here’s a BONUS goal everyone should put on their goal sheet: take good care of yourself. This goal should never be taken lightly. Being an entrepreneur can be tough on you. You may experience long nights, working through mealtime, lots of rejection.
It's important to remember to take care of yourself so you don't get burned out. Don’t ever short change your rest. You want to bring the best version of you to each day. Relaxing a little each day will also improve your mindset and overall well-being. If you can throw a laugh or two in the mix, all the better.
If you haven’t already downloaded your business goal setting worksheet, download it here. Then set aside some time to complete the worksheet. If you are looking for an accountability partner, be sure to comment on this article. We’ll get you connected to a great group.
Blessings to you as you set your business goals!
David & Dana
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P.P.S. – If you know others who could profit from setting their own business goals, share this article with them on Facebook. And, if you've found it helpful, please take a moment to like and comment as well!