Many businesses fail within the first five years. One of the main reasons for failure is lack of planning, which results in an inability to achieve business goals. In fact, many business owners simply fail to plan their business goals. Setting goals is an important step in the process of starting and running your business.
Savvy business entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to reinvent their businesses and to discover new paths on which to travel. If you don’t allow yourself—and, more importantly, your business—the opportunity to grow and change, you’ll be doing your business a great injustice. You also may find that your business is not attaining the goals you set for it, and you may be losing out on profits because of it.
Review your business goals
It is important to regularly review your business goals. Keep in mind that a business plan and goals are essential when you begin your business. However, many people set their goals and then forget about them. This can ultimately set you up for failure. You need to continually review your goals. Make sure the goals you set are still valid. If you haven’t achieved your goals, do some research to determine why.
Your goals may be too broad or too lofty. The goals you set when you started your business may be quite different from the goals you have in mind today. Sometimes simply reviewing your goals on a regular basis will help you stay on the path toward achieving them. Share your business goals with others you work with so that everyone knows your mission. Set up a time to review your goals— typically on a quarterly basis.
Don’t be afraid to make changes to your goals as needed. Being flexible is a necessary part of being a successful business entrepreneur. Reviewing your goals regularly will be productive if you learn to make changes to your goals as you move forward. Outdated goals simply become roadblocks to attaining what you really want, and can even send you down the wrong path.
Instead of blindly clinging to your previous goals, take some time to evaluate where your business is today and where you would like it to be in the future. Consider several milestones such as three months, six months, one year, and five years. Look at the past few months to help you determine the path you feel your business should be taking as you move forward. There are always new decisions to be made, so allow yourself to re-evaluate your goals whenever necessary.
Plan what you want
Plan the path and future for your business. You have a vision of where you see your business one year, three years, and five years or more down the road. Businesses that set goals are more likely to be successful than those that don’t. One dilemma business owners face when setting goals is choosing goals that are challenging, yet at the same time possible. If your goals are too lofty you’ll likely lose sight of them and thus ignore them completely.
The best goals are those that are set by keeping in mind what you ultimately want to achieve. Look for the end results you wish to achieve, such as increased sales, flexible work schedule, or better balance between work and life. Then create goals that specifically address how you will reach those goals. The best goals are those that offer a method of achievement and measurement. For example, a goal may be to increase sales by 10% in the next six months. This is a measurable goal. Then a related goal may be to use 20% of profits to add more Internet marketing. This will also help you achieve your ultimate goal of more sales.
Break goals down into small achievements
When setting your business goals, it’s better to set many small goals than to set just one or two larger goals. When you set your goals, consider all the things you wish to accomplish and what it will take to get there. Think about your ultimate goals and then break those down to create smaller objectives. For example, a goal such as “achieve high Internet sales” is too broad and general. You can’t measure it, so how will you really know when you achieve it? It would be better to determine the things you need to do in order to achieve high sales online, and set those as your goals. Make the goals attainable and measurable. Think about how you will be able to achieve the goals as you plan them.
Enjoy the journey
Try not to be so focused on your end goals that you fail to enjoy the path to reaching them. Sometimes the journey can be as satisfying as the end result. You want to allow yourself the opportunity to take the path that best suits your business at the time. Very often new opportunities arise that may help to form a new path for your business. Use these opportunities as a way to grow your business and to help you appreciate your business at the same time.
Allow yourself to have fun with your goals. Write down those that are most important and review them daily. The more you review your goals, the more likely it will be that you attain them. When you pay attention to your goals, even for just a few minutes a day, you will find that you’ll be more focused on reaching them. Start today by setting up three new goals for your business that you want to achieve in the next three months. Then mark your calendar so you can review your results in three months.© Copyright 2010 Ali Brown