Setting Your Goals

19th April 2014

“Determination + Goal-setting + Concentration = Success.” – Harvey Mackay

In a previous blog post I wrote about having a vision for your business, and deciding where you want to take it – where your business is going to be when it’s all grown up.

That’s usually a long-term thing.  Once you’ve decided on that, you need to work out how to get there.  There are many tools and ideas we can help you with.  One of those tools is our free downloadable book full of practical hints and tips for growing your business.  It’s plugged all over the place on this site, so please go ahead and download it.  Completely free.  Nothing to lose.  Great stuff.

One thing I wanted to touch on in this blog post was the idea of goal-setting.  Creating shorter-term goals that work as part of your ‘finishing-line’ business plan.  For example, you might have decided you want to grow your business to a turnover of half a million pounds.  As part of this your shorter-term goal might be to hit £100,000 in sales in the first 12 months, or create 2 quality new customers per month.

The SMART goal questions are a good way to create and monitor your goals.  They’re so useful that many people know about them already, but if you don’t, they’re:

1) SPECIFIC – is your goal specific?  £100,000 turnover is specific.  ‘Increased sales’ is not.

2) MEASURABLE – if your goal can’t be measured in some way, shape or form, how will you know if you’re getting there or if you’ve achieved it?

3) ATTAINABLE – setting pie-in-the-sky unachievable goals will only depress you when you don’t hit them, and make you not bother setting any more goals.  And you’ll meander around, not really going anywhere.  Not good.

4) REALISTIC or RELEVANT – are these goals in line with your business plan?  Are they part of getting you where you want to go, or will they send you off at a tangent?

5) TIMELY – saying you want to increase turnover by £100k is specific but not timely.  Saying you want to do it in 12 months is both.  It gives you a target.  Something to work towards and measure yourself against.

If you’ve not encountered this before, I hope you find it useful.  If you have and you’re just thinking it’s old news, are you using this method?  Have you set any goals lately?  How are you doing?