Goal Setting In Your Small Business

I am a big believer that if you can dream it you can do it. However, to make this work you need to go beyond the dream stage and build structure that will allow you to execute. This is where goal setting comes in. Here are a few tips that you may not have heard regarding goal setting that will allow you to actually accomplish your dreams.

Dream Hard ~ OK there are dreams and there are DREAMS. There are the “It would be nice if…” dreams and dreams that actually move you to action. To really be moved by a dream it needs to become a passion. For this to happen you need to move the dream from your subconscious to conscious thought. Once this happens you need to focus and work to make the dream a reality. Begin to write down notes for yourself about where the dream could lead you and what it will take to make the dream a reality. Be as clear as you can. It doesn’t matter if you are correct in your assumptions it only matters that you are starting to build structure that will form the basis for future execution.

Skill Set ~  Based on your preliminary structure decide if you have the skills to actually make the dream a reality? One of my favorite TV shows is Bar Rescue on Paramount Network. Every episode is basically the same, a struggling bar/restaurant is given a new lease on life through a few days of tough love by Restaurant/Bar expert Jon Taffer. Another common theme is that the owners are clueless in how to run a bar. Had the owners actually improved their skills in restaurant operation before going into business they could have avoided all the yelling, humiliation and tears of being on this show.

You should take a lesson. Use the notes you have drafted about your dream and determine what you need to know to allow you to succeed. Sometimes this is simple as doing internet research but you may need structured training or possibly go to work in the area the your dream involves.

Set Goals ~ Now it is time to start setting some goals. Goals are the steps to help you make your dream a reality.  Make your goals progressive so that as you complete one it leads to the next goal. Otherwise you leave yourself an excuse to not complete your goals as you try to decide what to do first. Progressive goals keep you on track and moving forward.

As you build your goals I want you to look at three things:

  • Personal Goals ~ Develop goals for what you trying to accomplish with your personal life? Look at everything, travel, relationships, etc.
  • Business Goals ~ Assuming you are building a business (that is what this site is about after all) develop goals for your business. These need to be action oriented. Think of big steps (milestones) and the intermediate steps to move you to the next milestone.
  • Alignment ~ Often times people develop business goals without taking into account what they what to accomplish personally. It is critical that your personal goals and your business goals are in alignment. Let’s say you have recently gotten out of college and want to spend a year traveling through Europe. If your business goal is to develop a retail operations then something will have to give, at least for awhile.

Execute, Evaluate, Execute ~ Once you have established your goals get started. As you are working to accomplish your goals always be in a mode of working, testing, adjusting and working. A review of progress will allow you to make course corrections. That is fine because it will keep you from getting stuck. The key to keep moving forward.

Never Give Up  ~ To be honest there are times where you do everything listed here and you come to the conclusion that what you planned won’t work the way you thought. That’s fine you just need to be persistent and look for another way. Start over, re-think, re-train but don’t give up.  You need to trust in yourself and persevere.

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