When going into business, setting goals is an important thing. It helps you focus on what you want to achieve and motivates you to do what it takes to succeed. Reaching your first business goals is truly something to be celebrated.
Once you've reached your goals, what's left to do? Make new ones! Goals are most effective when they are continuously updated. They motivate us to keep challenging ourselves and achieve higher and higher levels of success.
How to Set Effective Goals
Some small business owners make the mistake of setting goals that are too vague. While vague goals are more attainable, they do not provide the motivation that more specific goals do. For example, you might set a goal to have higher sales this month than you did last month. Whether your sales are ten cents or $1000 higher, you will have achieved your goal. But which one would be more preferable?
The best goals are ones that are measurable. The measurement doesn't necessarily have to be monetary, though. It could be a percentage that you would like to increase your profits by next month, or a number of website visitors or mailing list subscribers you would like to reach in a certain amount of time.
Don't Get Stuck in Your Comfort Zone
It's a great feeling to meet your goals. It's even better to meet them consistently. But if you are exceeding each and every one of your goals, it may be time to aim higher.
Failure is so scary to some that they set goals that they have a good chance of attaining instead of ones that might not materialize. But by doing so, they don't motivate themselves as much as they could. And that may lead to not working up to their potential.
Instead of setting goals that you know you can achieve, consider stretching yourself a bit. Starting out small is fine if it makes you more comfortable. If you meet the slightly loftier goal, make the next one a little more ambitious, and continue this pattern with each goal that is reached. Before you know it, you will be in awe at what you are achieving!
Set Aside Time for Goal Setting
Running a business is hard work, and it's not uncommon to get so caught up in day-to-day operations that we forget to make goals. But by skipping this crucial step, we miss out on an opportunity to evaluate how we are doing and give ourselves new things to aim for.
Setting aside a time to determine our goals is well worth the effort. Adjusting long-term goals and setting short-term ones at regular intervals is time well spent. A good time for goal setting is at the beginning or end of each month. But if those are busy times for you, choose a time you will find easier to stick with.
Setting new goals should be an ongoing process for every business owner. It is important to reward yourself for reaching goals, but it is equally important to continue to set new, higher ones. The more goals you reach and the higher they are, the more you can reward yourself.