Ask any successful business owner how they became successful and I’m sure one of the most common responses will be through hard work and good planning. Setting attainable business goals is the cornerstone of a successful business. How does one plan for the future growth of their business?
First and foremost is recognizing there is a tremendous difference between having a dream and having goals. A dream is a strong desire or wish or even a fantasy. In order for that dream to come to fruition there must be goals set followed by specific actions. Otherwise it will remain just that, a dream. We may have a number of dreams in our head. Perhaps a dream is to become a Top Rated Seller producing a six-figure annual income. The possibility of that “just” occurring is much less probable then with setting goals and having a clear roadmap of how to get there.
So just where does one begin? First by starting with the dream and then by having a good understanding of goal setting and goal setting techniques. An explanation of goal setting and some techniques are outlined below.
Goal Setting and S.M.A.R.T.
To set effective goals they must be clear, specific, time-targeted and also measurable. There is a system which is really an acronym for understanding how to conduct effective goal setting. It is S.M.A.R.T. Here’s what it stands for:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
Specific: Have a specific goal in mind. For example, “I want to sell on eBay and make a bunch of money” would be a very unclear goal. Better might be “In one year I will become a Top Rated Seller and my gross revenues will be $50,000.
Measureable: Goals should be stated so that any progress can be identified and in the example above, annually and a specific dollar amount. Review your goals monthly and review and track your progress. It will be clear upon review whether you met your goal or not.
Achievable: Be realistic in your goal setting and try to make them for one-year intervals.
Realistic: You should recognize external factors that are beyond control and factor them into the setting and establishment of the goal setting. Goals should be challenging but not in a way that the probability of meeting them will be small.
Timely: Have a date and time period established for each goal to hold you accountable.
Short Term vs. Long Term Goals
Generally speaking short term goals would be any goal with less than a six-month period of time assigned to it. Long term goals would be of course and goal greater than six-months. Some examples of short term and long term goals appear below:
Short Term Goals Time Frame
Buy inventory 1-2 months initially
Obtain business licenses 1 day
Setup eBay store 1 month for total setup
Long Term Goals Time Frame
Top Rated Seller Status 1 year
500 feedback 1-2 years
Gross Revenue $50k 1 year
Review your goals regularly and readjust if necessary. Perhaps reviewing them monthly is a good way to make yourself accountable. When making goals involving tangibles, make sure the assets are also identified, source selected and obtainable
Some suggestions for Goal Setting
Be passionate- Find your passion first it will make the journey much more enjoyable
Have fun- Goals won’t do you any good if all you end up becoming is frustrated and discouraged.
Believe- In your goals and mostly in yourself!
Ask for help- Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither by one Roman. Find individuals with matching talents and similar goals and ask for their support.
Never give up- well at least if you don’t meet your goal. Reassess, find different solutions and stay focused.
As quoted by Winston Churchill “Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”