As small business owners, I’m willing to bet that we all have some sort of goal plan in place for our business. Even if the goals haven’t been formally expressed in a business plan, they exist (by the way, you should express your business goals with a mentor and employees so they can help you succeed).
I originally wrote about a good goal plan a year or two ago but I’m here today to update my ideas. I invite you to look at one of my blogs from last month where I talk about My Secret Goal and Thoughts on Goals for the Entrepreneur. I will be referring to that blog below.
Another thing before we start— I want to point out that I’m not going to tell you a step-by-step process for creating goals although I recommend trying the SMART goal system to start out. Your goals need to be unique to your situation and aren’t something anyone else can dictate.
I have learned from experience, however, that good goal plans have a few common attributes. Let’s talk about those.
5 characteristics of a good goal plan
Goals need to be a bit flexible
As the industry and society changes, so do some of the goals. That’s why it’s important to not only understand the specific goal, but to understand the reasoning behind it. My reasoning for wanting a standalone office was privacy and a sense of credibility. I can still achieve those two ideas without paying unnecessary overhead that comes from renting office space. The end result is the same, it just looks different.
Goals need to cover multiple components of the business
Goals often require action in multiple parts of the business and each component of the business needs mini-goals that help reach the business’ overall goals. For example, now that Jamie’s Notebook is a full-time business, I have monthly minimum income goals that I know I need to accomplish for my overall financial goals to be achievable. That means I also have specific goals for marketing, client recruitment, and revenue stream diversification.
Goals need action
When establishing a goal, come up with specific ways that the goal will be reached. What milestones need to be accomplished and when for this goal to be checked off the proverbial list?
Goals need to be specific, but not narrow
Goals should be specific, but not so narrow that you lose sight of opportunities. For example, say you have a goal of obtaining a certain number of regular clients for a specific service or selling a specific number of a specific product. Don’t become so focused on reaching those numbers that you fail to see other ways to grow your business.
This also rings true when evaluating goals. What if you didn’t sell 10 deally bopper doo-dads but you still made your financial goals because for some reason thingamajigs suddenly took off? I’d still say you were successful at the overall goal and perhaps the smaller “method” goals (how you reach the overall goal) should be re-examined for the future.
Goals need to mean something to you
Remember the Christmas float goal from the last blog? That may seem frivolous, but to me it meant that I had enough income to afford something like that and still meet the basic needs within the business and home.
It also seems that many businesses that are in Christmas parades are somewhat well-known in the community. My goal was to have Jamie’s Notebook be recognized enough that it was a welcome and friendly sight for those watching the parade. See? Not so crazy. My point is, goals don’t have to necessarily be about dollars and cents or about numbers at all. Setting a few “off the beaten path” goals enhances creativity and makes it more personal for the entrepreneur.
What’s your story?
What do you think of this list? What other characteristics do you think are important? Would love to hear from you in the comments.
As you’re looking at your business goals, if you find that you need help expressing vision through a blog, advertorial, or a press release, give me a call. I’d love to help.