A client reached out to me recently to help her jump start some of her business goals. She is juggling a full time job while running her business part time – and finding it hard to balance everything. What became clear to me after our initial conversation was how important it is to set up solid business goals and find ways to ensure that you follow-through on the completion of them. There is a lot of talk about goal setting – but how many of us really know how to set “solid” business goals? Your ability to master this will make a difference to your bottom line. First, write down all of the goals you have in your head. I find this easier to keep track of them over the course of a week rather than sitting down in one session. (However, use whatever method works best for you!)
Once you have the list, pare it down to a maximum of ten goals. This will help keep you focused. When I first started the conversation with my client, she outlined a list of over thirty things she wanted to work on. No wonder she was having problems balancing everything! We pared down her list to the first 10 goals that she wanted to work on and created a separate document for her to list future goals and objectives for her business. It allowed her to continue to keep brainstorming new ideas – without getting distracted from completing her current goals. After we selected the top ten, I recommended that she set up an Excel document to list her goals and add criteria to each category. They included:
- Date of completion
- Resources needed
- People needed
- Reward – what she gets if she completes it
- Punishment – what she has to do or loses if she doesn’t complete it
By setting the list in this fashion, she is able to see where she is making progress and where she needs additional time and energy. It will also make it easy whenever she has time to refer back to this list and dive in – rather than thinking about what she needs to do first. I recommend you save the list online or via your smartphone. This way you are not dependent on one paper document and get started working – no matter where your location is. The biggest take-away of our conversation was reviewing each goal to have a clear sense of when it is completed.
I’m sure you have heard of SMART goals. Use the criteria in it to set up a clear outcome of when it’s completed. For example, can you quantify it? Is there a target number, dollar amount or time that you can associate with the goal? If you choose something like vague like “research” – how will you know when you’ve done an effective amount of research. Is it to look at 10 sources for additional information? Is it to create a one page benchmarking sheet of competitors? Set up specific criteria for each goal to ensure you don’t spend hours aimlessly working on it…and not being clear when you have arrived at your final destination. (This is a great place for a business coach, mentor or advisor to help you out to ensure your goals are clear.)
I hope these insights above help you when setting goals for the business of your business. Ideally they will make it easier to work and stay super focused when you have time to spend building your business.