Small business owners often get so involved in the daily running of their company that they fail to reach their full growth potential. Setting clear, realistic and measurable targets for the business is a key means of staying motivated and keeping the business moving forward on the right track.
Keeping these goals in mind is the best way to focus on what is important in achieving success quickly and effectively rather than simply attending to the daily functions. But goal setting may not be as simple as you may think and there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration:
1. Be Specific
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you try to tackle one large goal, the process can seem overwhelming. The more definitive, specific and detailed your goals, the easier it is to remain focused on the target. A plan that breaks down a specific target into a set of steps that need to be taken to achieve the end result is ideal.
For example, if you want to increase your online presence, don’t just set a target for attracting more visitors to your website. List the tools and techniques that you can use and set these as mini-goals. Then, expand the goal to include how these achievements will relate into greater profit. One bite at a time is much easier than trying to swallow the elephant whole.
2. Be Realistic
Setting a goal that is way beyond your means to achieve could result in failure. You need to be objective and honest regarding the targets you are likely to achieve. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you need to set goals that are too easy to reach in order to achieve success. Your goals should be challenging and worthwhile. In other words, they should provide value and benefit the business in order to create the greatest growth.
Visualizing your goals doesn’t simply mean keeping an image or picture in your mind of where you want the business to go. Actual, physical images that are displayed in your office will help keep the goals fresh in your mind. Your visual aid should also help you keep track of the milestones or mini-goals that you reach in order to reach your main aim. It should allow you to measure your progress and eliminate targets that have been achieved. Visual aids are also a great way to get your employees involved in the challenge and get them working as a team to help achieve the end goal.
4. Track Weekly
Instead of tracking your goals only when you achieve a certain milestone, it is more effective to track progress on a weekly basis. This will help you evaluate your progress and determine whether there are any steps that you can take to speed up the process. It also gives you the opportunity to adjust goals that may be unrealistic as well as add new mini-goals that will help along your way. Goal setting doesn’t need to be a stagnant process but should take into account any growth or lags that need to be adapted. Keeping track of the goals that have been attained regularly will also help keep you and your employees motivated to keep reaching for greater heights.
5. Be Accountable
Being accountable for under-achieving or nor reaching your goals according to your timeline is a key aspect of goal setting. Not holding yourself accountable will result in you slipping into a comfort zone where you and your business do just enough to survive rather than reaching your full potential and continuing to grow. Getting out of that comfort zone is the fastest way to achieve success.
However, it can be difficult to hold yourself accountable at all times. Finding a mentor or a third person to keep you accountable is a great way to stay on the right track. An objective third party will not listen to excuses or allow you to get away with not meeting your goals. It is best to select a person who has achieved success in their own business or career and needed to be accountable for achieving the goals they set for themselves. They will be able to provide you with the best advice that their own experiences have provided them. A good mentor can mean the difference between reaching beyond your own potential and simply allowing the business to run into mediocrity.
6. Be Balanced
It is very important to have a balance between your work life and personal life outside of the business. If you put too much time and energy into growing your business and reaching your goals, you may find that you are no longer happy or may end up exhausted or burnt out. This all leads to a lack of motivation that will simply deter you from reaching your goals.
Take the time to celebrate your successes with friends and family. They will provide you with the encouragement that you need to keep going. Reward yourself with time off to enjoy activities outside of the office.
Always remember that goal setting and staying on-track to achieving success is a skill. The more you practice, the easier the goal setting process will become and the faster you will reach your targets.
With every new achievement, you will feel motivated and encouraged to reach even greater heights and you may be surprised at how your focus and goals for the future begin to change and shift. And as you will soon realize, motivation is the key to creating success in any business environment.
Never stop challenging yourself and your business to achieve greater success and adapt your aims, goals and targets to match the growth you have already reached.
Alexander Kitingan is a successful marketer and two time Amazon Kindle best selling co-author. Learn more about Alexander and his powerful and effective marketing techniques at Agency1Alexander.com