Too many small businesses never set goals and therefore never grow.
Quotes of the Week:
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible to the visible.” -Tony Robbins.
“Goals are like magnets. They will attract the things that make them come true.” -Tony Robbins
The Importance of Setting Business Goals
When you set business goals, other things start working themselves into place in a way that I cannot explain. It is just reality. When you set goals, great things happen. When you don’t set goals, nothing happens.
Last week I discussed some of the problems that small businesses have. Two of these problems were that they have a survival mentality instead of a competitive mentality and they have a week to week mentality in that they don’t set long-term goals for their company. I don’t understand this. I set goals personally; I always have about five that I am working on, two to three of which are absolutely paramount. The same should apply to your company. I ask every business owner, what one achievement or initiative if accomplished would have the greatest impact on your business? If you are a small business owner, this is your job. Your paramount responsibility is to set the direction and future of your company.
Setting Goals for Your Business
In order to set direction, you need to set goals. Ask yourself, what one accomplishment this year would knock over the most amount of dominoes within our industry or what would have the biggest positive effect on our competition? There are a countless number of achievements this could be. Think about it this way: If each year you set out to achieve one big company goal in your business but you only reached 50% of your goal, in ten years you would have made five major achievements in your business. You would have made five assaults on your competition.
What will it take to achieve this goal?
Once you know what you need to achieve, start writing down what it would take to achieve it. This is where small business owners get scared. They don’t know how it is going to happen. That is why I like the quotes that I shared. Don’t worry about how it is going to happen. I cannot explain it, but it is amazing how things line themselves up when you have a big goal in your mind that you constantly focus on. Here are the things that are typically required to accomplish a big initiative:
Staff: You need talented people to make goals happen
Money: Often you have to buy something to make things happen.
Real estate or buildings
A bigger footprint
Define the biggest obstacle to achieving this goal.
After writing down your goal, think through what you will need to achieve it. If it is money, you may need a line of credit. If you need more staff, you may have to hire one or two key people. You will start seeing that every big goal is achievable if you go through the steps that I am sharing with you.
Ask yourself, which obstacle scares you the most? Which one seems the hardest to achieve? You need to identify the big obstacle because you will need to pay a sacrifice in order to achieve it. You may need to hire someone better than anyone you have ever hired. You may need to pay someone more than you have ever paid anyone to help you overcome this obstacle. There is always a price to be paid to overcome a great obstacle. A lot of business owners are not willing to pay that sacrifice which is why the obstacle seems so big.
However, if you look at an obstacle there is always a way to get over it. There is just a price to be paid. Often you the owner will have to pay the sacrifice or you will have to get some of your employees to help you overcome these obstacles. Maybe for a time people will have to work more hours or take on additional responsibilities. Whatever it is, you can overcome these obstacles. You just need to get your team on board.
Don’t try to accomplish a great initiative by yourself.
Get your team on board. Get a banner in your office to remind your team of what you are trying to achieve. At your staff meetings tell them why you are trying to achieve this initiative. What are the payoffs? They may get bonuses or receive other benefits. Get them excited because they are going to have to make sacrifices.
The best way to get over an obstacle is to find someone who has achieved it before you. That is my rule of thumb. If I want to learn how to do something I am going to find someone who has already done it and ask them what they did. Is there a company, a consultant or a person who has expertise in achieving the goal that your company has set? Hire them on. Why are you going to try and accomplish something that you have no experience with? Once you have defined your goal and obstacles to obtaining that goal, you need to bring on some talented and experienced consultants.
Establish key mile-markers.
Don’t set a goal a year from now with no markers or dates before then to indicate how you are doing. Break your goal into mile markers. For example: In the first 90 days we want to achieve X and we want to have hired this person. Within a 120 day period, we want to have applied for our lines of credit and we want this piece of machinery. Break your goal into mile markers so that when each one comes up you can see how you are doing.
Break down mile markers into habits, tasks, and projects.
If you have something that needs to be accomplished in 90 days, you have one big goal and a lot of smaller goals that are mile markers. Beneath these are different tasks or projects. Break your initiative down into things that are chewable. As the saying goes, “It is a cinch by the inch.” If you have initiatives that are going to need to be looked at in 60 days, break it down into a lot of little steps and then assign them to the people within your staff. Hopefully, if you hire a consultant or you bring on a staff member they will help you set these up.
Make your goals specific.
A twelve-year-old should be able to read your goal and know what your company is trying to accomplish. It needs to be measurable and realistic. Don’t make your goal something like, “We want to be the number one company a year from now even though we are number 15 right now,” It is hard to motivate your staff if there isn’t a great payoff. It is hard to make big sacrifices on a personal level if there is no payoff. Be sure to give yourself a specific deadline to accomplish your goal. No open-ended never-ending goals. Hold yourself accountable by creating a timeline.
Big goals are not that big if you break them into bite-sized chunks. We do this by getting our staff excited, by sharing the payoff, by hiring experienced people that can help us get over the big obstacles, by recognizing that there is a sacrifice to be made, by establishing mile markers throughout the year that we want to reach our key initiatives by and breaking up those mile markers into daily habits or initiatives. If you make goal setting a habit every year your company is going to grow and exciting things will happen.