This blog was originally written for Small Business Saturday UK
Okay. How should you set business goals?
It’s really important to have a direction, something to aim for…
A goal that you want to achieve.
If we don’t have a target, a plan, a place where we want to be, then we end up turning up every day and not really knowing what to prioritize.
If you don’t know what to let go of and what to drill down on, you are wasting lots of time.
It’s hugely important that we have goals.
So how should you set business goals?
I’d like to talk to you about how I set goals and how I try to get my team to set goals too.
Going through this process is hugely beneficial and it will, I hope, radicalise how you start operating within your company.
The first thing I suggest you do is to go away and have a think about your personal goals.
Your life’s ambition.
Ask yourself this question:
Where do I want to be in five years time?
Think purely personal and forget about business for now.
Where do you live?
What are your family and friends doing?
What do you do in your free time?
Picture yourself in five years’ time!
This could take some time, But once you’ve identified your personal goals you then
need to work backward.
Say to yourself “Right, if that’s where I want to be in my personal life in five years, what does my business look like to acheive that?”
What does it need to be producing?
What systems need to be in place?
How does your business look?
How does my company fit in with my personal goals?
That’s the way to do it.
In the beginning
We start these companies because we’ve got an idea and a passion.
We want to have the flexibility to run things the way we want to run things. That’s a personal choice.
You’re likely to see a mismatch, a disparity.
Your current trajectory may be completely at odds with what your personal ambition is.
If so, then there needs to be some quite significant changes.
It’s okay… you’ve got time.
You can do a lot in five years, but unless you go through this process, you’re not going to realise what things you should be doing
within your business and what things you shouldn’t.
Imagine waking up in 5 years time with a business that’s doing well, but you’re unhappy.
That wasn’t the plan.
It won’t be because you haven’t worked hard, it’s tough running a company.
If you wake up in 5 years time and have a profitable business you deserve a pat on the back, but you could still be unhappy.
Without goals, we react to decisions coming in.
Yes, I’m going to focus on that.
That looks interesting, I want to work with those people.
With no real idea of where your focus should be, you run the risk of ending up miles from where you hoped.
A better place
Once you’ve got those personal goals bottomed out, you’re then in a much better position to say “Well, actually, I shouldn’t even be looking at that.” or “We need to stop doing that.” or “That’s an interesting opportunity. Yeah, it fits in with where the business needs to be for me to facilitate that personal goal. Let’s spend a bit more time on that.”
Setting goals now is a great way to plan.
It’s a great way of filtering out noise and distraction, which is hugely important for us as business owners.
Distraction, it eats away our time and that’s one thing we cannot buy more of. Especially if it’s just you.
If you’re on your own there’s even more pressure on you to be super-efficient. Distractions are really going to slow you down.
Go on, get cracking.
I want you to take some time to think about your future.
You might find that you can sit down solidly for a couple of hours and really, really work things out.
More likely, you’ll need to go away and process this. Let the idea drip-feed into you over the next week or so.
I highly recommend going away and talk to your family too.
Make sure that your personal goals fit in with their vision of the future.
Family comes first and that is fundamental.
Ensure that you are on the same path and you’ll be invincible.