Effective goal setting for maximising business growth...
Written on the 8 May 2008 by Altitude Communications
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Effective business goal setting can help ensure that your business continues to move forward. Setting goals for your business can prevent your business from drifting with the whims of the economy and ensure that you steer your business toward your own choices and targets. Probably the biggest reason that most people who have difficulty with goal setting fail is because they have not really defined their goals. Nor have they ever really considered them as believable or achievable.
Here are some practical tips you can put in place immediately to ensure your business is well on the path to success.
What are your goals?
You must first define your goals and make them specific. If your goal is too vague or general, you won't know when you've actually accomplished your goal. For example, if you goal is, "I will work on my business." how will you know if you've accomplished that goal? The trick is to really identify dates and amounts. So your goal may be to earn $100,000 per year before the end of 2009.
State your goals as something you are moving toward, not something you are moving away from. For example, instead of saying, "I never want to work with an unreliable contractor again." try, "This month I will research contractors and work with those who meet the needs of my business." It's much more motivating to work toward a positive goal than to allow yourself to remain focused on past negativity or disappointments.
Business goals can be short-term (I will make contact with five leads by the end of the week.) medium-term (I will increase traffic to my website by 200% in the next six months) or long-term (I will be financially independent and able to retire when I'm 60). Often it's helpful to establish long-term goals first. That way, you can work backwards and ensure that your medium term goals contribute to achieving your long term goals and your short term goals contribute to your medium term goals.
Challenge yourself, know your values and believe in your goals
When you're setting goals for your business, they should be achievable, but a bit of a stretch. Avoid setting yourself up for failure with goals that are not realistic, but at the same time, challenge yourself just a bit. Set goals that you feel you can achieve but you know you'll have to push yourself a bit to make them happen.
What are your core values - independence, achievement, security, recognition, freedom, commitment? When there's a discrepancy between your business and your values, you run a high risk of burnout. So, part of smart business goal setting include considering your own core values before you determine your targets for your business.
Set a plan to achieve your goals
Why is a particular goal important to you? Write down all the reasons why you want to achieve a goal. It will be a good reminder when you are struggling to commit to the hard work it may take to reach your goal.
Next, determine and write down the resources you will need to achieve your goal, then take stock of your current circumstance to assess what resources you already have and what ones you need to get. Decide how will you get access to the resources that you don't have already. Work with experts and surround yourself with inspiring people. They will make you believe in yourself and your business.
Put your goals in writing.
Writing down business goals is one of the best ways to achieve your goals. It makes your goals more concrete and helps you to commit to them. Don't write down your goals and then throw the piece of paper in a drawer. Post your list of goals somewhere where you will see it every day, such as your fridge. Look at them, read them out loud, and visualise them happening.
Achieving life and business goals doesn't often happen without a solid action plan. If you implement these ways to set your goals, you'll be taking positive steps toward creating and achieving exactly what you want in your life and your business.
Copyright Altitude Communications 2008. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be used without the prior written consent from the author. See below for more details...
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