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Many of us understand the importance of setting goals for our business, but establishing, never mind achieving goals, can be quite intimidating.
So, where do you start when there are so many different things you need to prioritise. Like finding clients, setting budgets, networking, creating content…the list can feel endless.
Having ideas is one thing but developing strategies for setting and achieving goals is how you will reach your objectives and build a successful personal enterprise.
Truth be told, it is not as scary or daunting as you might think and there is no need to wait for the new year to set and start achieving them.
Start today. Right now, in fact, grab a pen and some paper and start as you dive into the six steps of goal setting.
The 6 Steps of Goal Setting
Step 1: Where Should I Start When Setting Goals?
Taking that first step in setting business goals means that whatever you’re striving to bring to life, from big things to relatively simple things, is closer to becoming a reality.
So, how do you approach setting quantifiable goals?
Start by defining what matters most to you in terms of growing your business. Are you looking to double your income? Dreaming of working with a particular type of client? Want to launch a new product or service?
Don’t limit yourself, write down any goals you have, even if you feel that are crazy. Nothing is off-limits. Just be specific with your words, because a general “I want to be successful in business” isn’t enough information to go on — not for you, and not even for a genie who has your best interests at heart.
Step 2: Define Quantifiable Goals
Once you have your goals in business outlined, it’s time to break down the steps you need to make those goals a reality. The idea is to come up with bite-sized chunks that are measurable and that you can tackle without getting overwhelmed.
Take it one goal at a time. Ask yourself, “What needs to happen for me to get this done?” and go from there. Some goals may have a long list of steps, and that’s okay. Others may be much quicker to achieve than you initially thought, which is also ok!
Step 3: Commit to Your Goals by Setting Deadlines
So, you’ve set quantifiable goals and have tasked out the steps needed to make them happen, now what?
Make your goals time-bound, so you can start making progress.
It is essential to be realistic with your deadlines. Of course, you want to put a little fire under you to get things done, but don’t burn yourself.
Think about how long each task will take and pick a reasonable date that’s not too aggressive but not too loose either — then put it in your calendar. If you need an extra boost, set reminders for each due date.
EXAMPLE STEPS AND DEADLINES:
• Email all existing clients that I’m raising rates on February 1st. Due: January 15th
• Update the packages on my website to reflect my new rates. Due: February 1st
• Get better at setting boundaries with clients, especially around deposits and final payments. Due: Ongoing
Step 4: Go Public With Your Goals by Recruiting an Accountability Partner
While deadlines are vital in setting business goals, we sometimes need an extra push to ensure we don’t blow past our self-imposed due dates.
It also can be helpful to share strategies for setting and achieving goals with someone in your industry. This is where finding an accountability partner within your network is key.
If you don’t have a friend or colleague to help you in your quest for achieving business goals, searching and connect with fellow young entrepreneurs on our website is a great place to find that accountability partner.
Step 5: Improve Your Productivity Skills
Achieving goals in business aren’t done in a vacuum. Even with all the steps we’ve already discussed, if your productivity is low, then you’re at a disadvantage. The good news is that there are many proven ways to boost your productivity that you can easily implement.
• Make my workspace a distraction-free environment. Due: March 15th
• Explore how to automate my business. Due: March 27th.
• Create a vision board to help keep me motivated and on track. Due: March 31st.
Step 6: Celebrate Milestones
When it comes to setting business goals, one of the most important parts is celebrating the sweet moments of triumph. But, unfortunately, a lot of young entrepreneurs tend to be the worst kind of boss — the kind that ignores accomplishments and cracks the whip for the grind to continue.
Just remember, you had many good reasons for starting your business and topping the list was to enjoy the fruits of your labour. So do just that! Achieving business goals is worth celebrating, so be sure to do something special for reaching milestones both small and large.
• Buy yourself a fancy beverage.
• Take the day off and do something fun and exciting.
• Set new business goals. I know this sounds counterintuitive as a “reward,” but the next level of freedom may double as a business goal.
Strategies for Setting and Achieving Goals
As you start to dive into the six steps of goal setting, keep these best practices in mind to ensure your objectives are achievable and will help you get to where you want your business to be.
Reflect on Your Work Style
What works for others may not work for you and vice versa. So, take some time to think about how you work best and what your plan for achieving business goals should look like.
If you’re someone who would rather spend an entire day on business development rather than an hour or so each day, do that. Do you have a crazy schedule? Figure out how to make achieving business goals happen based on your schedule.
Hold Monthly Check-ins with Yourself
It’s critical to have a pulse on how things are going as you work through the 6 steps of goal setting. You don’t want to overload yourself to the point where you stop making progress on your objectives, but you need to be honest with yourself about what you can handle (client projects, day-to-day work, and juggling personal life is a lot!).
Now, I’m not saying to throw in the towel when the going gets rough. You got this! Instead, assess your situation and gauge if you need to adjust things.
Don’t Forget the Numbers
Are you tracking the right metrics to ensure you’re actually moving the needle on your quantifiable goals? Metrics help you identify the areas you need to work on as well as where you’re excelling.
Whether it’s a LinkedIn strategy you’ve deployed to attract new business or if you’re working another angle to get more clients, make sure you’re looking at the right numbers to see if you’re progressing.
To Make Your Goals a Reality, You Need to Have a Plan
Working on your business is just as important as your client projects. In the entrepreneur world, nothing is guaranteed. Therefore, you must invest time in the tactics that will keep business propelling forward invoice after invoice.