Often we find ourselves setting New Year’s resolutions, but how attainable are those resolutions? Do we think about how we’ll achieve our resolution(s)? No. Let’s face it; by the end of January or February, many of us have waivered and think, “well, maybe next year…”
For small business owners, to have a prosperous 2014, we can’t think this way. Stay positive, even if you’re struggling at achieving your goals. Most importantly, don’t set goals that are unattainable. Sure, it’s important to dream big and aim for “extraordinary”, but usually we overwhelm ourselves with astronomical goals and then end up giving up on them soon after. We lose faith in our ability to achieve what we want, and it affects us professionally, as well as personally. So, instead make an overall goal, (like an specific end of year revenue number you’d like to reach), and then draw out smaller goals that will aid in your achievement towards the larger goal. Remember, “you crawl before you walk”, so baby goals are the stepping-stones to larger goals; especially for small business owners.
So how should small business owners go about setting these short and long-term goals? It always helps to self reflect. What are your business’ strengths? What are its areas of development? What areas, departments, or skills do you need to improve on? Once strengths and development areas have been determined, then it’s time to set goals. So, let’s say for instance you want to increase your annual sales by $10,000. What monthly sales goals should you set? What about weekly? Daily? Keep breaking the larger goal down in to smaller goals that aren’t overwhelming and are more easily achievable, and before you know it, you’ll have met or even surpassed your goal.
The next important step is to make sure there’s a way to measure all the progress you make on both large and small goals. After all, what good is a goal if you can’t tell how much progress you’re making towards obtaining it? You can measure daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly-it depends on the goals you’ve set and how closely you’d like to monitor progress. After monitoring for awhile, if you feel you’re not making strides towards achieving goals, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.
Obviously, you need to give yourself enough time to try and meet your goals, but If after a designated time period, you don’t see enough improvement, then perhaps a goal is too high or needs to be changed to one that’s either attainable or one that allows you to properly progress towards achieving your overall goal.
Let’s also not forget that in order for you to set and reach your professional goals, you must also set and achieve personal goals as well. Let’s face it, if we’re feeling challenged or down on a personal level, if usually reflects back in our work somehow. Feeling accomplished and capable on a personal allows you to be more focused and confident in your business endeavors, leading you on a victorious path.
All in all, the four key takeaways to remember as a small business owner when setting 2014 goals are:
- Be realistic. You can be realistic and still be optimistic. Don’t sign yourself up for a tremendous goal that you don’t normally meet, even during your most prosperous operating periods.
- Be specific. The more specific you are, the better your goals will be, and the higher your chance is at meeting those goals, and even surpassing them!
- Set both long-term and short-term. You need both to strive for potential profitability, but short-term goals make up the long-term goals. Remember, you crawl before you walk and you walk before you run.
- Be optimistic! Staying positive truly does help you on your road to meeting goals. Don’t sell yourself short. Believe that you are capable of reaching extraordinary measures.
If you’ve ever had a goal to own your own franchise or small business one day, take your first small step towards achieving that goal and visit our FirstLight Home Care Franchise Information page.
Ready, set, GOAL!