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Why Set Goals?
By Mary McCarthy, Your Management Team Inc.
Published On:  1/10/2013

We love to hear the stories of the entrepreneur who magically founded a successful business. But, most business owners do not fall into such easy success. Instead they work hard and overcome multiple roadblocks before realizing their dreams.

Walt Disney and Henry Ford are two examples of very successful entrepreneurs who stumbled, made mistakes, pushed through, and overcame challenges to become very successful in their respective businesses. But, what if they had taken the time to plan out their efforts? Could they have navigated more effectively and made better decisions in the first few years of ownership?

Unfortunately many business owners do not plan for success, in fact many do not plan at all. We come up with a great idea that we just know everyone will love and jump into business ownership with both feet without truly thinking through the mechanics. A business is more than an idea; it is also more than generating revenue. A business has many moving parts including sales, customer service, bookkeeping, administration, and marketing. Each segment of your business must work together as a whole and has to be thought out and managed.

If you would like to be more effective with your time and money I would recommend you spend each January reviewing your business, analyzing what worked and didn’t work, and plan the direction for your business each year. Goal setting is an effective tool to help you accomplish this.

Here are a few things to think about when analyzing your business and developing annual goals:

  1. Develop two to three strategic goals to implement for the year: A strategy is a plan or method for achieving goals. As you develop your strategic goals think "big picture." Where do you want your business to end up by the end of the year? What does that picture look like? What will you need to do to achieve that picture?
  2. Review your goals with stakeholders for feedback: Once you have thought through your goal run it past your business partners, employees, and consultants for feedback keeping in mind goals should be specific, realistic and measurable.
  3. Break down your goals into set outcomes to achieve with timeframes to implement: Once finalized the next step is to develop a 12-month plan of action to develop tactics for implementation.
  4. Be realistic with your expectations: If your goals are too aggressive it could de-motivate you from the efforts so be sure they are goals that you have the ability and resources to accomplish. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push yourself, but if you had 30 customers in 2012 a goal of achieving 100 customers in 2013 might not be realistic.
  5. Track your success and readjust if needed: Finally, it is important to measure your activity and your success, and to be open to rethinking your strategies and tactics if you are not achieving your goals.
With the New Year, now is the time to dream big and plan out what you want to accomplish. Dreaming is good, but you also need to develop a plan of action to realize your objectives.Download our free goal setting worksheet to get you on your way to 2013 success...

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