Most of us have the big goals in life, the things we want to achieve in the next few months, the next couple of years, the next five, and so forth. The same applies when it comes to setting up and running your business.
Without goals how do you know what you are working towards? When running your own business it can be easy to get consumed with all the tasks that need to be done, which can result in you losing focus of what you are meant to be working towards. Having a list of goals will help keep you on track and hold you accountable for bringing your plans to life.
It is not enough to write down your goals. To give yourself every chance of success in achieving your goals requires action and the discipline to follow through. This makes it important to be realistic when setting your goals. If your goals are too big that you get overwhelmed just thinking about them, look at breaking your goals down into manageable sections according to the timescale you want to accomplish them.
If for example, my big goal was to have an internationally recognised jewellery brand my smaller goals would look something like this:
- Years 1-2 start a business, create designs and reach a local audience
- Years 3-5 grow the business and expand nationally
- Years 5-10 expand internationally, start diversifying
Now if I were to start focusing on Years 5-10 planning international expansion before I have even found a business name, let alone designed my product range I’m asking for all kinds of trouble. Not to mention making life difficult for my self, by expending energy that should be focused on building the foundations of a successful business first. The foundations would be my short- and then mid-term goals, the ones that work towards accomplishing the long-term goal. The process would be mapped out as follows:
- SHORT-TERM: Goals you want to accomplish in the near future, for example setting up a blog. (Note: short-term goals can be anything from a day to a few months or even a year depending on your overall timescale).
- MID-TERM: Goals that require a bit more time to accomplish, but not nearly as long as long-term goals, for example building a significant number of regular blog readers will take more time than setting up the blog itself.
- LONG-TERM: These are the things that usually take a longer time to come to achieve, for example becoming a top-rated internationally recognised leader and expert in your sector.
Keep in mind that planning your goals does not always have to be about preparing for years into the future. Your goals can be over a month timescale, a year, or whatever works for you and the plans that you have.
It is important to review your goals as you reach the milestones you would have set yourself. Doing this will keep you moving forward. And as you achieve your goals you will need to keep moving them up the list so that mid-term goals become short-term goals and long-term goals eventually become your mid-term goals. And setting another long-term goal.
Are you in the habit of setting goals?
– Tapiwa Matsinde
[Image credit: Tapiwa Matsinde]