Setting effective goals that are also achievable is a key part to any business. It does not matter what niche you are in, what you sell, what services you provide… without goals the success that you are working for will always remain elusive. You simply won’t know where you are going without goals – and you won’t know when you get there either.

However, although the majority of business owners are keen to work out what their goals are and put them in place, a large number of them aren’t so keen to put the work in to find out what they are. They are excited – and that’s understandable of course – about their business. They just want to get out there and get going. Goals can come once everything is up and running. But will they? Once the realities of running a goalless business become more evident, do business owners go ‘back to the drawing board’ to start again?

Not very often. So the business flounders and eventually fails.

Which is why goal setting at the very beginning, before the business is even launched, is the best way to start any kind of new venture. But how to go about setting these goals and, more importantly, working out what they are in the first place? These ideas should help you.

Be Descriptive
The human mind is an awesome thing, but it is easy to accidentally limit it. If you don’t imagine – perhaps visualise is a better word – the future for your business, it will be more difficult to achieve it. The easiest way to do this is to write it all down. Make a list of all the things you want to happen in your business. But be specific. Rather than simply writing that you want to make a lot of money or find partners abroad, write down exactly how much money you want. Write down where in the world those partners are, and how they will help you. Visualise everything from the numbers themselves to the environment you’re in when you get the news you’ve been waiting for. What will your office look like? Where will you be based?

Although it may sound like magic, there is much power in visualisation, and it should certainly be tried. Be as detailed as you possibly can. Not only will it help you start out in the right direction, but you’ll feel great afterwards as well.

Make Them Achievable
Having achievable goals is important. It might be fun to make goals that seem impossible, but it won’t be so much fun chasing them – it will wear you and your business out. So finding goals that will work for you and that are totally attainable is the best course of action. Start relatively small and work up from there. That way, the goal that was impossible when you started out will be attainable once you have reached a certain level of success. Nothing is truly impossible as long as you get the groundwork and the timing right.

Make A Timeline
Vague goals won’t help you in the least. You – and everyone else, it’s part of the human condition – will find ways to put off the hard work, and that’s especially true if the goals you set have no end date on them. If you put an actual date by each goal telling you when you want to have achieved it all by, you will work harder and be more successful than if you don’t. Dates equal focus which is something a business owner needs a lot of.

If the dates you have chosen are a long way off (possibly due to the time it will take to reach that goal – remember you are being realistic) then you should add milestones to the timeline. Tick them off as you go and you’ll always have something to aim for, and you won’t feel so overwhelmed either.

Find The Reasons
Setting business goals is all very well, but if there are no reasons behind them then you will find it hard to be motivated to reach them. Find the reasons for everything you do and it will be much easier to push yourself in that direction. And these should not be arbitrary reasons either – they need to be truly meaningful. It can be anything, as long as it means something to you. And don’t worry about other people thinking your special reasons are silly; they’re not. Not if they really mean something to you. And besides, you’ll never need to tell anyone what they are if you don’t want to.

Do It
After you’ve spent a lot of time creating your goals, working out why you want to achieve them, and setting it all in an achievable timeline, you need to actually go for it. You need to do it. Otherwise what was the point? Start from day one and you’ll always know what to do when it comes to important decisions – choose the option that works for your goals, even if it is the harder choice.

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