The Importance of Setting Goals When You Start Your Business

It is important to set goals when you first start your business.

Here’s why…

When people first start a business they generally just get started. They go ‘I’m tired working hard for someone else’.  ‘I’m going to go out on my own and reap the benefits of being my own boss’.  The goal becomes all about starting rather than looking further out.

So you start and win your first couple of jobs.  The goal quickly becomes ‘I’ve got to just try and keep the money coming in’.  That way I can pay the bills and try and make as much as I can. The problem with this is that at some point you’ll simply be caught up in the day to day.  And you end up working from one job to the next and playing catchup at night and weekends.

Set Goals Right From the Start

So instead, be clear on where you are taking your business right from the start.  That way you can stay on track as you build your business.  The best way to do this is set some goals for your business.  We suggest looking out 12 months.  This is far enough out to plan for but not too far to allow for the learning curve you will face as you start your business.

Writing down your goals is going to give you focus. Once you know what you are trying to achieve, it’s going to help you focus in on the best way to get there.  So where do you want to get to in your first 12 months?

  • How much income are you aiming for?
  • What is your target turnover and profit?
  • How many hours do you want to be working?
  • What type of jobs do you want to be doing?
  • How many jobs you’ve done?
  • Any other goals you have that are important to you?

Whatever it might be, the important thing is you have something to aim for.

There is Power in Writing Your Goals Down

There is something powerful when you start to write your goals down.  Once you have some goals to aim for you can start to break these down further.  For example, working out how many jobs you need to create the income you want?

Once you know this number, break it down further for milestones to achieve along the way.  For example, how many jobs you need to win in the first month, the first three months and the first six months.

This will give you a bit of a roadmap to follow and to keep you on track. Having worked with over 3000 businesses we have seen the power of setting goals.  It will speed up the success of your business.

Make Sure Your Goals Meet the SMART Test

Would you like to make your goals more powerful and effective?  Then put your goal to the SMART test.  For your goals to be SMART they need to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time Frame

Let’s explore each of these…

Specific

Is your goal nice and specific? Avoid broad goals like ‘I want to make more money than I was working with someone else’. What is your specific income target? Is it $50,000? $80,000? $100,000?.  Be specific in what you want to achieve.

Measurable

Is your goal measurable?  If your goal is nice and specific, it usually is easier to measure.  Use this step to tighten up your goal.  For example, instead of ‘I’d like to be doing work for a couple of builders in my first year’.  Tighten this up to something like ‘My goal is to have five builders referring me work in the next 12 months’. Notice how this a lot more specific and measurable.

Achievable

Is your goal achievable? Are your goals achievable based on what stage you are at in your business?  Is it achievable based on the current business skills you have?  Sometimes you must go and learn some more skills to achieve the goals you are after.

Realistic

Is your goal real for you?  Do you read your goal and go ‘Hey, I can get there’.  It may be a bit of a stretch, but you feel is doable.  Is your goal real for you based on where you are at and what you believe you are capable of?

Time Frame

This is about putting a date on your goal. Think of your goals as dreams with deadlines.  You have probably got a good idea of why you are getting into business and what you are looking to achieve. Put timeframes around each one so you have some key milestones to aim for along the way.

So that is it! That is why it is important to set goals.

If you have not already, take the time now to sit down and write out your goals for the next 12 months. It is going to give you focus. It is going to give you clarity. And you are going to go a lot further and faster by doing this one simple thing.