Understanding products and services are what small business owners are best at. However, not everyone is proficient at planning. More small businesses are compromised by a lack of a plan than fault with the products or services. Taking the time to develop a disciplined plan will result in greater chances of achieving these goals. It’s said in sports that the will to win is worthless without the will to prepare, and the same principle holds true in business.
The key with goal setting is not to set goals easily achievable. Set them between the dream scenario and the tread water mark. Goals shouldn’t be easy; they wouldn’t be worth achieving if they are. This is the starting point with planning. Some small business owners like to set goal tiers. The low tier should be the bare minimum, the middle tier should be a comfortable level, and the top tier is the dream outcome. This type of goal setting practice reduces anxiety for some small business owners.
The key for planning is knowing if goals will be achieved. Just like mile markers on highways, creating markers to assess progress towards goals allows small business owners to know if they’re on the right track or need to change the route. The signposts should be the different markers on the road to a goal. For example, if the goal is to raise gross revenues 30% over the next 3 months, each month should see a 10% increase. An ambitious small business owner would break it down to a weekly, and even a daily signpost.
Goals must have associated behaviors. List the different behaviors that need to be taken in order to achieve the goals. This is the action plan. Building these behaviors into the planning ensures there’s a reason for success or something to fix if the plan is not being achieved. Knowing the actions leading to an outcome is helpful because goals and signposts are conceptual, but actions are tangible, and in the end people can only act.
Planning for success is something ROI consultants help small business owners with. Learn different processes for achieving your small business goals. Email here.