We all talk about having goals in our business and that every successful entrepreneur out there has their goals set, but what are they and why are goals important? For a business to thrive it needs clearly defined goals but I know the majority of small business owners that I speak to don’t have any clear goals, and that kinda worries me because goal setting is quite straight forwards, so in this video I’m going to talk about how to set goals and achieve them, what goal are, and some of my smart tips.
I’m Lor Bradley, author of Grow Your Tribe. And I’m a business strategist, and online business mentor and I show women in business smart ways to escape the 'feast or famine' trap by working smarter, not harder.
Goals are going to tell you where you're going and how you’re going to get there. And, having some smart goals are going to give you a stretch, keep you motivated and give your business a sense of purpose and daily focus.
Now, your business is the vehicle to get you from where you are right now to where you want to be. And if you think back to when you first created your business, you had a vision in mind as to where you wanted to be and how you wanted your business to serve you.
So basically, your goals are part of the roadmap (that’s your strategy) that your business follows when you are on the journey toward your destination (that’s your big picture vision).
If your business is bigger than you, then another reason goals are super important is that they will bring your people together under a common direction and purpose, because everyone in your teams will get clear on why they do what they do in their day jobs, and they stay motivated as your business progresses along its journey.
And lastly goals are an incredible way to grow your business because they allow you to measure your results and progress toward your big picture vision.
Alright, we’re going to dig into how to define and set your goals. But before I do that, I’m going to set the context for your goals and where they fit, and how they align to your business vision. So, you can see here in my really simple example, your big picture vision and business mission sits at the top. So, imagine you are breaking out your vision like a hierarchy, or a family tree! Now I’m going to cover building a strategy for your small business in another blog post, but I just wanted to give you some context as to where your goals sit.
Your vision will break out into the core pillars that support your business. And these are specific to your business but in this example, I’ve given you some generic ones. Finance, Operations, Customers and Product Development. And you can see here underneath these pillars that you’ll set your high-level business priorities which are also your high-level goals. And those goals fold out into the projects, tasks and progress monitoring that are going to help you to achieve your goals.
Alright lets get back to creating your goals. You can easily start to work with the framework I’ve just shown you. Now, if you don't already have a goal in mind, there are two ways you can get started. One way to get started is to reflect on your vision and values for your business, and how you want your business to serve you.
And that might kick start some great ideas. So, for example, if one of your core values is creativity; a long-term goal might be to develop a brand new original new product.
And another great way to brainstorm your new goals is to think about where you'd like your business to be in the future. And this doesn’t have to be the future state of your big picture vision, but you can break this down into journey stages. So, you might want to picture where you’d like your business to be in two to three years from now. And then what you do, is think about what is different in your mental picture of the future? Then, think about HOW you get to turn that mental picture into a reality.
When I’m consulting with my one to one client, we use a brilliant technique for brainstorming goals, and that’s to use a method called ACES goal setting. The ‘ACES’ acronym stands for Achieve, Conserve, Eliminate, and Steer Clear.
What you want to do in this exercise is brainstorm answers to those four questions and THEN see if you can find goals that would help you achieve what you want. So, for example, you might want to achieve an audience of ten thousand. So, then think about, how you are going to achieve this and the steps you’ll need to take?
You might then decide one practical way is to create a Facebook community to bring people together around the problem that your business is going to solve for your audience. You can then make the creation and ongoing growth of the new Facebook community your new goal.
And, what you want to avoid when you set goals for yourself is being too woolly or by defining goals that won’t motivate you, won’t stretch you or goals that you’ll never achieve. And we use smart goals to better set ourselves up for success. So, it’s really important to choose clear goals and the best way you can do this is by using SMART goal setting. And, SMART is an acronym for: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-specific.
And I’m going to break these down and explain each of them now. So, what you do first, is take your goal and ask yourself these questions.
Your goal needs to be specific or there'll be no way to know whether you've actually achieved it. It can't be something woolly like "build my audience size." You need to choose a metric that tells you exactly how much you’ll build your audience by.
M: Is my goal Measurable?
So wherever you can, make your goal measurable and align it to some numbers. So instead of saying you want to increase your turnover, which is also isn’t very specific, reframe that to say you want to earn X thousand in the next year.
A: Is my goal Actionable?
Make sure you choose a goal that can be broken down into actionable steps to make it clearer on how you’ll achieve it. I’m going to talk about that a bit more in a minute.
So, your goals should be challenging and give you a healthy stretch, but they need to be realistic. So, make sure each goal you set is something you could achieve if you put the effort in. Remember, if your goal is unrealistic or woolly, you'll be setting yourself up for a fall and that can be really demotivating. If you do find you’ve over-reached on a goal though, you can easily tweak it to make it manageable and motivating.
So, choose a timescale and a deadline for when you want to achieve your goal. This is going to help keep you on track on your journey toward your big picture vision and the timescales you might also have in mind to get you there.
So, my goal setting example is:
Build my Facebook audience size to 10,000 women in business within 3 years, by December 2024
Turning Your Goals Into Action Steps
So, what you’ll need to do here is start by coming up with long-term goals, and then from these goals, break them out into shorter-term goals, projects and action steps. And this is how you turn your goals into daily activities that will get you closer to them.
For example, your big goal might be to build your Facebook audience size to 10,000 women in business within 3 years, by December 2024.
So, to do this you might want to break that into 3 1-year chunks. And in year 1, you might set yourself the action steps of:
In the 1st year you might set yourself a target growth of two thousand members. And all of these milestones in that 1st year you can then create actionable items, and these items that can go on your daily or weekly "to do" list, or your 90-day plan
Stay positive when you set your goals. Use positive phrasings. For example, rather than saying you want to reduce your customer cancellations, say that you want to improve customer loyalty and retention.
Now, don't be afraid to dream big with your goals. Even though your goals should be realistic, don't under-sell yourself. Even a huge goal can be achieved if you break it down into manageable chunks.
Make a commitment to the goals you’ve set but try not to be too rigid as you may need to be flexible and open to making changes. Remember, things can change quickly in business, so you might have to change your goals due to the economy, your marketplace or anything else that crops up. So just be mindful of changes happening outside of your business.
If you have teams then get them on board with your goal setting. Your teams might have fresh ideas or have alternative ways of breaking your goals down. The beauty of getting your teams involved is, they'll feel more motivated to pitch in and work toward goals they’ve helped to shape.
And don’t forget, make sure you plan rewards for yourself when you achieve each goal!
Take some time out to celebrate your wins and give yourself a pat on the back!
xo, Lor Bradley.
Tips and tricks alone won't help you to grow your business - but they can certainly go a long way! Watch every week as I share my smart business strategies to grow your business; by boosting productivity, increasing your revenue, understand your customers and selling without selling!
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After feeling drained dancing to Facebook's tune I began yearning for intimate and authentic conversations with entrepreneurs who, like me, want to scale their business without the challenges of being seen on an algorithm driven platform.
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