When I go to visit customers I always do what is called a Discovery, start off by finding out what your business is about and what your Goals are for the future. I would say a lot of people actually don’t have goals for their business or life. Here are some reasons why goals are important:
- They give you a clear vision, a clear direction
- Motivates and gives you a target to aim for
- Makes you accountable
- Boosts your self esteem, without goals you don’t have success. How do you know when you have succeeded if there is nothing to measure?
- Helps organize your time and focus
When creating goals we have to make sure we create SMART goals, no that doesn’t mean that you need to be a genius, SMART is an acronym. It stands for
Specific – Who is involved with this goal or what departments? What do you want to accomplish in the end? Where will this take place? When will this start and end?
Having a goal of eating less Junk Food is great, but a more specific goal is eat only 1 chocolate bars a month for the next 3 months. If you are not specific enough you will start to cheat or be demotivated.
Measureable – Goal setting is not as easy as saying I want more sales. There is no way to measure that. In order to succeed you need a target, so having X amount of sales by the end of Q1 would be a better goal.
Attainable – What is the point of having a Goal if you can’t attain it. When that goal is within reach you will find that extra bit of effort to execute, or you will find a way to top up that budget to get to where you need to be. But at the same time make sure they are challenging or else it will be meaningless.
Relevant – Make sure it’s a goal that matters, for example if your goal was to generate more sales out of a new service or product. Then keeping your desk clean should probably not be in your goal setting discussions. A lot of the time you will need support from other people to attain a goal, will they find it relevant to them?
Timely – When is the deadline, 2 days, a week, a month? Make sure you set a date and stick with it!
Defining your goals this way will increase your chances of success. Be sure to evaluate your achievements after the fact. Not achieving a goal is not the end of the world, but not setting one properly can be.