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Grow Your Small Business, Part 2: Clearly Defining Your Goals
Published on May 17, 2011
Read 'Grow Your Small Business, Part 2: Clearly Defining Your Goals" at 'Time to Start Up," the small business blog by BizFilings.
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how discovering one’s small business goals is a critical step in growing a business. The next step is defining our goals, so we can gain a crystal-clear picture of what they look like.
Why is Defining Our Goals So Important?
Having a general idea of our goals is not enough. Vagueness will leave us directionless, but a goal that is brimming with details gives us a “high-definition” view of what our future looks like. And once we can see our future clearly, we can move toward it with purpose.
Take a moment to think of your small business as a trip you’re planning. A clearly-defined goal is like the address (destination) you enter into your GPS. Without the destination, your GPS can not plan a step-by-step route to get you where you want to go (we’ll talk more about a step-by-step plan of action in Part 3 of this series).
So how do we clearly define our goals? Brian Tracy, one of the world’s top speakers and motivators, suggests the following:
“Imagine that 5-years from now your whole life has been made perfect in every respect. Every aspect of your life. All your dreams have been fulfilled; every goal has been achieved. What would it look like if 5-years from now your life was ideal in every way?
Where would you be in five years?
Who would you be with?
What would you be doing?
How well would you be doing it?
How much would you be earning?
What kind of home would you live in?
What would be your level of physical fitness?
What would your family be like and your relationships?
How would your children be doing?
If your life were perfect 5-years from now in every respect – what would it look like?”
Why does Brian talk about the personal and professional aspects of our lives? Because, whether it’s a business goal or a personal goal, we have to include all dimensions of our life into it. The whole picture needs to be crystal clear — not just one section of it. If we set a clear business goal, but don’t take our family life into account, then we may be setting ourselves up to fail or create problems that could have been avoided.
Now, reading about how to define our goals is one thing. But if you’re serious about growing your business, it’s time for action. Take out your planner and pencil in a one-hour meeting with yourself. During that hour, create a 5-year vision using Brian’s questions as a springboard to clarify your business goals. Look at every aspect of your life, and include as many details as you can think of — even if they seem trivial.
Set your 5-year vision aside for a day or two, and then revisit it. See if you need to add or delete anything from it. It’s also a good idea to discuss your 5-year vision with people you trust, respect and who are supportive. They just might mention something you didn’t think of.