Regardless of what your business is, when you first start you have that one thing that drives you past every hurdle and failure. You have a motive, something that you want to achieve. Often however, this objective is huge, and despite it being the driving factor in the early days of setting up your business, it can also be the thing that makes you feel as though your business isn’t working and that you aren’t getting to where you want to be fast enough. For this reason, effective goal setting is extremely important.
By effective goal setting we mean setting smaller aims that contribute to your overall objective and that can be achieved in a specific time frame. This way you are always working towards something that can be measured, and you are always on track to succeed in your overall goal. You are also on track to feeling a sense of accomplishment every time that an objective has been completed, which will help you to sustain the motivation to keep on with your business, and will help with impact measurement within your business model.
Impact measurement is an important factor within effective goal setting as quantifying what you are doing and being able to measure how effective each task is will in turn influence how you run the business and get you to where you want to be. Thus, the goals that you set for yourself should be both a challenge (although do-able), and specific things that you can measure.
“In the next 6 months I aim to increase my customer base by 50%.”
If the above is your aim, then you would need to think about how to do this. You would need to think about what types of things that you need to be doing every day to achieve this goal, and without consciously thinking about it, you would be setting up your everyday tasks to achieve this goal. In the long term this increase in customer base will have a huge benefit in terms of your business and will help you achieve your overall objectives.
Also notice how the example is quite positive. Although it sounds obvious, it is important not to make your aims negative. The main reason for this is that you want something to work towards, something to achieve, you don’t want to be aiming not to do something.
And finally, don’t be afraid to set both longer term and short-term goals, and don’t be worried about changing your long-term goals if your ideas have changed through your short-term measurements. You can learn a lot through measuring your impact and also progressing as your business grows. Learning and developing is always a good thing!