Goal setting can be challenging, but it is important. As humans, we are a goal-oriented species. It’s what drives us to get up in the morning and work hard. We all want to achieve a better life for ourselves and those we care about. However, it’s been reported that only 20% of the general population consistently sets personal goals.
But what about business goals? A report released in 2020 found that 65% of small business owners met more than half of their objectives during the previous 12 months. However, only 5% achieved ALL of their goals.
If goal setting in life and business is so important, why are so few able to achieve their goals? In this article, we will give you 7 ways to help you achieve your business goals faster.
1. Set the Goals the Right Way
When setting personal or business goals, it is important to set them the correct way. Spending time and energy working on important goals is useless if you have not correctly set them up in the first place. So, how do you set business goals the right way? There are 2 primary methods that you can choose from.
The first is a popular method called the SMART goals. The second is a lesser-known method called the PACT method. They both help you identify which goals you should be setting. Here is a breakdown of each method.
- Specific. This means that your goal should be well-defined, clear, and unambiguous.
- Measurable. There should be a way to easily measure your progress towards the achievement of the goal.
- Achievable. The goal should be reasonable and attainable. It should not be impossible to achieve.
- Relevant. The goal should be important and aligned with your or your business’s current priorities.
- Timely or Time-bound. Your goal should have a clearly defined timeline. This includes a starting date and a target end date.
- Purposeful. Your goal should be meaningful to your long-term purpose in life or business.
- Actionable. Your goal should be actionable and controllable. The goals should make it possible to take action now instead of putting off actions for the future.
- Continuous. The actions you take toward your goals should be simple and repeatable. This will help aid in creating consistency in your business process
- Trackable. This approach is slightly different from the measurable approach of the SMART goal. Trackable takes a “yes” or “no” approach to your actions instead of measuring them.
Keep in mind that you can combine these 2 types of goal setting to cater to your process.
2. Identify Short Term Goals
A short-term goal list helps you to stay motivated. Short-term goals are the goals you set for yourself and your business that you hope to achieve within days, weeks, or months. Usually, short-term goals are set with hopes of being achieved within a year. For many businesses, short-term business goals are set quarterly. Your short-term goals should also help you achieve your long-term goals.
One of the best ways of achieving short-term goals is to write out a list of things you want to get completed in the next two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, you can see what you accomplished and what you didn’t. The benefit of this strategy is that not too much time has passed. This way, you can adjust your efforts to get back on the right track.
Daily goals can sometimes create too much mental pressure, which can be counter-productive. The method of two weeks is not too little or too much. The best way to work with this system is to work with your long-term plans. See where you want to be in a year, and break down your tasks to achieve those business goals into two-week chunks.
3. Don’t Lose Sight of Long-Term Goals
Once you have identified and set and you are moving towards your short-term goals, you need to be sure that you are not losing sight of your long-term goals. When setting your short-term goals, it is important to remember that those goals are supposed to help you reach your long-term goals.
Long-term goals are important in business. New business, especially, should have long-term business goals. Having these types of goals helps you focus on the future and longevity. With over 50% of businesses failing within 5 years, long-term business goals help you do the things that will ensure that your business does not become another statistic.
4. Move Distractions and Barriers Out of the Way
One of the reasons why most of us do not reach our business goals is simply because we’ve spent too much time and energy on other things. We all have 12 months a year and 24 hours a day to move closer toward our goals. Misusing this time by being distracted is a surefire way to miss the mark.
When you are trying to achieve your business goals, you must move distractions and barriers out of the way. You, as a business owner, should be spending time on high-impact tasks.
This means that you should be doing things that only you can do and should delegate work to your team or outsource them. If other things are drawing away your attention, you should limit your access to them or remove them all together. This includes email management, social media, and administrative work.
5. Set Clear Milestones and Keep Score
Milestones can be considered “mini-goals”. They help you see that you are making progress and allow you to celebrate small victories. These small accomplishments you reach on your way to achieving your other goals can offer a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
For example, you can have a goal to have 1,000 customers that create recurring revenue monthly. You may want to set a milestone of reaching your first 100 within 2 months. This milestone will allow you to celebrate a goal accomplished.
It will also allow you to evaluate your strategy to see if you can produce better results in the following 2 months. So, instead of a milestone of 100 customers in the next 2 months; 250 customers in 2 months.
Use the milestone to celebrate and to critique. That way, you will have even more to celebrate next time.
6. Narrow Your Focus
There are probably a lot of things you could do in the next 12 months to improve your business. You can improve the operational process, update your website and social media profiles, or branding. But what will make the most impact?
Studies have found that multitasking is not natural for the brain. It creates more problems than it solves. The body will often go into a flight/fight response. This is how you can easily get stressed out instead of enjoying the process of reaching goals.
This can happen when trying to achieve too many business goals. Instead of coming up with a whole bunch of goals, keep your focus a little more narrow. Choose just two to three goals at a time, and put all your effort into those things. It takes less time to accomplish those goals, so in the end, you will have achieved more in the long term.
7. Track Your Progress
A study found that more than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals. Also, 40% of people that write down goals don’t check whether they’ve achieved them. With this approach to goal setting and accomplishment, it is no wonder that so few businesses reach all of their goals.
There are several ways to track your progress. There are goal-tracking apps on your phone. You can also create a spreadsheet on Excel or Google Sheets. Finally, you can write your goals and progress on a whiteboard where you can easily see them and update your progress.
How you track your progress isn’t as important as how consistently you do it. Keeping track of where you’re at in terms of your business goals is a helpful way to meet them. What you measure will get done.
8. Make it a Group Effort
It’s important to involve your team or business associates on the journey to achieve goals. If you run your business alone, you can also find family and friends that are willing to support and encourage you. Knowing that people are behind you gives you additional confidence to proceed. It is one of the simplest ways to achieve goals. It also creates accountability during the goal-achievement process.
The truth is there are several reasons why businesses fail to reach their goals on time. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to achieve business goals. It’s not about a big burst of effort, but slow and methodical intention.
Know what you value, and know why you’ve failed in the past. Focus on just a few things at once. Be aware of your progress, and be patient with yourself. Write things down. Schedule everything. These types of actions take very little time but do maximize your ability to achieve goals.
If you’re a new business and haven’t even set your goals yet, check our our article on the 8 Long-Term Goals for New Businesses.
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