Setting short term business goals can be a lot more difficult than creating a ten year-vision of your future because we have to mesh your big picture vision with the realities of the available resources of time, money, experience as well as the business climate that you are in.
To get your short term business goals right, you first need to
After all, the shortest distance between point A and point B is well, the shortest distance between two points--- and right now the only point we have is the destination.
Ever tried giving directions to someone who doesn’t know where they are? Same thing applies when it comes to short term business goals. Think about them as mile markers between where you are now and your final destination.
Take a good look at where you are now and where you have been. Without this critical step you are unlikely to benefit from past experiences and integrate the lessons you have learned from both success and failure. In considering the following questions lets really take a close look at your habits, your fears your limiting beliefs and the things that distract you, because acknowledging a problem is the first step in making a change.
Inventory the good, the bad and the ugly:
After you have done the above exercise, go for a nice long walk.
When you come
back make a list of the 10 most likely threats/ weaknesses that would
stop you from reaching your goals. Next to each one, create a strategy
to prevent that from happening. If you can't prevent it from happening,
strategize how you can manage the risk and minimize the effects on your
business if it did happen. For example, you can't prevent a hurricane, but you can buy insurance, shutter the windows and stock up on extra supplies.
List your top ten strengths and/or opportunities and next to each one, strategize how you can leverage it. Put a * next to the five that have a combination of the highest return and likelihood of success.
Go for another long walk or give yourself a break before sitting down for the next step of breaking your vision down into realistic short term business goals.
It’s kind of hard to follow a roadmap if you never see a road sign. Without benchmarks along the way, you could easily make a wrong turn and get miles off track before even realizing that you have been traveling in the wrong direction for days, weeks, even years.
Go back to step one and review your ten-year goals. Then work backwards to set realistic 5-year, 2-year, 1-year, 6-month, 90-day and 1-month and 1-week goals.
Say for example you are just starting out and have a 10-year revenue goal of 10 million dollars.
The problem with THAT logic is that it is a lot quicker and easier to get your business from $1 million to $10 million in top line revenue then what it will be to get to the $1 million mark. Depending on the type of business you have, the first $100,000 might be the hardest hurdle. That is because you have not yet developed the systems in place to scale your business and you are probably doing most of it solo.
If you are just starting out, take a realistic look at what your survival income needs to be and make that level consistently your first short-term business goal.
If you have been in business for a while, you have a better idea of what is possible. Set your goals so that they stretch you -- but not too much. Having coached people in setting long-term and short term business goals for over two decades, I find that if people consistently miss their goals, it erodes their self confidence which can have a devastating effect.
Focus on systems that you can put in place rather than ideas or transactions. These include databases, marketing systems, sales systems, hiring, training, customer communication, etc.
Systems streamline your business and can make your business more scalable so that when you get beyond your break-even point you can grow quicker without losing control of things.
As you work through your short term business goals, consider what you need to be happy, to feel balanced and at peace. This could include stuff like exercise, communion with nature, spirituality, learning, social interactions, hobbies and so on.
If you don't make the journey part of the fun, your short-term business goals could burn you out and you don't want that. What do you need to feel your best, enjoy harmonious relationships? What is the best rhythm for your life? It doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be what fulfills you. After looking at your personal needs, revisit your short term business goals ask yourself: