Goals are very important when it comes to the success or failure of your business. Why are they so important? Goals act as a roadmap for you to follow. They let you know where you are going, and if you are getting there on time. You wouldn’t get in your car and start driving without having a destination planned out, so why would you approach your business that way?
All goals should have a few things in common. A goal should define what you are trying to accomplish and when you want to accomplish it by. Goals should be realistic and there should be a way to measure them. All goals should be written down and available for viewing on a regular basis. Simply writing the goal down will significantly increase you odds of achieving it and having it displayed as a visual reminder will also help motivate you.
Even if you have never taken the time to set goals for your business, you are actually very familiar with the process. At some point in your life, you have more than likely taken out a pen and paper and mapped out a plan for accomplishing some type of task. Writing out goals for your business is no different than writing out your grocery list.
By clearly defining your goal, you are telling yourself where you are going. Instead of having a goal of “I plan to spend more time promoting my Virtual Assistant business”, clearly define the goal as “during the next three weeks, my goal is to spend 10 hours per week promoting my Virtual Assistant business”. The second goal tells you what you are going to do and for how long you are going to do it.
Once you know where you are going and when you want to be there, you can figure out how you are going to get there. Using the example above, you know that for the next three weeks, you need to be spending 10 hours per week promoting your business. Now you can start defining mini-goals, such as writing articles and submitting them to reprint directories, emailing past clients and letting them know you are accepting new projects, sending press releases to the media, and so forth.
Goals can also serve as a great way to challenge yourself. Are there some things you have been meaning to do, but keep putting off? Start setting weekly challenge goals, such as blogging one post each day for a week straight or adding a new message each day to your auto responder or even writing an article each day and submitting it to a reprint directory.
Have fun with your goals and reward yourself with a gold star when you accomplish one of them. Once you have collected 10 gold stars, treat yourself to a spa day or some other indulgence. By setting and achieving goals you will find your business taking off and will feel a great sense of enthusiasm and accomplishment.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.