Goal setting is important for any business, but your goals are likely to change as you grow from a small to a mid-sized or large business. If you learn good goal-setting habits early on in the life of your business, this will help you adapt as your organization starts to scale up.
Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
It’s always useful to have a variety of both short-term and long-term goals. Right now, you’re probably thinking mostly in the short-term. You want your business to grow. You need to grow your list or social media following; you have specific sales goals you need to reach; you want to launch your new product.
But what happens once you reach this short-term goal? You may find yourself adrift wondering what to tackle next. This is why it’s important to look to the long-term as well.
Think about where your organization will be in five or ten years. What does success look like years down the road? What will be different then versus now?
Although you should focus on just one short-term goal at a time, keep a list of long-term goals as well to clarify the direction you want your business to go.
When prioritizing goals right now, don’t be afraid to think small. In fact, it’s a good idea to set small, relatively easily attainable goals for the present. Don’t try to take on too much at once.
Small goals are great because:
They’re attainable. Huge, lofty goals are likely to only frustrate and discourage a small business.
The attainment of each goal is a learning process. You can learn from your small successes and failures.
Manageable goals that you can reach keep motivation and morale high.
Tackling small goals builds momentum that you can then put to bigger and better things.
You have many goals, both short-term and long-term, but you need to focus on just one at a time. How do you do this? The best way is to assess impact. Which of your goals will have the greatest impact on your business in the near future? This should be the one that you focus on first.
A few other things to consider are:
Chronology. You may have one particular goal that logically comes ahead of other goals. For example, you want to build your email list before you start boosting sales through it.
Resources. You may have resources at your disposal now that make a specific goal viable; for example, a new software program for social media marketing may motivate you to work on your goal of boosting your social media presence.
Lack of resources. Likewise, a lack of resources may make one particular goal ideal rather than another. You may need tech help for a particular goal but currently you don’t know anyone who can provide it. You can set this goal on the backburner for now while you work on other things.
Always set goals and employ marketing strategies with your larger, long-term goals in mind. This will help to keep your business on track as you tackle various projects.
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