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Business Coach: Setting Goals: Smart Strategies for Success

By Dr Paul E Adams |

Goals help you overcome short-term problems. Hannah Moore

Thumb through any book on entrepreneurship and you will find goal setting as a prime topic.

It is one of the most written about business tools so vital to becoming a successful entrepreneur. It is touted and promoted as the ultimate path to getting what you want. It is all made to seem so simple- decide what want to accomplish and do it.

To the inexperienced, a goal is a wonderful outcome, too often it is a dream, and not a realistic dream, but a wish labeled as a goal you secretly hope will release untapped inner forces propelling you to your illusions.

Off the wall goals or dreams can spell trouble in business. Many a business has failed because of unrealistic and hasty expansion based on some unreal assumption. That said, the use of goals to get what you want or drive your business to success works, but you have to know how to use goal setting as a way of fashioning a business strategy that will work for your business. And your goals must be realistic, not windmills.

When you decide on your goal you have begun the process and if done correctly your big goal unleashes a series of events and activities that can become your road map to success. Let us say, your business is so-so, squeaking by month after month, and as you are feeling frustrated, you decide to change the situation. How? If only you could push up your marginal profits to a decent rate- you would have a few bucks left over each month and fewer worries. Ah but, it is easy to say what you want, quite another to figure out how to make it a reality. Read on. Here is the way the pros use goals to get what they want.

Assume your major goal during 2004 is to increase your profits by 100 percent. Now that said, how you do it? The trick is establishing sub goals, - little goals that are a series of building blocks much like individual bricks in a brick wall- each one important . As you start with your goal of making more money- you lay out a series of choices that eventually become your plan of action. You move from the general to the specific, from statements to action- and actions that make your goal happen.

To achieve your goal of doubling your profits you start with looking at your major choices. You have these options-Some will work, others won t or maybe it is a combination that does the trick.

  1. Increase Your Sales Revenue.
    You can do so in a number of ways, you can look for more customers, establishing a sub- goal of so many new customers. You can set a sub- goal of selling more to your existing customers. You can expand your product or services tapping new markets. You have choices to put into action that will lead to sales and additional profits.

    As you head down this trail laying out your plan of action, you find one decision leads to another- all aimed at making your major goal a reality. Assume you chose to add more customers; the next logical step is how? Again, you are presented with a series of choices such as, advertising, phone campaigns, increase our sales force, or stay open longer hours. One action builds on another until you have your road map.

  2. You Can Cut Costs and Expenses.
    A sure way to increase your profits is to reduce your operating costs and expenses. But you need a road map with choices such as, pay less for the product you sell, reduce your work force, or cutout unnecessary expenses such as perks and the little goodies you like to reward yourself with. You are creating a series of choices that become building blocks moving you to your goal.

  3. Increase Your Markup.
    Make more money on each sale. If you increase your markup, profits automatically increase. But how do you do it? You have a choice-buy cheaper or increase your prices. There is a fear factor that you will lose customers if you boost your prices, unless you do so drastically, your customers will take it as a light drizzle and not a major storm and ignore it. Many entrepreneurs sell too cheap, thinking they must, and are pleasantly surprised after a modest or slight increase in prices that their customers keep coming back.

Goal setting is a tool that works, as long as those who practice this art of accomplishment realize the much sought after goal is the destination- but impossible without the details of the journey. And selecting the journey is a series of specific choices that will lead you to your goal. In other words, take your big challenge and break it down into bite size challenges you can digest- and in time your plate will be clean.

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