In our previous discussions we spoke about setting up three specific types of goals. In simple terms these are;
● Long-term goals
● Mid term goals
● Short-term goals
Using our illustration of a business journey, we could think of our long-term goal as being our destination, the end of our journey. Maybe a mid-term goal would be deciding where we are going to stop for lunch or perhaps to re-fuel. Our short-term goals could simply be to negotiate that next bend, to anticipate the timing on the next set of traffic lights, get in the correct lane at an intersection or to avoid a stray dog crossing the road.
Let’s take a closer look at these three types of goals, although they appear to be simple, when we start to analyse them we can appreciate how important they are to the progression of our business.
When initially working out our business plan the long-term goal is without doubt the most important aspect, in fact it is impossible to write a business plan which does not incorporate long-term goals. We spoke last week about a GPS system needing to know our exact position at the start of our journey and of course the next fact that the system would require would be the destination, and based on those two pieces of information the system will work out our route. Usually it will be necessary to enter a postal or zip code or even a geographic coordinate in order for the device to take us exactly where we need to go. Think about it, are we that specific when considering our long-term business goals? If not, what are the chances of actually getting our business to the correct position or level that we are aiming for?
Have you ever started out on a journey without a specific destination? For example, maybe you’re not sure of an actual address that you need to find, you just know that it is in a certain town and so you start off on your journey, just heading for the town thinking, I will ask somebody for the address when I get there. I suggest that you will feel much more confident and actually enjoy your journey to a greater degree if you know exactly where you are going.
So how specific are your goals? Do you include facts and figures and time periods? The more details you supply, the greater the chance of you arriving at the right place. What would give you the greater clarity, knowing just the town or the municipality, or the street and building number? Let’s translate that into business terms. Are you running a retail business, or perhaps a service company? Do you know where you want your company to be for example in five years time? Your answer could be, “I need to increase the income”. Not good enough! That just equates to knowing which town!
Your answer ought to be, “I will make a pre-tax profit of $50,000 in the 2017 financial year”. Much better! Now you are beginning to define where you want to be in more precise terms. This would be a good time to consider why are you making the journey anyway? What is your reason for going to that address, in other words, what is your goal really about? Many people will give money as their goal, but in a typical coaching session it emerges that the money isn’t really the goal at all, but merely the means to attaining a totally different goal.
When writing out your (long term) goals, think about every aspect of what you hope to achieve, for example how will it affect you financially, your lifestyle, your involvement in the business, the structure of your business, your work/life balance? Take time to visualise exactly how things will be when that goal is achieved, what will be different, what will your work schedule be like, will you need new premises, staff, funding or equipment? Write it down in your journal, you will refer to it often, just like a road map. In the next article we will discover the three big mistakes most people make when setting long term goals.
“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now”. Denis Waitley, (Motivational Keynote Speaker and Author of 16 Books)
Whether your journey is in Business or on the road, ‘drive’ carefully!