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An unwritten goal is just a wish

The end of 2018 is fast approaching and with it comes the opportunity to set some business goals for next year. It’s also an opportunity to review what worked well in the past year, what didn’t and what you could do better. I’ve been setting goals every year since I worked corporately and as a business coach — if a goal isn’t written down, it’s a wish. 

Why set goals?

Why not just work very hard, keep doing you’re doing and assume that will improve your business? Because goals create focus. When you set goals for your business, it defines your priorities and the primary concerns for everyone in the business. It’s easy to become distracted in the everyday running of operations and putting out fires. The next thing you know several months have gone by and you’ve lost direction — going left instead of right and missing the target.

Not only about revenue

Your goals don’t need to only be about revenue or bottom line profitability, and in fact, don’t only need to be about the business. They can relate to work/life balance, fitness, innovation, new segments of the market, service offerings. I believe it’s important to look at your life holistically and to create goals for your whole life, not just your business life. I coach my clients to help them work on the business, not just in the business. Part of that can mean setting priorities for working less and have more time with family or to travel, etc.

What will goals accomplish for your business?

1. Measure Success
A successful business leader/owner should always be striving to improve, grow, and become more effective. Setting goals provides the clearest way to measure your success. When you are looking at your life or your business from a three or five-year perspective, you should consider more than tactics and take a macro view. This will allow you to view your business from a competitive and economic perspective.

2. Knowledge Is Power
When you have defined your priorities, you have a deeper understanding of the effects of your tactical decisions and how they play against your strategic goals. An example of this —- a budget that considers revenue to expenses provides you with a deeper understanding of the implications of a major purchase or winning a large new client. The more you know, the better you will be at decision making.

3. Reassess Goals Mid-Year
When you consistently monitor your business against those goals, it’s possible to change course mid-year or when necessary. If you hadn’t set goals, you wouldn’t have the type of information you need to make these decisions.

Setting goals is one of the first steps in business and life success. Being disciplined at sticking to the path these goals take you on is another critical step. Flying by the seat of your pants is risky. Taking the time to look at your business and your life from a broader perspective can lead to more confidence in your ability to optimize what you have. No one can predict what the future holds, but we can plan for it.

All business owners can benefit from having a coach — I have had one since I started my coaching practice. If you would like to see if we’d be a fit, please contact me and ask about my complimentary business assessment offer.

Kelly Laverty

I have a passion for helping business leaders and owners achieve their full potential. With over 30 years of experience I have a proven track record of success in marketing, product management and strategic business planning and have delivered outstanding results throughout my career.