Planning for success

Why do you need to set goals?

Goals are the foundation of a business. Without goals, you don’t have a direction to take. Any steps that you take in your business are arbitrary and often end up being a waste of your energy, time, and money. Operating a business without goals is often compared to heading out on a trip without a map or directions.

You probably already know the importance of goals for your business. However, what you, and many millions of other entrepreneurs, may not realise is that your business plan, and your goals, need to work in tandem.

Answer these questions...

  • Are you working on goals relative to your business plan?
  • Have you planned out your strategy based on your plan?
  • Are you meeting your goals and deadlines?
  • Are you achieving the outcomes from your plan?

If you answered no to any, and all, of these questions then guess what...? It’s time for new goals.

If you want to take your business to the next level, and increase your income, then new goals are in order. But let’s be clear here...any old goal won't do. To take your business to the next level, there are some fundamental considerations you’ll want to make when setting your goals.

You’ve likely been exposed to the concept of SMART goals. These are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound

One of the most often overlooked components of SMART goals is the concept of Achievability. Is the goal that you’re setting realistic? Is it something that you can take steps toward on a consistent basis?

Why is achievability important and why is it so difficult to pinpoint? The question is often motivation. We, by nature, tend to set either really super safe goals or pipe dream goals. Safe goals, goals that can be accomplished with little or no effort, are often set by folks who are just going through the motions in business.

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Goals are the foundation of a business.

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Without goals you don't have a direction to take.

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Set your SMART goals to be achievable first.

What Makes a Goal Achievable?

Achievable goals are goals that challenge you. They force you to create a strategy and a plan to follow through. However, the follow through must be possible. It’s the ability to follow through that determines whether a goal is achievable or not.

Here’s an example, let’s say that you decide you want to start your Children's Home. You know where you want to locate your home. Great. However, if you don’t start first with writing a robust business and implementation plan that covers the whole process of setting up and registering then your prospects won’t increase and neither will your income.

Similarly, If you don’t market your service and bring on highly motivated staff, you won't realise your dream. So, an achievable goal is a goal that you can realistically follow through on the steps required to make it happen.

Summing it up.

An achievable goal is:

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Challenging

Achievable goals don’t need to be easy goals. They should challenge you to work hard toward reaching your final destination. 

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Motivating 

Your goal should make you feel motivated with every step that you take. As time goes by, you want to be able to continue taking positive steps toward success.. 

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Realistic

It might take hard work but with a good plan, you can achieve success – you must be able to follow through on your plans to achieve success.

Achieving Success – Milestones Are the Secret Ingredient

Milestones are actions or events that mark a significant step in your process. For example, if you are setting up a home then you’ll have a better chance at success if you set smaller goals that lead up to your end goal of registering and launching.

You can work backwards to determine what your milestones should be and when they should be accomplished. For example:

Goal: Establish start-up finances for the business - complete by 1st May. 

Milestones: 1st April -    Prepare draft costing ready for first 12 months. 

                            14th April - Meet with business/bank manager to discuss costing and finances. 

                           23rd April - Meet with sponsors/funders to finalise any finance agreements. 

Outcome:    1st May  -  Finalise start-up costs with bank/business manager and finalise agreements.

Milestones help you stay on track to achieve your goal. It makes a larger goal much more manageable and breaks the process up into smaller goals that are also specific, measurable and so on.

Setting milestones and breaking your goal down into manageable steps is a test. If you’re unable to do that, then the goal is not achievable. IF your smaller goals and milestones seem too difficult to achieve, then the goal is not achievable.

We’ve talked quite a bit about what an achievable goal is and why it matters. We’ve defined what achievable means in terms of goal setting and how to know if your goal is achievable. It’s important to also take a look at what types of goals help you take your business to the next level. It’s easy to get caught in the “more money” type of goals. However, before you even get there then you need to look at the steps to achieving your ultimate goal and break it down into 'realistic' milestones.  

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Service Implementation Plan 

Start the process of setting achievable goals today.  Download your service implementation plan from the start-up members area and begin the process of setting goals, milestones and outcomes. 

2018-07-12T15:56:53+00:00

About the Author:

Maggie Danesfahani is a social care consultant with over 20 years experience in supporting children's residential services to become and stay Ofsted Inspection ready.

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