All entrepreneurs start their businesses with goals in mind. But as your business grows and changes, so do your aspirations for it! The process of ongoing goal-setting can be tiresome, especially if you’re not quite sure what realistic goals for entrepreneurs look like.
What Does it Mean to Set Goals for Entrepreneurs?
Unlike the goals you set for yourself in your personal life, or the goals that are set for you in a corporate setting, the goals you create for your business require careful planning. Goals for entrepreneurs stem directly from business data and have the power to inspire or inhibit progress.
For example, you might set a personal goal for yourself to “run more” during the week. On the other hand, you might set a business goal to “invest 20% of my income towards Internet advertising in order to increase my sales by 25% over the next 12 months.” Do you see the difference?
A specific target guarantees more specific results. Your entrepreneurial goals should stem directly from careful tracking and number-crunching. It can be overwhelming at first, but worth the effort to calculate in the end!
7 Tips for Setting Goals for Entrepreneurs
Goals for entrepreneurs may look different than goals for other professionals, but they are really very straightforward. Once you get the hang of knowing where to look and how to think about goal-setting, your business is sure to grow!
Get Super Specific
There are a few ways to take your fuzzy goals (wanting to post “more” on social media) and make them into crystal-clear aspirations (wanting to post once a day on XYZ platforms)! The most successful entrepreneurs focus on numbers and details to make the most of their goal-setting.
Here are a few key items to consider when zeroing in on the perfect goals:
You want to eliminate gray along your way to the finish line. Goals for entrepreneurs are typically laid out in black and white!
Visualize Who You Want to Be and What You Want Your Business to Become
Take a step back from the numbers to outline a vision for yourself in the context of your business. It’s easy to get carried away by dollar figures or likes on social media; just remember—your well-being is intertwined with your business.
A good way to stay inspired as your business expands is to picture how you’re changing along with it.
Take a few minutes each morning to visualize your success. How will it feel? In what ways have you already grown as an entrepreneur?
Related: Why Goal Visualization Is So Important (& How To Start Using It Each Day)
Write Down and Prioritize the Steps You Need to Take to Achieve Your Goal
Goals for entrepreneurs seldom work out if they aren’t realized in pen and ink (or on your computer, of course). It will help you to reach your goals if you write them down.
What’s more, break your goals down into actionable instructions. For example, you can plan out your month-to-month agenda in order to stay on track for an end-of-year goal.
Use the SMART Method When Setting Goals for Entrepreneurs
The S.M.A.R.T. method is a classic way of setting your goals in a way that makes them easy to accomplish. There are five characteristics in every S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Your goals should be:
Even if your intentions are to set optimal goals, you can easily forget a component. When in doubt, leverage the SMART method to make sure every piece of information is accounted for so you can set the most sensible goals.
Turn It Into a Self-Competition and Track Your Progress
The best (and most fun) goals for entrepreneurs are those that inspire a little competition! Of course, your entire business is technically in competition with others like it. But competitions that can help you reach your goals are those that you have with yourself.
For example, you can challenge yourself to become fluent in a new software program within 50 days. Perhaps you want to beat a previous record and collect more viable client leads by the end of the year. No matter what competition you put in place, have a blast with it!
Be Adaptable and Adjust Your Process as Necessary
Remember, no matter how specific goals for entrepreneurs should be, you can still tweak your goals as you go. Of course, you don’t want to over-edit or obsess over the figures you’ve set for yourself. But every once in a while a goal just stops making sense.
Rather than writing a goal off in its beginning or middle stages, make the appropriate modifications to see it through to the end. If you notice that your original plan is too far out of reach, make the most of your efforts by moving the finish line a smidge.
Related: How To Develop A Growth Mindset Through Strategic Goal Setting
Check In With Yourself Regularly
The downside of being your own boss is that only you can hold yourself accountable for your goals. It helps to set aside check-ins to reflect on how you’re doing. Be sure not to lie to yourself or skip past checkpoints because you didn’t meet a specific deadline.
The idea of a check-in is not to punish yourself for the things you haven’t done yet. Rather, take the chance to celebrate your accomplishments and be honest with yourself if your effort is lacking. In the end, you can be your own best cheerleader.
Goals for entrepreneurs don’t have to be a drag. Keep these tips in mind to make goal-setting a more relaxed and effective process overall. In no time, outlining your goals will be like second nature!
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