It doesn't matter what type of business you are in - goals are imperative to your small business' success. Ask any successful person and they will tell you that they set goals for themselves. However, I am not just talking about making them up as you go along. I am talking about the type of goals that you plan out, that you thoroughly think about and write down. Take the time to make goals for the next six months all the way up to the next six years. It will come in handy for those days where you are feeling a little bit off track. Here are ten small business tips to help you set some powerful (and practical) goals:
1. Set Clear Goals. Like I said, your goals are never going to be accomplished if you can't remember them, let alone write them down. Keep them in a place that you often will see them - during the good times and the bad times. They will remind you of what you are working towards and will keep you grounded.
2. Commit.Whether you are working towards a fitness goal, an academic goal, a professional goal, or a business goal, we know that sometimes it can be difficult to stay committed. There will be times when we feel that there is nothing else we want in the world more than to achieve our goal, but there will also be times when we feel like giving up. Don't. Remember why you set these goals. In fact, it could be helpful to write the reason next to the actual goal itself. Remind yourself whenever you have to and have it become a sort of mantra. Do something small everyday that gets you closer to your goal; if you want to finish an amazing book, read at least a chapter a day.
3. Track Progress. Keep a log of your progress to ensure that you and your employees are excelling and thriving. Not only will tracking your progress help you to feel more organized but it will also give you incentive to keep on plugging. Visuals are great tools, as you may have already guessed, I think they work well. Keep a visual graph or chart that will help you to track your progress. There are actually studies that have shown that if one sees the progress he has made, he is more likely to achieve his goal. For small business, software like HindSite will help track many things, financial progress being one of them.
4. Be organized. This should come as no surprise to you but, it helps to be organized. It kind of goes along with everything else that I have been saying. Write your goals down. Keep them visible. Sure, you can make up a goal in your mind and keep mental note about it but what are the chances that you are going to forget about that goal along with all of the others you set? The chances are high, am I right? I know that some of us were blessed with the type-A jean, but for those that aren't we have to work a little harder and be a little more conscious about keeping things organized. All that effort will only make the end result that much more gratifying.
5. Communicate. Goals are met faster and easier with the support and the help of the people around you. So, why not communicate these goals to your employees? Don't just make them your own goals, make them your company's goals and your employees' goals. In fact, why not help your employees set goals of their own? Communication is key in reaching them. Set aside time in the office specifically for communicating your goals to one another, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
6. Build a support system. In continuation of 5, use your employees for support. In turn, support them. Encourage each other to reach individual goals and work together to accomplish community goals. It's much more fun and exciting when working towards goals to know that there are people around you rooting you on as well as working towards an accomplishment of their own.
7. Be flexible. When working towards a larger goal, it can be tempting and easy to put our blinders on. We get stressed out when things get thrown off course and little things can get frustrating. However, its important to be flexible. Be open to new means of achieving your goal. Don't get caught in the conundrum of thinking there is only a single way of achieving something. Yes, it's important to know what you want and what you need to do to get there but it's also important to bend a little.
8. Keep your end goal in mind. When things get tough it can seem like there is no end in sight. Oh, but there is! Your goal! Your goal can serve as the light at the end of the tunnel, even during the times when it seems like its so far away. Use your goal as your leverage to pull you back out of the tough spots we all undoubtedly find ourselves in at one time or another.
9. Don't get discouraged. Keep your head up. In the green industry business, it's easy to feel discouraged at times. Anyone who says they never have felt down in the dumps is lying. Try to stay optimistic! Keep the morale of your company up by staying positive and letting your employees know that you are proud of them. If you lift them up, they will lift you up.
10. Set short-term and long-term goals. On the way to reaching your larger, end goal, set smaller, more immediate goals along the way. This will give you and your team a sense of accomplishment and keep spirits up. Sometimes larger goals can be so far out that it can be difficult to even remember what you're working towards. If you have little triumphs on the path to success the road can seem a lot smoother, and shorter.
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