If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to get there. It can be frighteningly easy to get side-tracked.
If you don’t have goals, you’re not going to get anywhere. Goals themselves may be one of those real big things but thoroughly thinking through what those goals really are for you…well, that’s one of the most common “small things” that way too many business people simply seem to neglect. Nothing in the great game makes any sense until the goal gets established.
Obvious? Yeah, in theory, certainly.
In practice, however, it’s always surprising to me how many businesses lose track of where they’re headed, of what they set out to do. That’s basic, and that has to be the first consideration.
But goals have to be strategic in nature. When you first establish that goal, you may not know how you’re going to get there. Don’t sweat it. The key is to first know what you want to achieve. Make it as clear as a bell in your head. What are you in business for? What will your business look like if and when you succeed?
Then, once you’ve got that all-encompassing goal fixed firmly, begin the journey, knowing full well there may be a thousand different routes that could get you there.
My business was the fresh flower business. I set a goal to increase my sales volume—that is, my fresh flower customer base—by twenty percent every year. Although all kinds of ideas were always swirling around in my head at the time, in the beginning we were a very small business, and I really didn’t know exactly how I was going to achieve the kind of growth I was targeting. But you know what? Just cementing those targets in my mind got me focusing on identifying the objectives that I needed to complete in order to hit my goals.
That’s when I began looking at concrete objectives.
Goals are strategic. The objectives, then, are the multiple points along the way, the stepping stones on the journey, that are eventually going to get me there.
Goals don’t necessarily need date limits, but objectives do. They need reasonable target dates. The business simply has to create that pressure in order to actually accomplish an objective.
In fact, it is critically important to prepare the equivalent of an assignment sheet for each specific objective. Who will do what by when? And, if that seems just way too small a thing to you, then please take my advice that that is one of those small things that will constantly amaze you with its ability to take you smoothly toward the big things. Most of the big stuff, the great game, is really played most successfully on some very small fields of battle.
So, if you’re thinking of starting a business or growing the one you already have, define your goals, break them down into concrete objectives with target dates, and then get them done.
You’ll be surprised at what big things you can accomplish!
Taken from the bestselling book Big Things Have Small Beginnings – Learn to Play the Great Game. Read more here.