The Real Reason You Need Goals

A friend of mine started a handyman business many years ago. The only goal he had when he first “opened his doors” was to make enough money to live on for the following month. He didn’t write it down either—he just kind of knew it was a goal.

Fortunately, I helped him get out of that mindset five short months later. We did some meaningful business planning that helped him forge strong short-term and long-term goals and projections.

Now I’m sure you’ve heard all the benefits before; goals keep you on track, they help with decision-making, they improve communication, they give clarity, etc., etc.

And, of course, that’s all true.

But do you know the biggest reason this goal-setting exercise helped Marc? It gave him control. And isn’t that the fundamental reason people start their own business? To control their future?

Running a business without goals is like shooting a rifle in the fog. You know there’s a target out there somewhere –but you certainly don’t know where – nor do you know if you hit it.

Successful business people don’t operate like that, and neither should you.

How to set goals

There are various processes and techniques for determining your business goals. We here at RLO Training recommend our Bottom-Line Impact Group members to use the SMART criteria, attributed to Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.

SMART is a mnemonic acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-bound. So all of your goals should successfully meet these criteria:

  • Specific: what exactly do you want to have happen?
  • Measurable: what will success look like? How will you measure it?
  • Assignable: who will be assigned the responsibility and be held accountable?
  • Realistic: this is not the place for pie in the sky goals. Save that for your long term strategic planning sessions. (See BHAG).
  • Timely: set deadlines. Goals should never be open-ended. You must set an end date.

Some companies will replace criteria, such as Attainable instead of Assignable. However, we’ve found that this variation is the most effective way to determine goals that will drive your company forward.

*Sidenote: In actuality we ask BLIG™ members to use SMARTeR Criteria. The last R is for Resources: What resources will you need to achieve this goal?

If you would like help setting your goals, or some additional resources to achieve your goals, call us! Shop owners have used RLO Training as a resource for over 30 years.

Written by RLO Training