Goal Setting Tips

Goal setting is vitally important if you are to realize your ultimate business objectives. A vision without specific, targeted goals is just a wish or a hope. Without targeted goals, how will you ever know if your vision is being accomplished? A vision needs a project road-map with milestones, but how do you determine what those goals are?

Your Goals Should be S.M.A.R.T.!

One of the effective goal setting methods is to use the S.M.A.R.T. principle, this means that all of your goals should be;

  • Specific: The vision itself is general while the goals are specific targets to be met. Specific goals answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions as specifically as possible.
  • Measurable Goals must be measurable in terms of progress and attainment. They must be tracked according to the amount of time or money spent, or results achieved as appropriate. Just imagine playing basketball without keeping score!
  • Attainable: Clearly, a goal which cannot be met is not a goal, it is an ideal. If you know you need certain infrastructure in place to accomplish your vision, you should break down your goals into attainable steps you can monitor as each step is put into place.
  • Realistic: A goal may be attainable, but not with the resources at hand. In that case, you need other goals to build up to the level where the attainable goal becomes realistic. A goal may be possible, but you need the right people with the right amount of time and support to make it happen.

    Also R should be for
    Relevant. Before you can even set goals, it's a good idea to sit down and re-define the purpose of the business. This will help you then to set goals that matter to you and the business, and are in line with the overall focus and direction.
  • Timely: All goals need to be accomplished within a given time frame. Deadlines may indeed be missed, but without any time table there will be no sense of urgency and no reason not to put it off until "later."

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Creating a Longer-Term Plan

Also called Strategic Planning, the long-term plan is the road map that guides your goal setting process to the ultimate realization of your vision. As discussed in the previous module. A goal may be possible, but not attainable or realistic – at the moment.

You may be missing a quality person for a key position or you may lack the funds or time to achieve the higher level goals, so lower level stepping stone goals must be planned.

If your goal is to unify a modern computer network throughout your organization, but you only have a few outdated computers and older shared printers, your ultimate goal will be possible and attainable, but not realistic. If you do not have the money for the new equipment and do not have a strong IT person on staff, your goal will be unattainable.

If you need everything done in a week, your goal cannot be timely as it will take much longer. Intermediate goals, however, can make your ultimate goal realistic, attainable and timely.

You might first want to increase your revenue through increased sales, a fundraiser, long term business loan, or by other means.

You can make a goal to hire a network guru for a reasonable cost who can analyze your current systems and determine what needs to be upgraded according to modern networking technology.

That analysis will provide you the information to set new goals of buying, configuring and implementing the equipment, then adding the infrastructure to network it all together. In the end, the goal that seemed impossible will become a reality, according to your original vision.

These business goals should of course be written down and stored in a secure folder on your PC somewhere, and backed up! I personally use a 750G portable hard drive where I store all my data and the critical data is also backed up on-line. So make sure the goals for your business that you wish to achieve are always to hand

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