When it comes to setting and managing goals, most of us have considerable room for improvement. Here are three common goal-setting mistakes which people commonly make.
The first is confusing good intentions with goals . To be motivating, goals need a good intention behind them. But good intentions are not goals. A good intention is to lose weight. A goal is to lose ten pounds in the next 60 days by exercising four days a week.
Second is having too many goals, so that it’s difficult to stay focused on all of them or the sheer number of goals and the effort they demand leave you feeling overwhelmed.
The third is failing to group goals by categories, so that we keep goals for our personal life separate from goals for our business life. When we categorize goals properly, we can then focus only on those goals which relate to context in which we find ourselves at a given moment. That is, we focus on professional goals at work, family goals at home, and personal development goals in our private time.
While planning is always important, many startups do not need an in-depth business plan to get underway. This is particularly true for initial projections of revenue over the first two years of the company.
Sometimes you just don’t have the data to make those projections. And focus groups are notoriously unreliable as a predictor of how the market will receive a product.
Therefore, your best strategy is not to bet the ranch on a single product or service, but instead to build your business by making a series of “small bets.” Put two or three products or lines of products in the market, holding your investment to a minimum, then monitor how potential customers react.
When a product or service seems well-received, expand it. When one is not well-received, abandon it and place another small bet. Success is more often than not the result of winning a lot of small bets rather than winning a single big one.
if you’re relying on investors, vet them carefully before you bring them on board. Be sure that their commitment to your company and their personal financial capacity is adequate to see you through the unexpected. If there’s any question that their commitment and capacity are high, you probably want to look elsewhere for your capital.
On the other hand, if you are self-financing your startup, be certain that you yourself have the resources to cope with major unexpected expenses in getting your business underway. Always remember that startups most frequently fail, not because they cannot earn a profit, but because they run out of cash.
Business success is built on dreams, but dreams alone never built a business. While businesses always start with dreams, they succeed only through execution of goals and plans. Dreams are aspirations. They are statements of our good intentions. But good intentions alone are never enough. If they were, we would always succeed at what we do, because we always start with the best of intentions.
This is why solid goals, good plans, and stellar execution are essential. Goals and plans are the bridge between intentions and execution. And success hinges on execution. A mediocre plan, executed well, will achieve more than an outstanding plan executed poorly.
Without a history of sales, a new company has little data with which to forecast potential income. It’s challenging, therefore, to know if revenue projections are realistic. To help resolve this issue, I’ve developed a proprietary Revenue Goal Feasibility Tool. It’s specifically designed for businesses which have one or two owners and which receive their income primarily from services which at least one of the owners delivers. Businesses which market both products and services can also use the tool for establishing realistic revenue goals for the service side of the business.
Track One of our LeaderTrack Small Business Coaching Series is ideal for encore entrepreneurs in the earliest stages of starting a business. It assures that the fundamental elements of your business are put together soundly from the very beginning.