As business owners we are all encouraged to set goals in order to achieve what we set out to do.  Whether those are 5 year or 10 year goals to achieve a specific personal dream or short term goals to take baby steps towards your long term dream.

There are numerous books written by successful business owners sharing the skills they used to achieve their dreams but only you know how best to achieve your dream for you.

I have never been a fan of setting long term goals.  Long term goals are dreams which may never reach fruition.  Setting a goal of having £x of turnover and taking home £x of dividends so you can buy xxxx only works if you have a business which can recruit enough suitable staff to serve enough customers to achieve that income and ultimately that goal.

I am more of the mindset that I think "Wow, look how well we have done this year" than setting a goal and realising as I get towards the end of the year that I am not going to achieve it.  Failure is not motivating for me.  It doesn't make me want to do better, especially when I know I did all I could.  I have been lucky though, because even without setting goals my business has grown every year of its 16 years.  

Whilst long term goals can keep you on track and ensure you only take on work which is a step in the direction of achieving that goal, they can be restrictive.  If an unexpected opportunity presents itself which deviates you from your path do you refuse it?  Is it a distraction from what you are working towards or is it an opportunity to do something which you would really enjoy?

Short term goals are more practical and I find setting goals for 3 month periods much easier to work with.  In a small business you don't need lots of time to plan for something as changes of direction or process can be made fairly quickly.  Its all about constantly reviewing what you are doing and ensuring you are working in the best way possible for you, your team and your clients.  Its about ensuring you are keeping up to date with the changes going on in the outside world.  I don't believe you have to be doing what your competitors are doing or what everyone else in your industry says you should be doing.  Different people want different things and if you can provide what customers want in a way that they want it you will have a business.  But whilst it is important to have a business which supplies what customers want it is as important to have a business which you enjoy.  

Life is too short to be doing something which you are expected to do but which you don't enjoy.  If an opportunity comes along which I think I would enjoy I do it.  If I have an idea for doing something different in my business which I would like to do I weigh up the pros and cons and go for it.  Sometimes I make instant decisions; sometimes they take some thinking about.  Sometimes I don't make the right decision but I never have any regrets as everything we do in business is a learning curve.  It can go well but equally it may not go well at all.  But there is no point in having regrets because if you don't try something you will never know whether it will work or not.

If you are starting out in business you may have big goals or you may have little goals; they may be business goals or personal goals.  Whatever size and type of goal you have must keep you moving forward, taking new opportunities and developing your business to be the best you can make it for yourself, your team and your customers.  

And, of course, one of the ways of keeping your business on track is ensuring your accounts records are kept up to date.  Without accurate up to date records you will not know where your money is being spent, whether you are making a profit, how you can cut costs or even if you are growing at all.  So for help keeping your business finances on track contact us.  We help lots of businesses get their accounts organised and produce regular management reports so they can see from month to month how their business is doing.  Finance is not just about how much money you have in the bank.  Its knowing what it is costing you to run your business.

If your accounts are not up to date now is the time to make getting them organised one of your short term goals.  It will be one of the best goals you have set!