I recently had a conversation with another business owner about motivation and setting goals in our businesses. 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.
We are all different!
I have to admit that setting goals doesn't work for me - it is pressure of a kind I don't like. I see long term goals as dreams which may never reach fruition. Short term goals are just tasks that need to be done to move forward and continue developing - yourself or your business. I am more of the mindset that I think "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.
Achieving your business goals is reliant on so many things - being able to recruit and retain the right staff and achieve the sales needed to keep the
staff busy. It means keeping up to date with changes in technology and implementing new technology. It means taking responsibility for every aspect of the business as it grows and delegating responsibilities so you can work on business development. It is a never ending cycle of improvement and development. And it takes a lot of your time.
All this time you are chasing your goal, which is usually financial. Or at least finance is needed to fund the goal. So you are constantly striving to get there and it takes longer than you have planned.
When is it time to step back and say "look what I have achieved"? It may not be what you planned but you can see how much you have achieved already. Is that enough? Does it give you a lifestyle you are comfortable with? Do you have time to spend with family or to go on holiday? Sometimes that is all that is needed. Because however much you earn you will nearly always want more and however big your business grows there will still be a chance to grow it some more. Sometimes the line needs to be drawn and you can say "I am happy with what I have achieved".
Short or long term goals?
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 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 you may be like me and have no goals at all - just plans to make little changes step by step.
Achieve your dreams by sorting out your finances
Whether you are a goal setter or not, 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. Regular financial information will provide the knowledge you need to invest in your business or increase the money you can take for personal spending.
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 plans. It will be one of the best things you can do to help achieve your dreams.