As an entrepreneur, setting meaningful business goals is crucial to your business’s growth and development. More than 80 percent of small business owners say that they don’t keep track of their long-term goals. This is problematic, given that setting and achieving long-term goals are vital to company growth and development. However, the flipside – setting too many or unhelpful goals – can be just as difficult to deal with. Here, I outline a few of the most common goal-setting mistakes entrepreneurs make when they start a business.
Setting unattainable goals
Entrepreneurs tend to be Type-A overachievers. Taking the leap to work for yourself isn’t something that many people are comfortable with, and aspiring entrepreneurs need ambition to reach long-term success. However, this comes with a caveat: setting unreachable goals can tank a business and wreck self-esteem. It’s a good idea to set long-term goals, but you’ll need to break down your large goals into a smaller, more realistic list of outcomes and results. To do this, think about the steps you need to take to reach that overarching goal. Once you accomplish a goal, you will successful and motivated enough to work toward achieving the next one. By setting over-inflated goals, you place yourself at risk of burning out and losing your passion.
Failing to set strategic goals
Never set goals just for the sake of setting goals. Each goal you set should be intentional. Determine your core values and mission first, then start developing milestones that speak to your brand’s key tenets and long-term vision for success. Each goal should contribute to your mission in a meaningful way. However, you should only set goals that bring you one step closer to achieving your overall purpose; anything else will cause you to lose focus and become less efficient.
Only setting goals related to monetary success
Metrics related to business success come in all stripes and kinds. Yes, profit is a significant – and potentially most-widely discussed – aspect of entrepreneurship, but it isn’t the only important one. As you start to build the foundation for your company, you will need to pay close attention other analytics including but not limited to: your reach, brand awareness, influence, and long-term depend on factors other than net profit. If you have an online presence, you’ll need to brush up on your understanding of search engines and SEO, and commit to learning how Google Analytics can work in your favor. Pay attention to your engagement on social media – this will tell you a lot about how well-received your message and marketing is. Feedback from followers and other social media users can be the valuable criticism you need to take your business in the right direction. When setting goals, have money in mind – but set goals related to other important metrics as well!