If you think that your goal is for your business to make £X amount of money this year, you probably have the wrong idea. You need to ask yourself, why do I need the money? What do I actually want it for: to buy a second home abroad? To be able to afford to retire in five years’ time? To pay off a loan? You work out what your goal is by asking yourself, ‘why do I want it? Why do I need it?’ until the true goal becomes clear.
Many business owners misunderstand the difference between a goal and a target. The goal is what you want from your business or your lifestyle; the target is the actual revenue that the business will have to earn in order to get there. In my book, Getting Down to Business, I’ve described the definition of a goal for a business as, ‘not to earn a million pounds, but to send your children to university and have the option of retirement at fifty-five.’
In my experience, a large number of business owners have not got clear goals in mind for their business, and so do not have a clear idea of how to take the business in the right direction to achieve what they want. Setting your goals properly is the way to make sure that you set the right targets for the business and achieve what you want in the long term.
The experience can be illuminating: frequently, the business is actually set up in a way that makes it difficult to achieve the goal. For example, one business owner that I worked with wanted to spend significant amounts of time in a second home abroad, but his business was set up in such a way that it was impossible for him to be absent for any length of time. It would be necessary for him to re-organise his business, either to employ a manager who he could co-ordinate with remotely by internet and telephone and run the business that way, or to stop what he was doing and embark on a different sort of business altogether which was better suited to the lifestyle that he wanted.
Only once you have a clear goal can you start to plan effectively and set targets which can be sure to bring you nearer to what you really want from your business and your life.
Our next blog post will be about how to go about achieving the goals, so watch this space! In the meantime, if you want more advice on how to set goals for your business or how to go about achieving them, contact Doug D’Aubrey on 07946 730475 or Doug@exec-tc.com.