Building your business using goal setting

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Welcome back to the Web Pro Business blog for 2008, I hope you had a relaxing and safe festive break.

I had the pleasure and honor to be asked to write an article for SitePoint during December, which you can read over here. In the article, I made ten suggestions for goals to achieve during 2008, which would help your business grow.

Now, even if you haven’t taken the plunge into full time freelance or business owner status yet, these ten resolutions (also available as a single page A4 or Letter sized PDF to print) will help you get to this stage.

I’m hoping to elaborate on a few points which I made in this article over the next few posts. Firstly, let’s start with goal setting.

Most images of goal setting conjure up thoughts of sports cars, huge homes and swimming in a pool of money, however these are probably slightly grandiose for what I am suggesting. Let’s break this down to medium-long term goals, shorter term goals and actions which belong to goals.

Let’s say you are like many folk who have commented on my previous posts, and haven’t yet taken the dive into self employment. What would your longer term goal be? To be self employed. What are some shorter term goals which will provide stepping stones to this point?

Well, here are a few possible goals;

  1. Save up some emergency money in the bank
  2. Write a business plan
  3. Work on a few projects during weekends and nights
  4. Create a business name

Now, the first one is easy – let’s say we need to save two months worth of minimum wages within the next six months. The actions that belong to this goal could include ‘Put 10% of weekly wage into special account’ or ‘Cut down on takeaway dinners for next few months’.

Now, actions towards writing that business plan could include ‘Find example business plans or business plan software’ and ‘Set aside time to speak to self employed friends about their plans (if any!)’.

If you make the effort to write these down, print them out and stick them somewhere you’ll regularly read them, then through repetitive reminders, goal setting may indeed become a habit and an effective way to journey towards your vision of where you’d like to be.

Let me suggest that you write some goals down right now and then revisit them in three months time, to see how you’ve progressed. I encourage you to let me know how you’ve used goal setting before, in the comments area below.

Good luck!

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  • Joshua Paine

    ‘Cut down on takeaway dinners for next few months’

    It’s a little detail, but “cut down on” is lousy goal language–it’s not concrete, so it’s hard to measure success. Try, e.g., “eat takeout no more than once per week”.

  • http://www.bam.com.au miles

    Too true Joshua, thanks for pointing that out. The goal really needs to be quantifiable – saying ‘cut down’ doesn’t mean much without the detail. Thanks for the feedback!

  • http://jetfar.com/ bigturkey

    I hear ya man!

    I’ve been wanting to start a business for ages, this year I’ve started with some goals – and a blog to be totally transparent about it and to give myself some momentum.

    – rich

  • Ricahrd

    Or, fund everything by leveraging other people’s money (VC, gifts, lons, etc…)

    -Richard
    http://www.theflipboard.com

  • http://www.doublespark.co.uk/website-design/ Luv2MuffD

    In my opinion (and I am always right) :-) you can never make the transition by saving a few months money, this never works. You need to do the the minimum amount of hours necessary with the FT job and moonlight in your new career for as long as possible. Build clients and monthly contacts befor taking the jump!!