Advice to write a plan to start your business

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April 2015

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Goal: How To Achieve Success For Your Business

Written by , Posted in Business

The quest for a field goal.

Goal: How To Achieve Success For Your Business

6 Steps Every Business Owner has to take.

Operating a business without a plan is like driving in new territory without a map. The thing is, a plan without a goal is just a story. It might be a really pretty story, but it will never have an ending and I don’t know about you, but I hate stories that never finish. Your goal are the finish.

Think of the amazing projects that would never have been completed if someone hadn’t first set a goal. The Hoover Dam is a goal as is the moon landing. Great things happen when people take the time to set a goal. But a goal doesn’t come out of the blue. You don’t wake up some morning and say to yourself, “I want to go to the moon.”

Even as children, we dream. We ask ourselves what it would be like to visit the moon because it’s different. It presents a challenge that needs to be overcome. The United States government built the Hoover Dam so they could irrigate the lowlands of the desert. Someone recognized the need and set the goal appropriately.

When it comes to your business, working isn’t enough to be a goal. You can work all day long for someone else, but you don’t. You have set out on your own for whatever reason and now it’s time to make a difference. But what are you hoping to accomplish? Where are you headed? Are you just in it to toil the day away for the sole purpose of doing the job itself?

I can’t imagine that as an entrepreneur you would accept that argument. If you were doing it for the express purpose of doing it then you wouldn’t have a business, you’d have a charity, a noble cause, but certainly not a business.

What goes into successfully achieving a goal? Is it a story to be read from start to finish? Can we have an endpoint, if there is no beginning?

1. Recognize a need

When it comes to every business story, you have to begin with the end. You might think this one funny, but it’s not. If you don’t recognize a need then there’s no point in doing something. Air Canada and countless other airlines wouldn’t exist if people didn’t want to travel around the world faster than the few months it takes by boat. They wouldn’t have built the cell phone if people didn’t want to stay connected when they were away from their home or office.

The need doesn’t have to be physically strong if it’s emotional. We didn’t really HAVE to travel to the moon, but our collective imagination placed us there. We had to know what it felt like to step on the soil, to bounce in the lack of air.

Remember however that when you are thinking about your business, that you are looking solely through the prospective of you clients. It is THEIR need, not the need you think you can best fill. That need has to be powerful.

2. Explore the need

More research? Definitely. Some needs will run into roadblocks, either financial or logistic. Your research will determine how best to define the need. Sometimes the need is to go to the moon. Sometimes it’s to bring a country together. For whatever reason you want to establish, once you’ve done your research you will be able to define that need in a sentence or two. As a business owner, your ultimate ending should include some form of profit. To do that, you will need clients and their needs must be addressed. Running shoes address a particular need as do baby-bottles and woodstoves.

When you’re finished your investigation you may come to realize that your target audience may not be the exact one you originally thought you’d have. You may realize that your skills can be used in unique ways to fulfill those needs.

3. Set your end goal

Yes, it’s only the third step before you set your goal. You end goal is the ultimate measure of your success.

What about the moon? We got there and said, “we did it.” We did some other things when we were there, but getting there was the end goal, right? How about writing a book? “I want to write a book” must be an end goal. Nope. Neither qualify as an end goal unless you’re going to achieve them and have a heart attack once you’re there. What did we do on the moon? What did you do with the book? An end goal could be to populate the moon or even to drag moon rocks back for study. An end goal could be to publish a book once you write it.

Your end goals have to be quantifiable and real. It goes without saying that if this is your BUSINESS, then whatever you are doing it also has to be monetizable, but that’s not entirely difficult to restructure for.
I want to bring back moon rocks and sell them for $987,000 so I can retire. I want to publish my book and earn enough from the sales to quit my day job. Whether you know how much I need to quit my day job or not is irrelevant. What matters is that I know. I have a goal that I can achieve and define as successful.

4. Establish sub-goals

Reaching the moon wouldn’t have happened at all without achieving many other smaller feats. Rockets had to be created, as did spacesuits, pressurised space shuttles and launching platforms. I’m not going to publish a book that I have yet written, am I? Your sub-goals are designed to be stepping stones, some small and some large on your path to your ultimate achievement.

These small goals make it easy for you. While you have the end in sight, you can take your small wins. It doesn’t feel insurmountable as you continue to do your work. These sub-goals have to be stackable. It doesn’t make any sense to have an outlier of building a satellite for earth’s orbit if it doesn’t help you achieve that moonbase. On the other hand, an energy source could come in handy when the rocket fuel runs out.

5. Inventory your skills

Item four and five may not be mutually exclusive. To set the one, you may have to think about the other.

That said, everyone has a skill. Take an inventory of yours so you know where your shortfalls are. When you know that, you know where you have to fill in. Want to have your own dental practice? Dentists have a head start on the practice, but they’ll get nowhere if they don’t have the ability to build it. They can’t so easily have it in the back of the mini-van. Once you know what skills and stuff you do have, you can establish the ones you need to surround yourself with to achieve your goals. You will either hire contractors or employees to help you achieve your interim goals. As you knock off one goal, you will look at the next and assess who you need for that one.

6. Either redefine success or start again.

It’s true. Some people do achieve success. Many of them continue on with their business and set new goals to define their success. Do you suppose Steve Jobs said, “Screw it, I’m done,” when Apple computers became a commercial success? You only have to look at the Ipod, Ipad, Iphone, etc. etc. to realize that he didn’t. He redefined his success as his world grew.

On the other hand, you can sell your business and start again, establishing a new set of goals to achieve. A new path can be just as fulfilling.

Success has different meaning for everyone as is the path we take there. What does yours look like? Do you have friends in high places that can help you sidestep some of your sub-goals? There is one single truth however. If you never define what your success looks like, you will never reach it. Set your goals.