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Goal-Setting First Step Towards Success

August 15th, 2011

As obvious as it might seem, actually writing down goals for your company for the coming year is something few people actually take the time to do. In the absence of a set of written goals and a concrete plan of action to attain them, we tend to get less accomplished. The result? What we achieve falls well short of our aspirations.

Much like planning a road trip, before you can determine how to get somewhere, you first have to know where you want to go. Imagine saying to yourself “I want to go somewhere, but I’m not sure where…”, getting in the car and driving aimlessly with no set destination. It wouldn’t take long to realize you’re getting nowhere, fast. With no end point in mind, not only will you be clueless as to how you’ll end up in the right place, you’ll also have no way to know when you HAVE finally arrived.

The first step is to figure out what you’re aiming for, then break those goals down into steps that you’ll need to take to get there. Think Google-style door-to-door directions. Where am I now? Where am I going? What route will take me from here to there?

Make your goals specific. Then, be specific on what actions need to be taken to move you closer to them. Do you want to hit a certain percentage increase in revenue by year’s end? Increase your client roster by a certain number? Achieve better awareness of your products with the general public?

Once you have your end point in mind, the next step is to design a road map that will get you there. What tools will you need to hit the mark? Will you need to develop new marketing pieces to support your efforts? Will you need a direct mail piece, advertisement or to re-design your web site to more effectively communicate with your audience? Whose expertise will you need to assist you in achieving those goals? Will you need to partner with a design firm, marketing agency or copywriter to help you polish your message and strategy? Break each goal down into manageable action steps so it’s easy to note your progress and to see what your next step is as you move along.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…”Well, I have an idea in my head about what I’d like to see happen…”. STOP RIGHT THERE! It’s important to actually write your goals down – don’t keep them rattling around in your head! For many people, writing things down makes them real, more substantial. With this in mind, committing your goals to paper is the first step in transforming them from dreams to reality.

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