Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Bite off small chunks
If you haven't run in more than 30 years and are 40 pounds overweight, it's not reasonable to say you'll run a marathon by spring. Instead, set a goal of completing a mile a day for a certain number of weeks, then slowly increase your distance. Trying to get too much done too quickly can lead to burnout and discourage you from continuing.
Make the goals reasonable
A person who's just learning to cook might never win a "top chef" competition, but that doesn't mean they won't be able to successfully cook a full Thanksgiving dinner. Set goals that are difficult enough to provide motivation and challenge, but make sure they're also realistic and attainable.
This same advice applies to your business
Starting a business is tough. Countless seminars and classes make it sound as though doing X, Y, and Z will have you raking in millions in just a few months. While there might be a genius entrepreneur somewhere for whom that's true, for the vast majority of new business owners, it is not.
Instead, look at the advice given above, and find ways to apply the same philosophy to your business. Like an out-of-shape person starting to run, you need to take it slowly at first. A new business typically cannot expect to clear hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in profit. Instead, your goal might be just to break even the first few months, and then slowly start generating profit after that.
Also, give your books and prospects an honest look. Set realistic expectations for the next quarter and year. Creating progressive goals will give you something to celebrate when you attain those milestones and encourage you to keep moving forward, on track.
This way of thinking applies to more than just goals. It can be equally useful in other aspects of your business, such as marketing. When you hear about a new marketing idea with great potential, take the time to develop your strategy and tackle it in stages. This more tempered approach will keep you moving in the right direction without becoming overwhelmed.
We've all failed at some point with our New Year's resolutions. Those who genuinely want to succeed understand that they must set reasonable goals to avoid biting off more than they can chew. The same idea applies to running a business. Here's to a successful 2015 for you and your company.