As a business leader, you set all kinds of goals. Part of planning for your future, building a strategic business plan and even your day-to-day work probably includes setting both long-term and short-term goals.
While as a business coach I help people set all kinds of goals, from marketing goals to internal teamwork goals, the type of goals I want to focus on are financial goals. All goals are important, but financial goals will help you see the bigger picture and ultimately, change the way you live.
Define Financial Success
First, what does financial success mean to you? We all have different reasons we start businesses, and one of them is to make money. But, how much money do you want to see your business make?
The easy answer is “as much as possible!” But your definition of success needs to be more specific than that to start seeing results. As your business grows, you can change your goals and scale your processes to make more money.
Maybe your goal is to make “x amount” more than you were making at that job you just quit to start your business. Or, you could strive to make enough to be able to quite your job or save enough to retire early. You could get even more specific and determine a monthly income you want to aim for.
Whatever your definition of success is, make it very specific and personal so you can see exactly what you are working toward. Write this down so it becomes real, and not just some invisible point you are always working toward.
Set up Benchmarks with Purpose
Now that you know how much you need to make to fulfill your definition of success, set up some benchmark goals that will get you there. I like to look at benchmark goals as stepping-stones, that when combined will lead you to your ultimate goal.
For example, if you want to make a specific annual income, divide that number by 12 to find out how much you need to earn each month. You can go even further and calculate how many sales you need to land each week.
This is just one example, and the way you create benchmarks will depend on how your business runs and what your profit is dependent on. The idea is to make your overall financial goal easier to obtain by creating a series of smaller goals that are more attainable.
Another benefit of this approach is that it holds you accountable so that you can easily see if you are on track to achieve your goals and discover ways you need to change to succeed.
Write Measurable and Deadline-Driven Goals
All goals should be measurable and deadline driven so they are actionable. You are much less likely to achieve vague goals that don’t spell out exactly what you want to accomplish.
For financial goals, this means setting dollar amounts and deadlines for when you want to reach that income level. Your goal might be something like “make ‘x amount’ in income in six months,” or it could be something like “increase profits by ‘x percent’ within one year.”
Whatever your goals are, they should have a number and a deadline to make them more concrete and more measurable. With these kinds of goals you have something solid to work toward and you’ll know when you are being successful. Once you’ve achieved your initial goals, you will know how to realistically elevate your goals so you will increase your profit even more.
Step Outside your Comfort Zone
Finally, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. While goals should be realistic and attainable, they should also be lofty enough that they incentivize you to work harder and achieve more.
Personally, I’ve found that when I aim higher I accomplish more. There’s something about working toward higher goals that drives me and makes me more ambitious. How about you?
Be careful not to allow your goals to become so high that you can’t reach them and they are no longer motivational. However, stepping outside your comfort zone and reaching for something higher can help drive you to achieve more.
Setting financial goals designed to help you increase your income is essential if you want to earn more and work less, having ultimate freedom of time and money.
If you would like some one-on-one help setting goals that will propel your business forward and help you make a higher profit, contact me.