Owning your own business can be both daunting and extremely rewarding. Before you dive straight in, you must decide if you are ready. Are you committed, and do you have a plan? In my experience, your key focus are has to be GOAL SETTING and PLANNING. These two are inseparable and go hand in hand.
Effective planning and goal setting will enable us to take stock of where we are, the measuring stick of our progress if you will. Long term goals should be high level, ultimate vision type of stuff, whilst short term goals are more action based and created with the ultimate achievement of your long term goals in mind.
Let us say that your ultimate long term goal is to have your own garden services company offering grass cutting, tree felling and garden refuse removal services. You would like to work on 3 to 4 gardens a day, 5 days a week. You would also like to encourage customers to sign up with you on a yearly basis, ensuring continuity.
That would be your long term goal, and is by no means unattainable. It might however seem a little daunting. How are you going to achieve that goal? The secret is to break this large goal into bite size chunks of smaller goals and action plans that you can start working on TODAY.
Your first step would be to do some market research in your area. Set this as a goal and give yourself a time frame in which to complete it. Some questions you might ask when completing your research:
- Is there an opportunity, a gap in the market?
- Is there a need for my service?
- Who are my potential competitors?
- What can I do to differentiate my business from that of my competitors, ie why would people choose my service over theirs?
Once you have established that there is in fact a market for your service, you need to go about creating a time frame in which you would like the rest of your short term goals achieved.
Set a date for when you should have completed tasks such as the following:
- purchase all necessary tools for my trade
- hire employees (if necessary)
- approach potential clients
- market my business through methods such as traditional newspaper adverts, flyers, the yellow pages, and internet marketing
- open for business
- reach a certain number of clients
- reach my final goal of +-20 clients a week, signed up for a full year of services
Do you see how breaking your goal into smaller, more action-focused goals makes it seem so much more doable? And this is the secret. Take it one day at a time, one step at a time.