Start Small and Grow A Little Bit at a Time
Rather than jumping full-time into completing large-scale goals, how about breaking up these goals into smaller, bite-sized pieces? In a post for SBA.gov, online business owner Anita Campbell discusses the benefits of accomplishing smaller goals first rather tackling very large goals. She mentions that rather than increasing or improving an aspect of your business by 50% or 60% (sales, marketing efforts, new customers, newsletter subscribers, etc.), you should aim for a more realistic 10%.
The benefits include building a strong business foundation, increased productivity (mostly due to increased confidence and faster payoffs for hard work), and the ability to see all those essential things your business will need in the future more clearly.
Creating a Realistic Action Plan
To manage all those smaller goals, create a ‘blueprint’ or an action plan, as explained in this article from Entrepreneur.com, that outlines goals, how you plan to go about completing them, and a realistic timeline for completion.
But, much like in life, there will be things that happen in business that are simply out of your control. An action plan can provide sustained encouragement, additional insights, and give you something to shoot for, but keep your plan loose to allow for sudden changes, extended deadlines, and other disturbances to help you stay focused without obsessing too much.
Always Remain Realistic
Like most small business owners, you probably wear many hats – business owner, employee, bookkeeper, marketing guru, sales expert, and shipping manager. Setting small goals and remaining realistic about reaching them allows you to get all that other stuff done without increasing stress. And, if you don’t achieve all your 2014 goals don’t worry – there’s always next year!