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How to Set Goals For Your Business Plan


What are the goals for your business? It’s a fundamental question every entrepreneur needs to ask themselves. Why are you in business? What do you hope to accomplish and when? Goals can be defined as what you want your business to be when it grows up. Set a reasonable number of goals, one is probably not enough and twenty would be way too many. The goals relate to a time period as well, a year, or perhaps six months, is a good target. One way of setting goals is to describe your company one year from now.

Goals, objectives, and strategies are incorporated in a business plan that is used for internal purposes rather than raising capital. It’s an important exercise for management to go through and then incorporate the results in a working business plan.

It’s a good idea to complete the Historical background of the company the Industry and Economic Review and the Product section before tackling goals, objectives and strategies. Looking at where you’ve been and where you are is the starting point for where you want to go.

Brainstorming is a good way to get started on goals. Make a list of all the achievements you could make in the upcoming year. Just list them. Don’t make any value judgments on whether they’re achievable. Now rate each goal in five different categories: effort, money required, like and dislike, talent required, and payoff.

Effort is simply the amount of energy and time that will be expended to achieve the goal.

Money required is the investment that will be made. For example if staffing will have to be hired or outsourcing will be utilized that means it will be necessary to invest money in the business to pay for the employees or the outsourcing. Nearly all businesses require some investment of capital, if nothing else for Internet access and phone lines. Use ballpark figures.

Liking or disliking the tasks required to achieve the goal has an impact on whether the goal will be achieved successfully. If you like to write then it won’t be a problem establishing a ghostwriting service, but if writing is the last thing you’d choose to do, you probably won’t be a success at ghostwriting.

Talent means whether you have the abilities required. If you have no artistic talent then graphic design isn’t for you, unless you have such great contacts for clients that it makes sense to outsource the design function.

Payoff is the reasonable amount of money that can be earned. This is a guestimate of what you believe will be the payoff if the other factors – effort, investment, like or dislike, and talent hold true.

This is a simplistic way of rating the goals. It may turn out that the goal with the highest score also requires the most money to accomplish and that just doesn’t fit in with your budget. Or perhaps the lowest rated goals are the goals you have the most talent for and require the least effort. The point is rating the goals gives you a starting point.