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Goal Setting

Definition: Establishing short- or long-term objectives, usually incorporating deadlines and quantifiable measures If you really want to make a success of your business, it's important to define your business goals, especially before you get started. For some people, the goal is the freedom to do what they want when they want, without anyone telling them otherwise. For others, the goal is financial security.

Setting goals is an integral part of choosing the business that's right for you. After all, if your business doesn't meet your personal goals, you probably won't be happy waking up each morning and trying to make the business a success. Sooner or later, you'll stop putting forth the effort needed to make the concept work.

At its simplest, a goal is just something you aim for. But goals are powerful contributors to successful business growth in several ways. To begin with, the process of setting goals forces you to think through what you want from your business and how growth may--or may not--provide that. This process helps suggest directions for pursuing that growth, which can greatly improve your chances of achieving your goals in the first place.

Goals also give you a framework within which to work. This tends to focus your efforts by helping you rule out actions that won't contribute to achieving the goals you've set. A very important part of that framework is a timetable. Any good goal has a timetable, and that timetable will influence your actions profoundly. When setting goals, aim for the following qualities:

There are several factors to consider when setting goals:

The most important rule of goal-setting is honesty. Going into business with your eyes wide open about your ultimate goals lets you confront the decisions you'll face with greater confidence and a greater chance of success.