How to Set Milestone Goals for Your Business
Setting goals is an important strategy for attaining success whether you are running a business or simply living your life. In order to give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals, however, it can be very helpful to break them up into more manageable milestones. As a business owner, taking the time to learn how to set milestone goals can be a very effective strategy. Learn more about this process so that you can put your business on the path to success.
Use Measurable Milestones
A long-term goal does not always have to be extremely specific or even precisely measurable in order to be motivating. A milestone, however, should be something that you can easily identify when you hit it, and something that involves specific steps in order to achieve. For example, a goal of being a successful business owner within 12 months is good, but does not define exactly what is meant by success. One could even try to argue that just remaining in business after 12 months is a success, even if you are losing money! 😲
When setting the milestones toward the broad goal, you would want to be able to tell exactly when you achieve them. Some good milestones to set toward this goal would include:
Finish Creating a Business Plan Within Two Months (Don’t act like you’re in 7th grade English class though. You don’t need to just finish, you need to do it well! 😀)
File the Relevant Paperwork for Incorporation Within Six Months
Grand Opening of the Business Within Nine Months
Operate the Business with a Profit Within Twelve Months
Be as Descriptive as Possible
When setting the milestones, you also want to be as descriptive as possible. The descriptions for your milestones can grow over time where needed. When looking at the milestone of filing relevant paperwork for incorporation, you might include details such as what type of business you want to open (sole proprietorship, LLC, S-Corp, etc), the name of the business, and more. You could also include steps that need to be taken to achieve the milestone such as meeting with an accountant, talking to an attorney, and having the necessary paperwork filled out. If you schedule these on your calendar, you’re more likely to get them done (a little trick to keep yourself accountable 😉)
Share Your Milestones with Key Stakeholders
There are very few businesses that are run entirely by one individual. Even sole proprietorships will have help from the friends and family of the owner in most cases. With this in mind, it is a good idea to share all of your milestones with those who may be able to help you meet them. These people may be employees of the business, a friend who keeps you motivated, or anyone else that you feel should be involved.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Adjustments
While setting specific milestones for your goals is important, you don’t want to feel like you are locked into them and cannot make adjustments. Flexibility and the ability to evolve are often essential for the long term success of any business. (Just avoid the temptation to modify your milestones simply because you haven’t met them! That's just an excuse for putting things off!😔) As you progress toward your goals, make sure that you take the time to review each milestone and see how it could be improved. Over time, the updates and improvements to your milestones will help you to accomplish much more than you would have previously thought possible.