3 Key Points in this Episode:
- You must separate your personal life from your business.
- Your over-arching business goals must be focused outward on your customers, employees, suppliers, and even lenders or investors.
- The best way to do this is to connect a business goal with the person it will impact most.
In today’s episode, I talk about the importance of developing over-arching goals for your business independent of what you personally want or need. This separation between your over-arching life goals and your over-arching business goals is the first step in building a great business.
For some listeners of this podcast, the illustration of building a new house will resonate because you have not started your business yet. For other listeners, the illustration of renovating a home is more fitting because you have already started your business.
Whether you are starting a brand-new business, or you are trying to turn your existing business into something brand new, the process and the need for planning is the same.
Once you have clearly defined over-arching life goals you can go to work building a great business that supports your personal goals but is not defined by them.
To build a great business that supports your life goals, you must establish early in the planning stage exactly what you want to achieve with your business beyond just supporting your over-arching life goals. Like your over-arching life goals, these business goals are going to define the future trajectory of your business.
Personally, I absolutely loved Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why. In this book, Simon points to the absolute necessity to have a clearly defined purpose motivating all the other decisions made when building a great business.
Michael E. Gerber wrote in his last book Beyond the E-Myth, that in 40years of working with business owners, it is the ones that have a dream, vision, purpose, and mission that are ultimately successful.
It can be very overwhelming to try to come up with some grand purpose for your small business. After all, you just want to provide for your family and create flexibility and freedom in your life. The good news is that your goals for your business do not need to be grandiose to be successful.
Take for example Erik Lundgren, owner of Evergreen Hardwood Floors in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Erik’s business installs and refinishes hardwood floors. One of his primary goals is to give his clients a WOW moment when they see their new floors.
When I asked Erik why this was so important he said something impactful.
“When our customers get that WOW moment they fall in love with their homes all over again. Since your home represents family, security, and safety, I feel that this is the most important thing my business does, and this has always been and always will be the primary goal for my business.”
I think business owners like Erik who keep it simple and focus on their customers get it right. When I have spoken to other business owners they have shared with me many of their business goals and they all have one thing in common – they are focused on other people.
Your primary business goals can be centered on your customer’s buying experience, as in Erik’s business, or you can focus on your employees. You can set goals around safety, social impact, community involvement and a whole host of other things.
I want to encourage you to take some time to really think hard about what goals you want to set for your business and how reaching those goals will impact your customers, your employees, your suppliers, and yes, even your lenders and investors.
When setting business goals, I have always found it helpful to break it down into three categories:
1. Financial Goals
2. Operational Goals
3. Marketing Goals
Next, I like to correlate those goals to a group of people and articulate the impact of reaching those goals will have on them.
An example of what this looks like could be:
A financial goal of $250,000.00 in sales with gross profit margins of 27%. 10% of profits will be shared with all employees in the form of contributions to education funds for their children or retirement funds if they have no children.
Another goal could be a marketing goal like expanding your email list. This can be connected to the community. By expanding the number of local people on your email list you expand the reach of your community fundraiser for Cancer Research.
This is just an illustration of how simple the goal setting process can be. Make sure to follow the blueprint of establishing a few categories, setting goals within those categories, connecting those goals to a group of people, and writing down the impact that reaching those goals will have on the group.
What will you accomplish with your business?
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Thank you for listening and I look forward to working with you soon.