Why your business needs goals

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Whenever we hear someone talking about entrepreneurship the phrase “You need to have a goal” is in the air and as more as you get involved in this subject, as more you think that without a goal you will never make it.

Well, this is easy enough you might say, but in my experience as a coach, many people I work with have no real goals and the only thing they can come up with is money.

For most, a goal is finding a solution to the problems they have right now. If they could just solve that it would all be fine. Many people set themselves a financial goal, thinking that money will solve most of their problems anyway and it is something everybody understands.

As an added bonus it does not require them to talk about and deal with their real problems. As great as this sounds, solving your personal problems is not a goal for a business owner. Your business is most likely not solving your personal problems, you are. All this is more a case for personal development.

During my years as an entrepreneur and business owner, I never really started a business by setting a goal. Looking back, the main reason why I started a business was that an opportunity was standing right in front of me and I took it.

Teamwork key to success

My goal has always been to make the business successful. In my mind, it meant to make a real difference to everyone involved. Solving a problem and providing great services and products to my customers and helping the team to grow as part of the company is my main motivation.

Anything else is just a side product of it all. If you are good at what you do, you’re going to make money anyway and you build great relationships on the way. What better is there?

Once you understand that you are not your business, but a major player in your team everything changes. Your team is made of you and your employees, your customers and your business partners. If you play your best, train and practise your skills and talents for the game, your team has the best chance to win.

Looking at it like that, when you win your team wins. That means your customers, your business partners and your employees win. That is what it is all about. Once you understand that your business goal is not just your goal, everything you do and think changes.

Setting a goal for your business is like thinking about how to win the game. For that, you need to know your team members. You need to know their strength and weaknesses, understand how you can help each of them to be at their best. Whether you are selling shoes, cutting hair or offer any other products or services the game is always the same.

Customers must be part of your game plan

If you want to be in business for a longer period of time you will need to see your customers and business partners as team members. This must be the main goal which defines the direction of the company. How do you measure this depends on the game your team (business) plays. Whatever the result is, must be of value for everyone in the team.

If your customers are not happy they won’t come (play) again. There could be two reasons why. First, they might not have been the right customers. And second, your products and services were not for them. At the end that is the same. It is your job to make sure that you have the right team members to win the game. For that, you need to understand and know the game and the team members. There has to be a fit.

Next time you go to an event or read a book where people tell you to decide on your goal, be clear that they are talking about your personal goals. The idea here is to generate some motivation to get you moving. However, most of this type of motivation is short-lived and requires you to do all sorts of things to keep the motivation up. That actually has very little to do with your business.

A business goal is always to play the best possible game with the best possible team!

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium, this site is run by John di Stefano, teaching and supporting entrepreneurs to learn the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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