There's no time like the present to review the past year and make some solid goals for your growing business. Here are a few tips for setting and achieving those goals:
1. Brainstorm - Start writing a list of things you'd like to accomplish. At first, you might think you don't have any ideas, but soon they will come pouring out. You may even end up with too many goals that you could realistically accomplish. Prioritize and decide which are most important.
2. Write your goals down in one central place and record any changes you make to your goals - This way you can track your progress and will be become even better at setting goals for yourself in the future.
3. Make sure your goals are challenging, yet attainable - In other words, don't make them all too easy, but then again, don't list a bunch that you will never achieve. If you make them too easy, you will feel like you haven't accomplished much and if you make them too difficult, you'll feel defeated.
4. Set a realistic timeframe for your goals - Remember, you can't do everything at once. If you have short and simple goals, set short timeframes. For your more involved goals, analyze the steps needed to complete them and be realistic about how much time you will need to accomplish your goals.
5. As you write down your goals, ask why is this my goal? - If your goal is to set up an affiliate program for your site, you will motivate yourself better if you understand and remind yourself why you are doing this. It may be to increase your website traffic, to earn more income or to create brand recognition for your product. It could be any number of things, but make sure you know what they are.
6. Make your goals measurable - Don't just say, you want to learn about graphics. Make a specific plan. Perhaps, you want to learn about Flash graphics and you want to be able to make your own Flash movie. Or perhaps, you're happy just being able to design your own animated gif. You need to be able to see when you've achieved your goals.
7. Identify what "tools" you will use and how will obtain the "tools" to achieve your goals - Perhaps, your goal is to build your own web page for the first time. You need to think about what you need to do that. Two of the many things you might need are software and a tutorial or the help of knowledgeable friend. You'll need to purchase the software or find the freeware. You'll also need to look around for the tutorial or see when your friend might have time to help you.
8. Don't overload yourself - We all want to get everything done and to be as perfect as possible, but don't give yourself too much. Remember, time with family is why you have a home business. It's okay to have a larger number of small, easily attainable goals, but do limit the number of major goals that require a number of resources and significant time to achieve. Remember, as in a previous step, you can always revisit and revise your goals if need be.
9. Divide your goals into short term and long term goals - If you keep this list separate, you can better organize yourself to complete them. Short term goals usually can be completed at anytime with not much time commitment. Your long term goals will require more involvement and you don't likely want to take on too many long term goals at one time.
10. Revisit and revise your goals when necessary - This doesn't mean that if you're a procrastinator, you can just come back and push all your dates back. This exercise is to see if you are on track with your goals. Perhaps, you're a little ahead of schedule and you can add a goal or two. Maybe, you're falling behind, and that's okay. You need to look at why you're falling behind. Is it because you didn't dedicate the time necessary, you didn't have the tools to accomplish your goals or was it just unrealistic planning? You can learn from all these things and set better goals in the future. If you do extend a deadline, make a new plan on how you will meet that new timeframe.
Always, congratulate yourself on a job well done. Share your successes with your family and peers. Then start working on the next goal...
Alice Seba is the editor of http://www.internetbasedmoms.com. Fire up your online business with business ideas, web page building advice & marketing tips. Subscribe to the newsletter by sending a blank email to [email protected].