Everyone has goals, especially if you are a freelance business owner. Whether you’ve clearly written your goals down or not, there are things in life and in business that you want to achieve.
As a small freelance business owner, your goals inspire you to make your business what you know it can become. In addition, choosing firm goals for your business is an essential step in regard to longevity. Here are six things you can do to optimize your freelancing goals so they work for you, not against you.
Your goals act as a target – a basketball hoop, if you will. If you’ve got nothing to aim for, you wander aimlessly until you happen upon something that feels right. That only sets the stage for slow growth.
Give yourself a hoop to shoot the ball at. Create clear, concise goals as soon as possible. For instance, instead of just telling yourself you want to grow your business, set the goal of bringing five new customers through the doors each month. Doing so will likely inspire you to work harder at bringing new business in and improve your bottom line in the end.
Also, make sure your goals are specific. A goal to increase revenue doesn’t give you a clear target to shoot for. Be more specific with your goals so you always know where to aim the crosshairs. Similarly to creating and managing a budget, you want to know where your money is being spent.
We all want to be Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, heading up multi-billion dollar businesses that we founded with modest means. Unfortunately, this may drive you to set unrealistic goals for your business.
For example, if you have a small business that earned $50,000 last year, you don’t want to set a goal to earn $1 million this year. That kind of growth is unrealistic, and for most, unattainable.
The truth is that when you set unrealistic goals, you beat yourself up every step of the way because you’re not achieving them. This can actually have a detrimental effect on your business. So, if you’re generating $50,000 per year now, it makes more sense to set a goal of growing your business to $60,000 next year. Sure, it will be challenging, but it’s attainable.
So many freelance business owners set goals with no hard time frames. When there’s no time frame associated with a goal, there’s no sense of urgency to get it done. Think of short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. For example:
Fellow freelancers can often be great support systems. They know what you are going through and can help support you. With them being in your shoes, why not let them in on what you’re working to achieve?
When you talk about your goals with your fellow freelancers, you create a sense of obligation. If you don’t achieve those goals, you’ll likely need to have an uncomfortable conversation about why. Bringing those you trust and relate to into the fray typically means you’ll work harder to meet your business goals.
Not all goals are created equal. Some are far more pressing than others. For example, if you don’t hit your monthly sales goal, you may not be able to cover your expenses for the month, leading to financial hardship.
When choosing firm goals for your business, think about the different goals you have and where they rank on the priority list. That way, you know which ones to focus on first.
Keep track of your progress so you always know where you are in the process and how likely you are to achieve your goals. Perhaps just as importantly, give yourself a pat on the back when you do achieve a business goal.
For example, when you hit your monthly sales goal, take yourself out for a nice dinner or splurge on a great time with friends. When you hit larger goals, like achieving your annual growth goal, bigger rewards are in order. Maybe you finally take that vacation you know you deserve.
The bottom line is simple; your goals have the potential to make or break your business. Setting them now with meaningful time frames and realistic expectations gives you a reason to push yourself and achieve the growth you know you’re capable of.
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