There are many fundamental components in running a successful business, and setting goals is just one of them. In a study of Harvard MBA graduates, it was found that only thirteen percent had unwritten goals, and only three percent had clear, written goals. Ten years later, the three percent who had written goals, were earning an average of ten times as much as the other 97 percent of their classmates. Likewise, for any business, setting benchmarks is a major factor in achieving success.
“A written business plan should include having a solid foundation, enlisting the proper advisors”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “Being committed to monitoring company progress will also help determine if the business is moving toward meeting objectives and securing longevity.”
Better Business Bureau and the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) recommend three strategies for achieving your business goals.
Find mentors to emulate. Who do you aspire to be like? Potential mentors could be people you work with, or even in a completely different industry whose road to success is worthy of imitation. Identify your mentors’ work ethic, habits, education, or whatever it is that deems them worthy of your aspirations. If possible, talk with them about how you can achieve your goals by following in their footsteps. Use the resources available to you in order to achieve your goals.
Be flexible when necessary. Taking an honest look at your business may be difficult, but is an invaluable exercise in preventing or repairing setbacks. Make adjustments to your business and its direction as quickly as possible based on facts and outcomes. When things aren’t going well or as you had planned, it’s important to take a step back and analyze why this may be happening. As soon as you realize that you need to make a change, consult with mentors and use the information you have to adjust. Test out a new approach, review the results, and adjust if necessary. There is no sense in repeating an action that fails to deliver your desired outcome.
Build a strong foundation for your business by avoiding shortcuts. Your business must be built on ethical business practices, knowledge of your product and company, a desire to improve via professional development, and a commitment to representing your company and serving customers to the best of your ability. If you take shortcuts in any way, your business will suffer. One area where many business owners take “short cuts” when they are busy is skipping professional development, but that could shortchange your success. Make it a priority to attend, listen to what is being taught, incorporate relevant matters into your business, and always strive for improvement. You cannot expect success without hard work. The positive side is that by putting in the work and avoiding such shortcuts, you are more likely to rise above the fray and meet your goals more quickly.
For additional resources on how to build a better business and to find out how to network with other businesses, go to bbb.org.
Mechele Mills is the President|CEO for the Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas. Prior to her role at BBB, she led and consulted organizations of all sizes, managing operations, sales marketing, and personnel for both the public and private sector. She holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism/PR from the University of Texas at Tyler and a Master’s in Business Administration from Baylor University.