How to Write Business Goals (Video 2 of 8)

We are doing our business strategy bootcamp, and we are on week 2: How to Write Business Goals. This is an important step, because I have found a lot of people are pretty bad at writing goals. So I am going to be giving you some helpful tips as we continue our journey exploring business strategy. Watch now!

PDF worksheet:

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When you are making a business strategy, the first thing you need to do is understand your goal. The point of the business strategy bootcamp is to write a one-page strategic plan. Well the first line of that document is going to be your goal. So by the end of this video, you will have written the first line of your plan.

Let us start by talking about you. If you are watching this video, you fall into one of three categories:

  1. Head of a company
  2. Department Manager
  3. Individual

This video can help in any of these categories. If you are the head of a company as either an owner or CEO, your primary job is to set the strategy. You will be writing down the goal of your company. If you are a department manager, you should also go through this bootcamp by writing down the goal of your company. As a department manager, you need to understand the company goal to make better decisions for how your department can contribute. As an individual, you are the CEO of your own life. So write down your goals as if you were operating your own business. No matter what position you are in, we are defining a business organization and identifying the strategy that will make the most money.

Next let us talk about the number one rule of writing goals. Goals MUST be emotional. I realize this is a very controversial approach to business strategy. But in my experience this is the biggest reason people fail to achieve their business goals. The reason you include emotion in your goals is very practical. In the day to day operations of a business, sometimes you will have difficult days. If you do not have an emotional reason why you are pursuing your goals, you are not going to make it through the tough times. You need that reason that causes you to jump out of bed in the morning.

Let me give you an example. This is a bad example of a business goal. “I want to make five million dollars in three years.” Boring. There is no reason behind this goal. It is pure quantitative metrics. It is not going to excite you or your workforce. When you read your goal, you should feel like it scrapes the very bottom of your soul. That is a well-written business goal.

So how do you make a goal emotional? Goals MUST be personal. You are connecting what you are going to do with your personal emotions. What do you dream about? What is your dream business and your dream life? You are going to take your dreams and put them into your goal. Again, this is another controversial approach to business strategy, because we are not even talking about your customers. But before you get upset, please realize the document we are writing is not for your customers.  This is about you and your workforce. We are writing an internal document to give to your workforce to tell them what to do. So we have to know, what does our workforce want? How do we achieve their dreams?

The problem with success is that it means a lot of things to different people. We need to define what success means to you. I will give you an example. You can have two different people with two different visions of success:

  1. Free time. A successful business provides them with a lot of free time.
  2. Cash reserves. A successful business provides them with a lot of cash reserves they can use for anything they want.

These are two very different goals, that will drive different business strategies. And if this is well defined you will attract two very different work forces to achieve these visions of success.

So we have talked about how your goals should have an emotional component. But how do we write that? Well that is the easy part, because I am going to write it for you. Everyone’s goal is generally the same.

Goal: High sustainable cashflow providing goods or services that enables success.

Let us break this down. High sustainable income is talking about money. You cannot have a goal without talking about the money, because without the money, none of the rest of your goal will work. This is saying you want a business that is making money. You want lots of it, and you want it to last a long time. The next part describes what your business produces. It either provides a good or service. And the final section is the emotion. This is where you define what success means to you. Why are you doing the business in the first place?

Now this statement is very general. The trick is taking this statement and making it more specific for your particular situation. The money piece is actually not the most important. You can always use more money. What you really want to figure out is the “What?” and the “Why?”

I realize I am really pushing you here to reveal your personal motivations. And you are going to be sharing this information with your co-workers. You may want to be careful here that you do not come across as a selfish person. What you are trying to accomplish is to have conversations about people’s real motivations. Why are you working at this business? You are trying to coordinate a group of people around meaningful goals.

So we have talked about how to write a goal. I have given you a template. Now I am going to leave you with an activity. You are going to try and define the What? And the Why? For your company.

High sustainable cashflow providing __________ that enables ______________ .

This is the goal with two blanks in it. Your job is to fill in the blanks with more specific language.

In the description below this video, there is a PDF document you can download with questions to help you think through this. This should only take you about 30 minutes. Just think about your business and see if you can further define your goal statement. If you cannot, that is okay too. You can continue to work on this over the next several weeks as we go through the business strategy bootcamp.

Leave a comment down below letting me know what you think!

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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance Inc. shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.

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