As the market grows more and more competitive daily, many startup founders lose their way and plummet. Often, the reason isn’t necessarily because they did poorly, but because they lost sight of their vision. That’s why goals, both big and small, work as an excellent tool to set startups on the right track.
On the Straight and Narrow
When some startup founders hear “reach for the stars!”, they think they have to go above and beyond until they cross the finish line. While it’s great for startups to reach a $1 billion valuation, when their founders have the goal of being the next Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, it can become a problem.
As a young startup, having a goal like that could skew the original purpose of the business. On top of that, the likelihood of becoming a billionaire might not be as simple as the rags-to-riches stories make it seem.
However, that’s no reason to lose hope, it just means finding concrete, realistic goals. This might call for some soul-searching, like defining the business’ values and evaluating customer satisfaction, but this deep dive is worth it. By putting their goals into perspective, startups can achieve some truly incredible feats that benefit not just one person or a small group of people, but entire communities.
Here are a few tips to shape your startup’s goals, so your business can benefit everyone.
Define Goals and Outcomes
The French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, defined anxiety as the sensation of the desire for the other. What Lacan meant was that, often, we feel anxiety because we don’t know how we’re supposed to behave in a new situation.
Although anxiety is often interpreted as a personal problem, startups that don’t have concrete goals or desired outcomes in mind mimic the behaviour of an anxious person, such as feeling insecure or burned out.
Luckily, if startups dedicate time to thinking about the future, imagining where they’ll be in three months and planning for up to a few years ahead, they can eliminate this cloud of anxiety.
If you’re having trouble figuring out which goals you want to achieve, a solid method that is especially useful for startups is the SMART system, which helps businesses create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and trackable. By diligently following this system, it becomes much easier to achieve small goals and watch as outcomes snowball into the big goals you’ve been waiting for.
For any startup to be successful, it takes many people’s opinions, skills and connections to create a well-rounded plan. Defining your startup’s goals as a group also puts a lot of proposed ideas into perspective much faster than if you were doing it alone — effectively putting you and your business in a much better position.
Additionally, allowing your team to participate gets everyone motivated and eager to work towards that common goal, which reduces stress and makes working much more enjoyable when done correctly.
While defining your goals as a team is a great step in the right direction, it won’t mean anything if your business doesn’t adhere to those goals in a timely manner. Make sure to develop a schedule with your team to help visualize what the future will look like in order to make your goals achievable.
Implementing KPIs also helps employees translate the company’s goals into actionable tasks they can do.
Celebrate Every Small Victory
Everybody benefits from positive reinforcement. By celebrating each goal that’s achieved, you will remember the positive emotions that came with that celebration and receive energy and motivation to keep going.
To be more specific, breaking up work by celebrating small goals makes it easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It helps employees feel like they’re developing with the company, rather than just being cogs in a machine. Some small goals might include signing a new client, reaching a record number of sales, or marking company growth.
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