Goals are not strategies and strategies are not goals.
Having coached 118 entrepreneurs over the last 18 months, I have found that there are 3 types of business owners.
- Dreamer David
- Goal Setting Gary
- Analytical Andy
Dreamer David has a business and has enjoyed moderate success but has not sat down to formulate a plan. If you ask him what his goals are, he will tell you to have thousands of clients and make millions of dollars, yet he does not have a plan or strategy on how to achieve his dreams!
Goal Setting Gary owns a successful business and has a plan on how to get to the next step. He is not very good at measuring or following through but he can not only see the big picture, but has a basic idea or general understanding of what the next steps are.
Analytical Andy is the business owner that is going to take over his market. He is a number cruncher and tests everything. Not only does he know what his goals are, but the exact metrics he will need to achieve the goals over the next 30, 60, and 90 days.
Most small business owners fall somewhere between Dreamer David and Goal Setting Gary.
During one of the first strategy sessions with a new coaching client, one of the very first questions I ask is what their goals are.
What I have found is that even though the concept of SMART goals is something most entrepreneurs are familiar with, most still struggle with creating goals for their own business.
Smart goals stand for goals that are:
This is a start but it fails to take it one step further.
For example, if I ask a client what their goal is and they tell me:
“I want to send a newsletter to my list in the next 30 days.”
By the definition of a SMART goal, it meets all of the requirements. It is however not a goal but rather a tactic that might be part of a strategy to achieve a goal.
One easy way to see the distinction is to remember that goals cannot be assigned or delegated, but tactics can.
Goals: The result you want to achieve.
Strategies: The methods you will use to achieve your goals.
Tactics: The individual tasks needed to be completed to implement strategies.
In the post from yesterday we discussed setting your three big goals for your business based on revenue, leads, and prospects.
Today we are going to talk about creating strategies and tactics to achieve your goals.
To do this, download our Goal Setting Worksheet here.
List your goals in the column on the far left.
Next identify 3-7 different strategies that you could implement to achieve each of your goals.
For example, lets say you have a goal to generate 200 new prospects to your email marketing list per month.
This is your goal. This is the result that you want to achieve. You cannot assign this goal to anyone. You cannot tell your assistant – generate 200 new prospects to my email list per month.
There are several strategies that could help you to achieve this goal.
Setup a new lead magnet for 2015 and add it to the website.
Setup paid Facebook marketing ads to drive traffic to a landing page for the new lead magnet.
Blog 2 times per week and promote the blog posts through social media.
The three examples above are strategies. They are still not tactics or tasks because they cannot be assigned. They are not goals because they are not the results you want, but rather a method to achieve your goals.
After you have identified 3-7 different strategies for each of your goals the next step is to breakdown the individual tactics or tasks needed to complete the strategies.
Let’s take the strategy “Blog 2 times per week and promote blog posts through social media” as an example.
The tactics or tasks might look like this:
Plan out topics on the editorial calendar.
Check for headlines using Buzzsumo.
Write out content summaries and assign to writers.
Publish blog posts and add photos to the blog posts.
Promote blog posts on social media by pulling out 10 excerpts and scheduling one excerpt per day to post to social media accounts.
This is where it gets tricky! You don’t want to spend months mapping out every single task for every single strategy. At some point you need to actually take action! Focus on mapping out the next steps for the next 30 days for each of the strategies. One to three is sufficient.
Now the fun begins.
Using a project management system such as Asana, you can map out your goals, strategies, and tactics and then assign the tactics to your team. Don’t forget to assign due dates for your tactics!
Finally, set a time weekly, monthly, and quarterly to review the progress of your goals and map out new or additional tactics.
The whole process as described above could take anywhere from one to four hours so don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to set-up.
The next step is to setup a system to measure the progress of your goals. We will discuss that in our next blog post!