As Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People says, ‘Begin with the end in mind’…
Need – what is the problem you are addressing or the gap in the market you are filling?
Solution – how will your organisation address the need?
Benefit – what benefit/s will this bring about?
Goal setting is vital, at the start of your business, but also at various stages along the way, possibly even daily depending on how you work.
Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-related)
Trello is a great tool for project management and will help you to establish what your goals are. It’s free at www.trello.com and allows you to break down a large ‘to do’ list into manageable chunks. It’s particularly useful if you are working with others as you can share tasks and let each other know how things are progressing.
TIP: A massive ‘to do’ list that you never get to the end of will be stressful and make you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. Why not try an ‘enough’ list instead? Choose up to three tasks daily that will help you to achieve your goals. In this way, you will naturally be prioritising the most critical tasks and you will find that although you may be doing less each day, your workload is consistent and you actually achieve more.
What are the opportunities?
What are the barriers to you achieving your goals?
What could influence you positively or negatively?
What might help you?
What other factors might impact your business?
To help with funding applications – what is the evidence that what you want to achieve is needed?
Throughout your planning think about how you work as an individual. What time of day do you function best? What are your strengths? What tasks would it be more cost effective for you to delegate or outsource?
Have you written a business plan? Some grant funders will require a business plan, but even if they don’t it is a great way of setting your goals and exploring the issues involved.