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Flaxmere Garden in Hawarden

Personal Goals

You have a business idea that you want to pursue. Running your own business is scary, thrilling, fulfilling and just plain hard work, but you need to know what you are getting into and you need to prepare.

The first part of that preparation is more about you than about the business. It's a very simple question: "What do you want to achieve?"

Many business owners start their businesses without really thinking about what they want their business to achieve and what they personally want to gain from their business in the long run. Having personal goals and business goals to accomplish will help you with planning and with deciding which paths to go down.

Here are some common personal goals:

- Have a comfortable lifestyle that supports you, your family and your staff well
- Become rich and famous
- Prepare for retirement
- Sell the business and make money
- Grow the business to a point where it is self-sufficient and does not need you to operate
- Reduce your hours and/or have good long holidays.
- Independence
- Freedom to pursue ideas and projects
- Give back to the community

When you do not know what you want to achieve, it means that your business does not have the direction it needs to thrive and the chances are that what you accomplish will be quite different than the reason you went into business in the first place.

If you do not have set goals your business has a greater chance of failure. Even if it succeeds, without goals you are more likely to find your business personally unfulfilling.

Three Llamas Gourmet Coffee in Woodend, visiting one of their coffee producers in Peru

Business Goals

As well as your personal goals, think about your business goals. This is your vision for the business. A business vision affects all aspects of what you do, from what you charge to the quality of your product/service to what opportunities you follow up, and which ones you turn down.

It's important that your business goals reflect your personal values. Examples include:
- Provide the best quality product or service
- Provide the best customer service
- Help the community as a social enterprise
- Exploit a gap in the market
- Be the workplace of choice
- Use innovation to reduce costs
- Create a business empire

Write your goals down. The mixture of personal and business goals give you a reference point for every decision you make. Every decision should actively move you towards achieving your goals, or (at worst) should not distract or detract from your goals.

27 Seconds Wine in Waipara


Now that you know what your personal and business goals are. Go through the same process again, but this time with values. Your own personal values will reflect through to your business values. Your business values will impact every interaction your business has with customers, staff, suppliers – everyone.

Example values might be:

- Acting with integrity
- Taking responsibility
- Only producing excellence
- Collaborating and sharing
- Always exploring and inventing
- Being respectful or even celebrating others

Or any core value that you hold, that you would like your business to adhere to. Writing it down makes it real.

Take the time to write down HOW your business will live up to its values. What actions, system or guidelines will you put in place to ensure that your business lives up to the values you have decided.

You will find that you tend to attract people with a similar value set as you. As well as making you proud of your work, a defined set of values is an excellent marketing tool. If your customers know what is important to your business then they will instinctively know if you are the right business for them.

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