As we drove across Florida from the east to west coast and back my thoughts were on milestones. The trip is approximately 150 miles each way, and my way of dealing with long trips is to break them up and assign various towns a milestone which I mentally cross off as we travel.
What is a milestone? Wikepedia describes milestones as “…provide reference points along the road. This can be used to reassure travelers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either distance traveled or the remaining distance to a destination.”
What does this have to do with your business? A lot! Let’s explore this together.
- Starting Point and Destination: Every journey has a starting point and unless you’re the type of adventurous traveler who stops anywhere your mind tells you to, you will have a destination in mind and a planned route on how to get there.
As a small business owner or entrepreneur you must have a plan for your business. I’m not talking about the kind of plan you may need to take to a bank to seek financing. This kind of plan usually ends up in a drawer and is never looked at again.
I’m referring to a basic Business Plan that outlines your mission and your vision, your purpose, who your ideal clients are, how you will serve them…and your destination…your end goal.
- Your Road Map: This is the Action Plan referred to above. This document should include your short-term and long-term goals along with the steps to reach these goals.
Sometimes you have a route all mapped out, and along the way you encounter a blockade or an unexpected barrier so you may have to make a detour. The same is true of your journey as a business owner. How you deal with the detours and blocks that arise in your business will determine if you forge ahead with your goal or if you go out of business. This is where your Purpose will play a significant role as it is what will keep you going when unexpected negative situations arise.
- Milestones: The Milestones in your business are the steps that will take you to your goal. Just as I’ve associated certain towns with milestone numbers so I know that I’m getting close to my destination, you need written steps to lead you to your goal. Under each of those larger steps would be a breakdown of the smaller steps that support each milestone.
These milestones are the steps that what will let you know if you’re keeping on track to take you to your destination…your Goal.
- Your Destination – Your Goal: Your destination is your goal or finish line that allows you to live the dream that you have for yourself and your business. Keep in mind that your destination or goal can also have different levels of achievement. For example, a Solopreneur may have a goal of building a consulting business with 25 regular clients and an income of $150,000 per year. What if you achieved the goal of 25 clients but your income has not reached $150,000? You’d have to devise a new action plan with new milestones to arrive at this goal.
Remember that a goal is just a dream if you fail to write it down. Do your milestones support your destination? Do you have a clear destination or goal for your business? If you need to stop and assess where you are and create a clear direction as to where you’re going, go ahead and complete the Breakthrough Quiz so we can schedule a time to talk.