Originally published in StartupNation.
How do you make 100% sure that you achieve the goals you’ve set for your business?
This was the question posed to nine business experts. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Set Smaller Goals!
It’s critical that you set reasonable goals/expectations for your business in order to achieve them. Many entrepreneurs have visions of grandeur and set unrealistic goals based on these delusions. Set reasonable goals based on existing data that can be achieved over a short period of time. It’s far more satisfying consistently hitting smaller goals, than missing badly on unrealistic ones.
— Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings
2. Put It On the Wall
If you don’t measure it, it doesn’t matter. We try to put our goals up on the wall and make sure all the instruments are in place to track our progress. At the end of the day we know if we are succeeding or if we need to pick up our effort. There is never ambiguity about success.
— Adam Lieb, Duxter
3. Establish Clear, Shared Objectives
You need to have objectives defined very clearly WITH the people that are going to have to deliver on those goals. Empowerment in the earliest stage of the goals definition allows your team to own the goals and to achieve them more often. Also, regular milestone and meeting dates to follow progress are essential.
— Guillaume Gauthereau, TOTSY
4. Stay Accountable, All the Way to the Top
Years ago when we were in startup mode, we didn’t even set goals because they felt arbitrary and silly if we were all hustling 110%. Now, we realize the power of setting goals, writing them down, and making yourself accountable to them by sharing with your team. In fact, the most powerful (and often hardest to reach) goals are the ones that we have people set for themselves and share.
— Michael Mothner, Wpromote
5. Be Flexible—and Execute
In reality, I don’t think it’s possible to achieve 100% of your goals. But, if you set aggressive goals, have a strong plan for achieving those goals, and concentrate on execution, you’ll be well-positioned to achieve most of them. Most important to goal execution? Flexibility. Track your goals and progress and be open to changing your plans and modifying your goals to hit moving targets.
— David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
6. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Divide the goals and assign each part to the person most capable of making it happen. Check in regularly, but do not micromanage. Set reasonable deadlines, ask questions and confirm that everyone is on board with their task. The key to successful delegation is equal parts trust and distributing responsibilities smartly.
— Justin Beck, PerBlue
7. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Once you set your goals and begin on your path to achieving those goals it is easy to lose sight of them. During your day-to-day operations, your priorities may change and you’ll often find yourself on a different path. It’s imperative that you set a clear road map to achieving the overall goal with smaller, micro-goals along the way. By accomplishing each micro-goal you’ll capture the prize.
— Kevin Tighe II, Techertainment, Inc
8. Write a Punishment Check
For the most important goals that I want to make sure I accomplish, instead of rewarding myself if I accomplish them, I work better when I am punished. Sometimes, I do it where it hurts the most: my wallet. I will write a check for a certain amount and give it to someone who can keep me accountable—and will actually cash it if I don’t accomplish it by the post-dated check.
— Peter Nguyen, Literati Institute
9. Do Not Sleep
Metaphorically speaking, of course! But seriously, do not go to sleep on your competitors. Do not go to sleep on the needs of your employees. Do not go to sleep on showing value to your clients, your users, or the Street. Do not go to sleep on marketing yourself. And yeah, it also helps to barely sleep because someone, somewhere, sometime is always trying to work harder than you.
— Anson Sowby, Rocket XL
How do you hold yourself accountable for meeting your business goals? Tell us how in comments below.