Charles Alexander (2)


I remember meeting with one of my very first clients here at the TSBDC.   They owned a local restaurant (no longer in existence).


Me: So, what is your goal for this year?

Restaurant Owner: Well…to be one of the best restaurants around, I guess. 

Me: Okay, but how much money do you want to make?

Restaurant Owner: You know, a lot. 

Me: Alright, how will you know if you hit the goal?

Restaurant Owner: Well, I reckon if I have money in my account and happy customers, I hit it. 

Me: Hmmm…do you want to write down some specific goals, steps, and measures for that?

Restaurant Owner:  Nah, I have a gut feeling for these things.  Hey, but thanks anyways. 


I swear, they almost patted me on the head like I was a child trying to tie my shoes. 


So why do we need goals?  Goals give you focus, energy, persistence, and make you successful. 

They also need to be written down and visible.  Unfortunately, only 2% of people have written goals and those with written goals are twice as successful, than those without written goals. 


These six steps make reaching your goals possible. 


1.  What - What is the goal?  Is it specific?  Is it realistic?  Can it be measured? If not, pick a new goal.

2.  Who – Who on your team is responsible for meeting this goal?  Who will you surround yourself with to meet this goal?  Who are you going to share your goal with that will hold you accountable?

3.  When – When is the deadline?  Sometime this year is not a “when.”  Give it a date.

4.  Where – Where will it be measured?  Is it the profit-n-loss statement, balance sheet, number of customers, number of leads, number of employees, etc.

5.  How – How are you going to reach the goal?  Are there specific steps that you can lay out that will lead you to your goal?   There better be.  Otherwise, that would be like taking a trip to an unknown destination with no GPS.

And most importantly…

6.  Why – Why does this goal matter?  Will it change your business?  Will it change your life?  Will it make you happy?  If you don’t know the answer, start again with Step 1.


And if you need help in setting your business goals for 2020, contact the TSBDC.


Charles Alexander is the director of the Small Business Development Center at Vol State.

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