In my last post, Nowhere Land – Stuck Between Small Business Survival and Success, I shared the fact that while many small business owners have personal success they do not have business success.  This is because their small business relies on their efforts to create a profit rather than repeatable business systems creating the profit.  This is the major difference between the Survival Stage and the Self-Sustainability Stage of the Small Business Growth model.  To begin this small business growth journey from survival to success a transition plan needs to be built.

Goal setting is the critical 1st step in the business planning process. Make sure you take the needed time to get this step right. If your goals aren’t right, then the rest of the plan won’t be right either!

So how do you set good goals? Setting SMART goals is a good start. SMART stands for:

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  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely


There are thousands of references for setting SMART goals click here for simple 10 step process to get started.

But, what makes a business goal GREAT? It’s an extra step that most people don’t really take by asking the question “why do I want to achieve this goal?” This “why step” helps you evaluate your SMART business goal to assure it is aligned with what you have defined as success in your life.

For example, lets say that you want to work less and spend more time with the family. A common personal goal we find with business owners. You might have defined your business goal “to increase profitability by 10% over last year.” If we apply the DE, Inc. method of goals setting by asking “why do you want to achieve this goal?” The answer is probably, “to make more money than we did last year.” But, would this really align with your personal goal “to get more personal time back in your life to spend more time with my family?” The answer is an emphatic NO.

When personal and business goals are out of alignment both life and work suffer. Too often we separate our life from business and everything gets out of balance. Have you experienced this out of balance feeling in your own life?  Share your stories.  I’m sure you’ll find there are many people out there in this situation too.

A more appropriate goal in this example might be, “begin transferring more of your current management responsibility to your senior management team, or building a senior management team while maintaining last year’s profitability.”

The real difference is taking the extra step to align your personal goals with your business goals. By getting what you want from life at the same time that you are achieving your business goals you become more energized and motivated achieving more on both sides.

If you seem frustrated or out of balance use this approach to get your life and business back on track.  Use it now so you can integrate it in your business planning for next year.  If you need some assistance, contact us for a copy of our Personal & Business Goal Assessment questionnaire and let us know how it works for you.

Copyright ©2011, 2009 Dino Eliadis


  1. Avatar
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    December 14, 2011

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  2. Avatar

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