What Are Your Goals?

Why is it that you want to start a small business? Money? Fame? Personal freedom? Ego gratification? Retirement income? Inability to get rehired or retrained? Discomfort with larger organizations? If someone were to ask you why you're going into business for yourself, what would you say?

For many people, it helps to translate their expectations and desires into concrete terms by setting goals. We've organized these into three broad categories:

If you're still a little uncertain about goals and what they might mean to you, you should take a look at:

Short-term goals. You should also remember that while it's good to have long-term goals, such as getting the business off the ground and helping it grow, you also need to set short-term goals. Your short-term goals should be realistic and achievable. Some short-terms goals might be (1) to select a name for the business that you're happy with, (2) to obtain a business license, (3) to find a good small-business lawyer, or (4) to establish a business credit card account.

It'll be important psychologically in those chaotic first months to be able to feel that you're making some progress. Short-term goals can help you achieve those small but crucial victories.