Meeting Deadlines: A Critical Skill For Any Entrepreneur

A goal is a dream with a deadline.   – Napoleon Hill

The word deadline can elicit feelings of dread, stress, tension and fear.  Perhaps it’s the first part of the word that conjures up such feelings.  We’ve lived with deadlines since we were in grade school.  There were deadlines for handing in assignments and getting our homework and chores done.  Later there were deadlines for applications to schools, paying bills, getting to the church on time, taking the turkey out of the freezer, RRSP contributions and the most dreaded deadline of all, April 30, tax return due date   Initially it was our parents and teachers who made sure we weren’t late on our assignments but eventually we learned the value of meeting deadlines on our own.  Meeting deadlines makes life a lot easier.  When you think about it, deadlines are really wonderful things.  They help us manage our time, work hard and are the reason we achieve many of our goals.

Creating a business plan is a must for a successful business.  At the Halton Region Small Business Centre, we stress to our clients that creating a business plan is an exercise in research, not writing.  We also recommend to our clients that they set deadlines and realistic goals for completing the research that goes into business planning.  With the help of our small business consultants, our clients set deadlines for researching various elements of their business plan.

Clients will often book follow up appointments to review their research and set new goals.  We find our most successful clients are those who understand the value of setting and sticking to goals and timelines.  Clients often find that meeting with our consultants on a regular basis helps to keep them on task and focused until they reach their start-up goals.  Once their business is up and running, they know that they can continue the relationship.  For example, the consultant and client may agree that attending two networking events each month will help make contacts needed to grow the business.  At their next meeting, the consultant will ask whether the goal was achieved and if not, why not.   We’ve all achieved goals on our own but isn’t it easier when someone helps us along the way?  It’s so much easier to procrastinate when you are the only one who knows you’ll miss a deadline.  Having someone to check in with to review progress helps many clients stay on task.

If starting a business in 2012 is your goal, then don’t procrastinate any longer.  Take a look at our online business resources including our Business Planning template. Call us to book an appointment with a small business consultant who will answer your questions and help you understand a business plan.  Dream away – just be sure to set some specific targets to actually achieve your goals!

For more information about any of Halton’s Small Business Centre resources and services, contact us at 1-866-442-5866, www.halton.ca/business, busdev@halton.ca or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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