Highly demanded by businesses are goals-setting. Without goals, we are just lost souls with no direction. Don't know if to look left or right, up or down. One must also be organized, but this is a whole other post.
The first step is to decide what it is that needs to be achieved. Is it building your customer base, increasing your sales, lowering your costs, or maybe all of these? Essentially, becoming conscious of what is necessary to reach these objectives leads to recognizing the risks, as well as the benefits involved. Generally, one should only take on tasks in which the benefits exceed the costs all around. However, at times, it may not be that way.
Lets use building your customer base as an example. Multiple goals can be set. However, it all comes down to how specific and ambitious you can be. Say we decide to set a goal of reaching out to 7 customers a week. Keeping record is necessary. This is just keeping simple statistical data. For those who don't like numbers, all it takes is just a piece of paper (a journal would be great), pencil and calculator.
You should not only keep information about your current customers, but of any prospect. Each and every individual you interacted with should be accounted for. Specify important information such as location, date met, gender, and any pertinent information necessary for future follow up (this includes name and contact information). Every so often, you should update your records and then look to see if you reached your 7 a week goal. While you are at it, see what percentage of those were successful follow ups. Once you gather and review all the information, you will need to identify any strengths and weaknesses. Based on that discovery, you must modify your current plan to something more effective. Now you know a lot more about your business than you did before when you did not set any goals!