Where are the Startup Goals?

One of the lessons I’ve learned recommending the Simplified One Page Strategic Plan to entrepreneurs is that they often don’t have goals. Crazy, right? When asking for the one pager before a meeting, most of the time I get a response that they don’t have any goals yet but will put some together and send it over. After enough of these conversations, I’ve realized there are a few factors at work:

  • Entrepreneurs are focused on the here-and-now. It’s hard to work on the business when the business isn’t working yet (it’s a startup!).
  • Goals are a form of commitment. If I make a goal, it means that I want to hit it. Without goals, I can keep ambling along.
  • With goals, there’s a scorecard. With a scorecard, it’s black-and-white as to how well things are going. Many entrepreneurs struggle with admitting they’re failing.

My recommendation is to at least track the weekly operational metrics. Start with metrics, then add goals as the business matures.

What else? What are some more thoughts on entrepreneurs not tracking progress against goals?

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