Your Financial Goals
As much as you may love helping people, you must also have financial goals. Without a fair salary and profit, you won't be able to help people for very long. To be successful, all goals — including financial ones — must be appropriate, specific, and attainable.
What is an appropriate financial goal for your consulting service? One that funds your other goals. If your business goal is to open a new consulting service office each year for three years, your financial goal must be one that will fund such an ambitious goal. If your business goal is to build a successful consulting service so you can sell it in 10 years and retire, your financial goal must match the expected selling price of your business. If your business goal is to make a good salary as well as a fair return on your investment, you must first determine what a good salary and a fair return mean to you.
There's a popular T-shirt slogan that says: “When I was young, I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.”
Generic goals don't work. They aren't sufficiently clear to help in daily decisions. To be valuable, a goal must be specific:
An annual net income, after taxes, of at least $75,000.
An award as the best physical fitness trainer in Smith County.
Sufficient profit to hire an assistant within six months.
Contact 12 new prospects each day for the first month.
Make sure your financial and personal goals are specific. Your business plan will be a document of specific goals.
One more point to make about goals: They must be attainable. To be useful, they must be realistic. Having a goal of making $1 million a year in income is certainly specific, but for most consultants, it is not attainable. It isn't realistic. Instead, develop goals that are a moderate stretch but can be reached. Give yourself a challenge rather than an impossibility.
One successful tax consulting service owner established a financial goal of developing annual sales of $200,000 within three years in order to take on a partner who could offer other financial services. He then wanted to spend two more years developing the single location — working the bugs out — before selling the business to the partner for enough to pay off his mortgage and do some traveling. His goals were specific and attainable. Yours should be, too.