Setting Online Goals

Goals Are Important, But Hard To Set

We all know that striving to meet goals in life in general helps us to accomplish more than if we didn’t.  Goals cause us to change our behavior which makes them hard. Just look at New Years resolutions, 25% of people drop their resolutions within the first week.

What You Will Learn In This Post:

  • Defining what a root goal is
  • The formula of finding a root goal
  • The benefits of a root goal
  • How to set up a root goal

Finding Your Root Goal

When starting any project make sure you begin with defining the Root Goal. A Root Goal is the one KPI that drives all other goals and decisions. [Tweet This]

I find Root Goals by performing the Why Test.  It was developed by the Toyota Motor Corporation to discover the root of any problem and fix it, which is why I call them Root Goals.

The Root Goal Formula

Example Of Finding A Root Goal

If you know a 5-year-old they’ve probably put you through the “Why Test” by asking you “how does rain works?”, “why they need to go to bed early?” or the dreaded “where do babies come from?”.

As fun (or annoying) these conversations can be with a 5-year-old it is amazing at how going through the Why Test can un-ravel the Root Goal of a company.

Here is a how a conversation I will typically have with a client when deciding on the main goals of a project.

Root Goal Example

Benefits of having a Root Goal

Easy To Focus On One  Goal

You have to be able to organize and prioritize your company goals and resources. Creating a single root goal helps simplify the business goals and gives you a clear direction.

Easily Prioritize & Make Decisions

When you only have one goal to focus on it makes decision-making simple & fast!

Once you have your Root Goal, you only have to ask the following question. “Does this help us (insert Root Goal)?”. If the answer is yes you do it, if no then you are not doing it. How simple is that?

There will still be debate on what should be prioritized over what, but there is no question on what the goal is.  This focus will help unite your team and give them a common language to relate to each other.

Making Goal Based Decsions

Striving Towards Success

Since the root goal is directly aligned to success as long as you are making progress towards the goal the company is on its way to success. Unlike other metrics like rankings or social shares that can be helpful but often times should not be the goal.

Keeping Track Of Your Root Goal

Once you’ve discovered what your root goal is you need to be sure that you are able to measure and report on that goal. I love this quote from Thomas S Monson:

Thomas S Monson - Goal Quote

Steps To Measuring Your Goal

Step 1: Write down your goal

Step 2: Post it somewhere you see it every day (Here is an image of mine for getting email subscribers)

Step 3: Share it with someone to hold you accountable (You can email me )

Step 4: Setup  ways to track your goal (Download examples of how to track your goals)


Download The Worksheet

Download  how to set up & track root goals. Comes with examples of what goals of successful online companies and what they are tracking.

Let’s Talk About Your Root Goals?

I want the comments to be a place where we can all engage on this topic and not just for spammers to blow up my inbox.

Let me know what your Root Goal is for your personal life or business.

2 thoughts on “How To Set Online Goals For Your Business (Hint rankings are not one!)”

  1. Great post!

    Very much in the spirit of Avinash Kaushik and his web analytics framework/mindset. He splits everything into his ABC, Acquisition, Behavior, Outcome. I think you can actually apply his thoughts to your model and split it into objective, goals and KPI:s.

    His DUMB – Doable, Understandable, Manageable, Beneficial – mindset is also applicable to what you call goals, or at least it help one assess if you are on the right path.

    1. Hey Mikael,

      I haven’t heard of the DUMB Goal analogy, but I like it! Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to check out cubicle dropout to see what other knowledge you are dropping!

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