With this being the 100th post on the UPrinting.com Small Business Blog, what better way to commemorate this milestone than an article about celebrating milestones?
People often celebrate the 25th, 50th, or 100th. Why? What makes the 100th so much better than the 123rd? I loved it when the Simpsons parodied the practice of TV shows celebrating their 100th episode by celebrating a completely random episode number in The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular. Don’t get me wrong, reaching a certain number can be a milestone, but there should be more to it than simply reaching that number. For TV shows, reaching 100 episodes is a milestone because that’s traditionally the threshold where a series becomes viable for syndication.
What Are Milestones?
Literally, mile stones were stones placed along the road to indicate a mile.
Milestones are benchmarks. You might be surprised how many people have mistaken milestone to mean accomplishment. Reaching a milestone is an accomplishment, but milestones themselves are not.
I think of milestones as mini-goals. They are goals you set for yourself en route to achieving your goal. Crawl, walk, run.
The Importance of Setting Milestones
Milestones are important for your company or project’s progression. Milestones are benchmarks and reaching them indicates progress. Analysis of how long it took your company or how much it cost your company to reach a milestone will help you set better goals and deliverable dates in the future.
Plus, setting milestones will help you stay on track. Going from making 1 sale a day to 1,000 a day may be discouraging. Goals that will take a long time are best broken up into milestones so that you can stay accountable for what is expected to be delivered within a specific phase of a project. You may not be able to sell 1,000 after a month, but you may now be selling 10 a day instead of 1.
Typically it’s smart to give yourself a test period before setting any goals or milestones. In the example above, your company’s goal is to get to 1000 sales a day. In order to accurately set milestones, you need to have an understanding of the market, your market share, how much of the market you can reasonably expect to take over and in how long, etc. The larger your sample size and more information that you have to base your milestones on, the less you will need to tweak them for future similar projects.
Once you have a goal and an understand of what it will take to achieve it, you can start setting milestones.
Why Celebrate Company Milestones?
I remember working on a project writing a novel for history class during freshman year of high school. In order to stay motivated and recharge, we used to blast “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” jump around, and sing along after achieving milestones. At first we would do this after writing each page, then writing each chapter. Pretty soon we were writing chapters and saying let’s celebrate when it’s done.
Goals are achieved through milestones. By celebrating throughout the journey to your goal, you will help ensure morale stays up and employees stay motivated. Celebrating helps you recharge, blow off steam, clear your head and get ready for the next stage of the project. Not only that, but reaching milestones gives you a sense of achievement and that sense of achievement makes you want to celebrate. Celebrating milestones is natural.