Every business owner may be guilty of acting impulsively from time to time. But by getting intentional about business and your goals, both online and off, you can make your grow to meet your clear expectations.

This is the final post in a blog series based on my experiences with the Build Institute‘s Basics workshop.

Read More:
Week 1: Getting Personal to Create Sustainable Change
Week 2: Be Clear About Expectations, With Your Partners and Yourself
Week 3: When Writing Becomes Part of the Flow
Week 4: Need a Blog Topic? Look at Industry Trends
Week 5: What Are You Really Selling on Your Website?
Week 6: Who Is Your Target Customer?
Week 7: Your Brand is Bigger Than Your Logo

The Build Institute’s Basics workshop was an 8-week crash course for entrepreneurs looking to open a new business or take their existing company to the next level. This week was the finale. Each participant presented their business plan in the presence of local government representatives and discussed what they had learned over the two months.

For me, the top lesson was clear:

Get intentional if you want your business to grow.

There are some business coaches and spiritualists out there who will tell you that setting you intention will cause the thing you want to appear for you. Even those who don’t believe in that sort of spiritualism acknowledge that the more you think about a thing the more you will notice it around you. It’s called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon or the frequency illusion. Here’s how it works:

Let’s say that you have started thinking about a new website for your business. Maybe you have discussed it with your partners at a meeting or written it down as a goal for the year. Suddenly, you start to notice that seemingly every other sponsored post on Facebook is from a web development company. Maybe you meet a website designer at a networking event, or find yourself reading articles about web page layout and the best content to attract readers. It’s everywhere!

The spiritualists will tell you the energy you put into your intention is returning to you in the form of opportunity to accomplish your goals. The scientists will say that because you are thinking about the topic you are noticing it more in the world around you. Either way, setting an intention for your business has facilitated the completion of your goal.

A Business Plan Can Help Create Intentions in a Way Lenders and Venture Capitalists Understand

Attorneys don’t technically need venture capital to get started in their business. When I opened Schmidt Law Services, PLLC (now Schmidt & Long, PLLC) it was literally me, my laptop, and my cellphone, sitting in a camp chair in my newly purchased (and not yet furnished) home in Metro Detroit. I had a virtual office for the first 18 months and did decent business without any loan or investment capital.

But when a law firm or small business wants to transition from online to brick and mortar, it often requires a substantial financial investment to build out the space and make it suit your company’s needs. You may even be looking at buying a building to house staff and associate attorneys. When that happens, the Build Institute teaches that a well-thought out business plan can convey your intentions in a way that makes sense to commercial lenders and venture capitalists. It lays out the estimated costs and expected profits connected to their investment and helps them come in line with your vision.

Intentional Goals Helps You Know When You’ve Grown

Perhaps even more foundational than a business plan, setting intentions for your business helps you know what it looks like when you win. It is far too easy for business owners to get wrapped up in the day to day grind and lose track of the incremental progress they are making along the way.

A few years ago, my practice management software added a “Dashboard” that, among other things, allowed me to set a billing goal for the year and measured my progress toward that goal. That simple line graph has become a motivating force in my day-to-day work life. Did I meet my daily billing goal? How am I measuring up this month? By setting an intention and measuring my actual practice against it, I am able to keep track of my progress and know when I hit my business goal.

Setting an intention for your business can help with everything from personal motivation to corporate investment. It can bring your company needs into focus and help you find solutions to meet your goals. If you want to grow your business, take the time to set your intentions and goals.

Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist, in Ferndale, Michigan. She helps lawyers and small businesses meet their online marketing goals by providing quality blogs and webpages. If your intention is to improve your online presence, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.