Business Strategy and Big Hairy Audacious Goals

business strategy

Many owners have read Jim Collins that same year in his book called Good to Great. He did some research back in 1995 into successful companies and what made them achieve their high levels of success. He found that many of them had goals that were high achieving, far reaching, and very specific. He called them BHAGs (Pronounced bee-hag). BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Setting BHAGs is an effective business strategy that will move you out of your comfort zone and stretch you to do things you thought were impossible.


BHAGs are intended to stretch achievers beyond what seems possible at the given time. As a result of using BHAGs to set objectives, you will reach higher goals much faster and with more ease. There are many challenging steps along the way and, day by day, that BHAG becomes a reality.

It is important for every owner to have goals beyond the present and what you think is possible. You are capable of so much and with belief in yourself, your abilities, and those around you, what you thought was impossible yesterday becomes completely possible today.

BHAGs defy all logic, remember that emotions drive behavior. To attempt a BHAG, you must be emotionally connected to achieving it, and emotionally prepared to take the path toward accomplishing the goal.

Steve Jobs and the BHAG

Steve Jobs, from Apple, is known for the following statement: “I [Steve] want to put a dent in the universe.” BHAGs cause you to dream big. Apple set their sights on changing the way people use computers. In the process, they created completely new categories as well as how people use their technology. Chances are, you are either reading this on a device Steve worked on, or you have one in your immediate vicinity. This all happened because Steve set a BHAG for his team to stretch them from what they thought was impossible to what is in fact possible. Because he followed his BHAG, he made a huge dent in popular culture, technology, and communication, and changed the world forever.

BHAG in Action

Take your BHAG and break it down into smaller actionable items piece by piece so you can better manage, achieve, and evaluate it.

To stick with round numbers, let’s say you choose to make an additional $1,000,000 (in top line revenue) a year in your company over the next 12-24 months. First, you must understand that it means earning $83,333 more a month. Here’s what those business strategy steps might look like:

  1. Determine the difference in current billing and your new goal.
  2. Determine what structured (yet customizable) programs your firm can offer.
  3. Determine your lead numbers:
    1. How many leads does it take to get an appointment?
    2. How many appointments does it take to close?
    3. How long does it take to go from the initial contact to close?
    4. How many of each (structured, yet customized) program do you need to sell?
  4. Begin working your plan.
  5. Give it time; BHAGs are audacious, so take time to make progress towards the goal.

Start on your Business Strategy Soon

Don’t be afraid to dream big! Think about where you want to go ultimately. Do you want to break into a new market? Maybe a new country? OR Maybe for you…YOU want to spend less time in your business. THAT could seem like a BHAG to many owners. Shoot for the moon, but don’t worry about only landing on the roof. Then, break your goal down into bite size pieces so you can work out a clear path there. Be prepared for stops or splinters, but also be prepared for new levels of success.

Start Now

If you would like some help with your business strategy, or if you want to begin to leverage your time, I have a one-on-one class for founders and agencies doing over $1MM where I teach seven fundamental strategies to grow your agency easier. Limited times available, sign up here.

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