Concrete Goals Tracker for Small Business

Concrete Goals Tracker for Small Business

Small Business CGT The Printable CEO and Compact Calendar were recently mentioned in HVACRBUSINESS, a trade magazine covering management issues relevant to the heating/venting/air conditioning industry (HVAC). Cool! This is the first time that any piece of the PCEO has appeared in an actual printed magazine, so I’m very tickled. Plus, I find HVAC interesting because it’s one of those hidden pieces of infrastructure that we aren’t usually aware of; flipping through the magazine is a glimpse into a secret world known only to its practitioners. I love learning about stuff like that.

What’s particularly interesting is that HVACRBUSINESS made their own list of “Worth Doing” rules for HVAC business owners. I volunteered a custom version of the CGT because I thought it might be cool.

General Small Business Goals

As I was working on the custom version, I noted it actually applies to many service-oriented businesses. The following is my re-interpretation of the list provided by Ron Smith, one of HVACRBUSINESS’ editorial advisory board members; I’ve reworded it just to be a bit more concrete, and also rejiggered the point values to make 4 distinct groups.


  • It’s invoicing billable work
  • It’s acquiring a new customer
  • It’s keeping your current customers


  • It’s a measured increase in productivity
  • It’s finding and hiring the right people
  • It’s quality on-going training
  • It’s introducing a new product to an existing customer


  • It’s a new revenue stream opportunity
  • It’s applying the latest computer tech


  • It improves your community presence.

It’s basically the same as the list provided by Mr Smith, except I’ve inserted langauge to emphasis the completion of tasks. If you don’t emphasize what gets done and why, you might end up spinning your wheels. You can download my small business version of the Concrete Goals Tracker and give it a spin. Let me know how if it works for you.

Productivity Systems and Willpower

The publisher, Terry Tanker, also provided a great insight into productivity systems in his writeup. I have suspected this for a while myself:

I’ve been searching over the years for the perfect organizational tool to increase my productivity. I’ve tried pocket daytimers, larger monthly planners, and a variety of electronic devices. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s like working out and losing weight — they all work as long as you just do it.

I have a lot of respect for small business owners in the services and maintenance industries, because it’s a lot of honest work, and I can learn a lot about what the next step of business growth might be like. Thanks, Terry, for the glimpse into your part of the business world! You can check out his editorial on productivity tools at


  1. Jeni 17 years ago

    It has been years since I freelanced, but it’s great to see invoicing in the 10-point group.  It’s not just an admin task … sending out the bills is what pays the bills!


  2. penny 17 years ago

    Thank you Dave! I’ll work with this and see how it helps my small biz. This week was a high point week for me. I’ll back-fill and see if next week I can beat my ‘high score’. Glad SXSW was awesome for you. :) I agree with Jeni .. thank you for putting invoicing as 10pt.. I am currently terrible with sending out the invoices.. this should help considerably.

  3. Ian Muir 17 years ago

    w00t for getting the press mention! I’m a big fan of the PCEO, it’s actually a key part of my personal reorganization plan.

  4. Jed Christiansen 17 years ago

    Thanks, Dave!

    I’m just starting my own consulting business, and I hope this will help me keep focused on what’s really important day-to-day.  It’s great to have a list of goals that a bit more generalised for people like me.

  5. Michael 17 years ago

    It would be good to have an archive of some of the previous forms.

    I’ve been using the Concrete Goals Tracker: The Rainmaking Edition! and recently lost the PDF in a USB drive crash.

    It may still be on your site… but your site is very difficult to navigate (or rather it is very easy to get lost as there seems to be little connectivity between pages or concepts)

    Michael B

  6. Michael 17 years ago

    Ooops, should have said I found it through Google site search

  7. Dave Seah 17 years ago

    Jed: Thanks! Let me know how it goes.

    Michael: There’s a central location at Most of the new forms have this URL on them now, but the Rainmaker edition hasn’t been updated. I didn’t think anyone was actually using it!

    The site is a big mess…I’m working on a new one to make things easier to find and put things in context with each other. It’s slowly coming along, just need to figure out the new archiving scheme.

  8. Brent 16 years ago


    I am in the industrial HVAC business, and love your stuff.  Suggestion.  Add “keeping or retaining” to your 5 point goal of finding and hiring the right people. 

    Without our key performers, we have trucks and tools. Service business are as good as their last run, so I have made retention a top priority.


  9. Venkat Mangudi 16 years ago


    PCEO has appeared in print in India sometime in the middle of last year already. I blogged about PCEO on Business Gyan ( and they liked it so much that they printed it in their monthly digest. I am in the process of having PCEO mentioned again in the same magazine in an article about GTD. Thought you should know.