Setting goals and objectives for your business is incredibly important. Goals enable you to decide the direction of your business, as well as provide motivation because you have a goal/image to work towards. Most importantly, setting goals is a way to measure your progress.
You need to differentiate short and long terms goals. Long term goals should be set for three to five years, and these should be accompanied by a timeline to ensure they are achieved. Small goals should be more like milestones, they should complement your long term goals and help towards making them achievable.
There are four main areas in which you can set your goals, to give you some ideas:
- Service – this is more customer focused. Goals that focus on service can be to provide a better service for your customers, especially if you have had any constructive feedback.
- Social – focus on giving back to the community or get more involved in the community.
- Profit – revenue driven goals. Set goals to make more money from your business accompanied by short steps on how to.
- Growth – growing and expanding your business should become a prominent goal as you grow and stabilise as a business. One way to do this is by employing additional staff.
Also use the S.M.A.R.T guide to help you define your goals and what you want to achieve.
- Specific – make your goals precise. For example, increase sales by 2% monthly by introducing a new deal. This can be considered a small goal to fall in line with your big goals.
- Measurable – the achievement of the goal should be clear. For example ‘get involved in the community’ is vague, so instead how about ‘take part in the annual community fair’.
- Achievable – make sure you have the resources to achieve the goal, make sure it’s feasible.
- Relevant – make sure that all your small goals are relevant to your big goals.
- Timely – set a frame of time to achieve your goals. It in incredibly important as it will actually give you a real idea and timeline as to when it is achievable.
In order for your business to achieve the goals, you need to get your staff involved. Make them aware of the goals and emphasise how it is a collective effort to achieve the goals. Additionally, when some of those goals are achieved you should definitely schedule some time to celebrate and reward your employees. Rewards are a great incentive to get your employees excited and motivated to help you achieve goals.
You should also keep in mind that your business goals and objectives will change over time. Make sure to constantly come back to your goals, this can be weekly, monthly and/or annually. This will encourage you to set new objectives and tailor them to the current situation.
More on growing your business.