Achieving Your Goals in Business
In simple terms business goals are the goals and aspirations you have for your business. They are the specific objectives you set in line with your company vision and the end point you want to achieve. You may set out to create a company that will provide you and your family with security and an income or you may have a grand vision to turn your idea into a large profitable global business. No matter what the end goals are they need to be backed up by a well thought out Business Plan. The goals you set should be relevant, precise, measurable, realistic and time achievable.
The importance of a Business Plan cannot be underestimated as it will provide you with valuable information about your own company, its competitors, market potential and future growth opportunities. You can use this information to set the goals you want to achieve.
Organising and Setting Business Goals
To frame your goals in an achievable manner consider doing the following:
- Have an overall goal for your business – This might be the value of sales you would like to reach of the level of profit you want to make or just simply that you want to grow your business by a certain percentage.
- Set some specific goals and be precise – for example I want to double my client base, increase my sales by x% or expand into new territories.
- Make sure that you set goals that you can measure and that are achievable.
- Set a sensible time frame for you to achieve the goals.
- Adjust your goals to suit the current climate and opportunities that may arise that initially you had not included.
List of business goals I should have?
There are hundreds of goals that businesses may set, and they encompass many facets of the business. Your goals may be long-term strategic goals for your business or short-term specific goals that focus on precise outcomes. Here are just a few examples:
- Increasing profit margin by a set percentage
- Establish sales in new geographic markets
- Expand your product range
- Improve efficiency of production or processes
- Gain a greater percentage of market share
- Become a well-known brand
- Raise price levels for your products or service
- Reduce the cost of goods you purchase
- Improve customer service
- Improve customer retention
- Create a training programme to raise the level of your employee’s product knowledge
- Reduce accidents in the workplace
- Reduce wastage
- Improve customer satisfaction levels
- Reduce staff turnover
- Improve your website
- Create a social media campaign for your company
- Implement a customer survey
- Create a client referral programme
- Reduce absenteeism
- Eliminate errors in quoting and invoicing
It is obvious that this list could be endless, however, set a small number of important long-term goals and use carefully selected short-term goals to help you achieve long-term outcomes.
How to achieve your goals
There are several rules and important points to remember when setting business goals:
- Keep in mind your long-term goals when setting annual goals. Understanding where the company is going long-term will help you set shorter-term goals.
- Each goal requires a specific action plan broken down into achievable steps.
- Involve the people who will carry out the plan when setting short-term goals. These individuals are often called Stakeholders and they could be employees, customers, suppliers or others.
- Put a system in place to help you measure your goals and keep you on track.
- Communicate progress to the stakeholders and reward success.
- Don’t set a goal then leave it, goals require commitment at all levels and should be led from the top.
- Be prepared to accept suggestions and criticisms from stakeholders.
- Create accountability for specific parts of your goals.
- Be prepared to adjust your goals.
- Don’t lose sight of the end goal.
- You will make mistakes and it is important to learn from them.
Falling short of a goal is not a disaster, particularly if you have already achieved more than you started out with. Individuals will make mistakes just trying to achieve the goals you have set, and it is always important to discuss these with them and learn from events. Celebrate every goals’ success as it happens and communicate progress to stakeholders along the way.
Remember, goal setting is important, and it all starts with a well thought out Business Plan.