Have you ever been faced with a situation for which you were perfectly prepared? You’d thought about what could happen beforehand, you had several contingencies lined up, you know what you wanted to say – in short, you were 100% ready? And “click” it all came together.
If you haven’t experienced that, I’m sorry for you (but stay tuned). But if you have had that perfect moment, you know how amazing that is – and how well it works out. Maybe we should strive to have more of those moments?
Here are ten ideas for business goal setting I’d like you to think about:
1. Figure out where you are.
One of the key things that I recommend for my clients that are just starting the process is a “SWOT Analysis.”
This is a high-level strategic planning model that helps identify where your business can improve and where it’s doing well. SWOT is an acronym for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.”
Doing this analysis first (and updating regularly) will help you objectively see what your current challenges are and where opportunities might be.
2. Figure out what’s going on in your market.
Where do you see your industry headed? What is trending for organizations in your space? Who’s leading?
A thoughtful market analysis will help you set the context for your business goals.
3. Align goals to your organization’s values.
Be sure every goal links back to your mission and your vision (you do have a Mission and Vision don’t you?). It ensures each goal you develop is “on strategy” and reflects where your organization is headed in the long-term, not just an impulse that’s we are thinking about now.
4. Review your past performance.
Without knowing where you’ve come from, it’s hard to decide where you should be heading. Past performance, particularly with respect to seasonal variations, can help inform a number of your future business goals.
5. Make your goals SMART.
The more specific and descriptive you can be, the more likely it is that everyone understands each goal in the same way. For example, a goal like “obtain at least six new corporate accounts per quarter” is more transparent and easily understood than “grow our customer base.” We will be examining SMART goals in more detail in a subsequent article.
6. Solicit input from your employees.
Gaining insight from your staff is an obvious and smart idea, as it will give you insight from those on the “ground floor” of the organization. But if you do ask for input, be open to actually using it—otherwise, employees will be less likely to offer up their opinions in the future.
7. Consider what you are willing to do (or stop doing) in order to achieve these goals.
Sometimes, avoiding contradictions across your goals is easier said than done. For example, one goal might be to have 100% customer satisfaction while another might be to maximize profit. These two things may be incongruent, so one may have to give a bit in order to be realistic.
8. Determine exactly who will be responsible for each of the goals.
Who is managing to ensure everyone stays on track? Who will make sure that the reporting on progress takes place and is distributed? Does anyone need help? Find out sooner rather than later.
9. Think about what resources are needed to achieve these goals.
For example, if one of your goals is to develop and use an automated quoting system, do you have the cash and people required to purchase and implement it? The overall impact of your goals on your finances should be carefully considered.
10. Meet regularly with your team and your coach to report on your progress, discuss issues and celebrate successes.
The process of setting and more importantly, executing the goals you set, can be daunting. However, the rewards of being prepared are more than worth the effort, particularly if you can set yourself up with some type of support system. If you approach this in a methodical and deliberate way, and make yourself accountable for your results, you’ll likely be successful. Good luck and let me know how you do.
“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”Thomas Edison, inventor
Ready to not only set you business goals, but achieve them? You should register for The Business Goal Factory today!