A goal is a dream with a deadline, so they say. Learning how to set goals is crucial if you want to succeed in life. In this article, we explore the best ways to set business objectives or company goals and what’s the best way to achieve them.
Assess your business
Every business owner understands the importance of having clear, well-defined goals.
Business goals are the things that a company wants to accomplish over a specific period. Think of it as a destination. Your goals answer the question “Where do I want to be, X years from now?”.
There are different types of goals in the business context:
- Professional and personal business goals.
- Long-term and short-term business goals.
- Outcome and process business goals.
- Qualitative and quantitative business goals.
Where to start
Before you list down your business or work goals, there are a few things that you should do. These steps will guide you in the right direction towards your business goals:
The first thing you need to do is identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business, along with the opportunities and threats (SWOT).
This process involves comparing the performance of your products or services against those of another business. The purpose of benchmarking is to identify internal opportunities for improvement.
You also want to gain a deeper understanding of your target market. Marketing research is a systematic gathering of information about your customers, competitors, and your industry as a whole.
Create SMART goals
After evaluating your business and where it stands today, you can start drafting your goals. An effective process for setting and achieving personal goals and business goals is the SMART methodology, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant.
Let’s dig a little deeper about the SMART plan.
SMART goal setting begins with listing down a set of clear and specific objectives. You want to be clear about what you want to achieve.
Make sure that your goals are measurable. Set key metrics that should tell you whether you have achieved your goals or not after the specified period.
Business goals, while challenging, should be achievable. This means you can achieve it with the time, money, and resources you have.
If you follow step one (SWOT analysis, benchmarking, and market research), you can be sure that the goals you are creating are relevant to the direction your business wants to take.
Each goal should have a deadline – a specific date.
Organize your time
Successful business owners have one thing in common – they possess smart time management skills. Time management and goal-setting are two essential elements of business success.
Time management comes into play in the measurable and timely aspects of SMART goal-setting. Managing your time effectively can result in increased productivity and efficiency at work, more opportunities, and more time to explore business ideas and solutions. Mastering time management is not easy. Even the most successful entrepreneurs struggle with it sometimes. Making use of time management tools, such as free time clock software, can help you become more organized with your daily activities and get more things done.
Connect your goals to your mission
Your company mission should always reflect on your business goals. To further your work towards that mission, you need to identify your high-level goals and objectives. It could be an increase in your revenues, increased brand awareness, or acquisition of a new market. Your goals will serve as the actual steps that you need to take in order to materialize your company vision and mission.
How do you connect your goals to your mission?
Look at the “big picture”
Mission statements are broader than goals. When setting long term goals, always keep in mind what your business is all about.
Break this into smaller goals
Turn your company mission into a SMART goal by breaking it down into a smaller or more specific list of goals or objectives.
Start working on them
Now that you’ve broken down your goal into small, achievable steps, it’s time to accomplish them. Working on smaller goals will greatly lessen the anxiety and pressure that you feel, and allow you to live your life without feeling tied to your work.
Achieving your goals
Setting goals is one thing. Achieving them is another story. In order to achieve your business goals and objectives, you need to determine the following:
Set a timeframe
During the goal planning, determine the expected completion date of your goal.
Create a detailed plan of how you are going to reach your goal. Include the budget, people, teams or departments involved, and other details.
Identify the things you need to realize your business goals. Will you need additional staff? How about tools like project management software or a cloud system? Equip yourself with things that will keep you motivated.
During the goal-setting stage, think about your desired outcome. If your goal is to increase your annual sales, for example, by how much do you want the raise to be?
Goal-setting is a crucial element of business success. It lights up your path and gives you a clear sense of direction. Before working on your goals, take time to assess your business through processes like SWOT analysis, benchmarking, and market research. They will give you a better sense of what goals need to be prioritized.
Keep your goals SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. And as you work your way towards your goals, aim to manage your time well. Smart time management is an important skill that will set you up for success, no matter how big or challenging your goals are.
Achieving your business goals is possible when you prepare yourself. Plan ahead. Brainstorm on the steps you need to take. Pool your resources. And visualize your desired outcome.
Once you have achieved your goals, don’t forget to celebrate! Every milestone is worth celebrating. Give yourself a tap in the shoulder. You deserve it.