Whether it’s increasing profits, improving customer service, expanding your business, building your brand or increasing the quality of your products, there has never been a better time to start setting your business goals.
Setting business goals is an essential part of any business if it wants to grow beyond its current operations. As a small business owner, it is so easy to get caught up in the rush of daily routine activities of running the business, that you forget to plan for its growth.
For small business owners writing down goals, provides a target for measuring progress. They give direction and motivate the business owner to maximize the available resources to attain targets. It also builds teamwork, with each member of the team working towards the fulfilment of a common goal.
The secret to setting attainable goals lies in the integration of these goals to the strategic planning process of your business. The following steps will help you to elevate your business, by progressively and consistently achieving your set goal.
Your Business Goal Strategy
#1. Outline The Vision Statement
The first step is to write down a brief statement on where you see your business in the next 5 years. This should reflect your passion as to why you started the business. For those who are more of visual thinkers, it may help to create a pictorial vision board.
#2. Break Down The Vision Into Specific Goals
In this step, list down the specific objectives in line with your vision. However, it is important to apply the SMART technique in setting your goals:
- Specific as to the object
- Measurable in terms of numbers,
- Attainable by being realistic as to the available resources,
- Relevant to the vision and
- Time-bound with realistic deadlines.
For instance, if your vision for your business is to build and promote your brand, your goal might be to increase your cumulative online following by at least 10,000 annually.
SMART GOAL SETTING
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#3. Outline Your Business Goal Strategies
Write down a number of activities you will need to undertake to achieve each goal. For this example, you might need to set up a website and social media pages, have at least 2 daily postings, post social media ads weekly, design a logo, organize for a monthly photoshoot of your new stock etc. Make your strategies as specific and time-bound as possible.
#4. Formulate An Action Plan
It is crucial to prepare a plan for the achievement of these strategies. While it is good to think of the bigger picture and plan in advance, planning too far in advance can be counterproductive. If you plan to complete a task in a year then chances are you won’t start immediately as your mindset is that you have plenty of time. It is, therefore, better to pick a handful of objectives to achieve each quarter then break these down into actionable activities. The action plan should contain the duration for each activity, the deadlines, timelines, and regular milestones. It is important to also plan for an effective feedback process.
# 5. Allocation Of Tasks
The practicality of your goals will be determined by how you assign activities to different people. Not all the strategies outlined will be within your skillset. It might be important at this stage to determine what you are able to take up beyond your daily activities, and what to outsource to a virtual assistant.
Organizing schedules and appointments, social media and web postings, emailing, handling orders, maintaining your client base, digital content creating, marketing and other routine activities can be outsourced to a virtual assistant so as not to get overwhelmed.
The only way to achieve your vision is through the implementation of the goals and strategies, monitoring them against previous trends and figuring out what works for your company. Discipline and accountability are important at this stage.
Setting Business Goals – The Bottom line:
If you are tired of writing goals that do nothing for your business except for collecting dust on the shelf, the above tips will be exceptionally helpful in actualising your vision for your business.