Every business needs clearly defined goals. Goals tell you where you’re going and how to get there. They give your business focus and purpose. Your goals are the road map that your business follows.
Another reason goals are important is that they get everyone on the same page. Everyone knows why they do what they do, and they stay motivated as they make progress. This applies one or two-person startups as well as businesses with a staff of employees or consultants.
Goals also allow you to measure your results; and this is an activity that you should routinely include in your daily/weekly/monthly calendar.
How to Set Goals
If you don’t already have a goal in mind, one way to get started is to refer to the values you identified in one of our earlier posts (https://mikeconkey.com/core-values-for-business/). This might spark an idea. For example, if a core value is innovation and development, a long-term goal might be to develop an original new product.
A good way to brainstorm goals is to think about where you’d like your business to be in the future. Picture your business’s situation three to five years from now. What is different in your image of the future? Then, determine how you get to make that image a reality.
A good technique for brainstorming goals is to use ACES. ACES stands for Achieve, Conserve, Eliminate, and Steer clear.
Achieve: What do you want to achieve in the future?
Conserve: Which aspects of your business should never change?
Eliminate: What would you like to get rid of?
Steer clear: What kinds of things would you like your business to avoid?
Brainstorm answers to these questions and then see if you can find goals that would help you achieve what you want. For example, you might want to eliminate your employee turnover rate. How do you achieve this? One way is to offer incentive programs and ongoing training. You can then make developing these programs a goal.
Turning Goals into Action Steps
Start by coming up with long-term goals, and then from these goals, extrapolate short-term goals, milestones, and specific action steps. This is how you turn goals into daily activities that will get you closer to them.
For example, your goal might be to double your revenue in the next three years. In order to do this, you’ll develop a new product line. To develop the new product line, you’ll need to first conduct market research, then draft a proposal, create a prototype, test with your market, and finally begin production. For your market research, the first small goal, you can create actionable steps for gathering information, and these are items that can go on a daily or weekly “to do” list.
Tips on Setting Goals
- Get your employees and colleagues on board. When setting goals, get everyone in your organization involved. They might have ideas you never considered, and they’ll be more motivated toward goals they helped to create.
- Frame your goals in positive terms. This makes it easier to achieve. For example, rather than saying you want to reduce employee turnover rate, say that you want to improve employee retention.
- Don’t be afraid to think big. Even though your goals should be realistic, don’t sell yourself short. Even a major goal can be achieved if you break it down into the right sub-goals and milestones, and have all of the resources you need.
- Commit to your goals, but also be flexible and open to change. You might have to change your goals due to external market factors or internal fluctuations. A good way to keep up-to-date is to regularly conduct a SWOT analysis.
- Reward yourself when each goal is achieved. Take some time to celebrate and make sure your team feels appreciated.
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Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you again!Mike Conkey