Behind every successful company are goals. Without goals, you have nothing to strive for and no defined purpose as a business, often leading to a stall in business growth or a lack in accomplishment. No matter what stage of business you are in, setting goals is a highly important role. These goals should provide motivation, direction and a clear way to measure your progress moving forward.
So, What are goals?
Goals are short or long-term plans that aim at achieving a desired result. Goals are designed to be a clear understanding of what your business strives to accomplish, over a period of time. In addition to this, short term goals should be treated as complementary to long term goals, almost as ‘stops on the journey’ to long term goal success.
The following tips will help you on the path to setting goals for your business, no matter the stage you are in. They focus on all the working elements of a goal, and how to put your plan into action.
1. Separate your goals from wishes
While most goals come from well thought out dreams and wishes, it’s important to separate the two to see success in your goals. For example, stating that ‘My company must increase revenue this quarter’ is just that, a statement. In order to turn this statement into a goal, you must follow goal-setting procedures, to avoid turning your goals into unachievable wishes.
2. Brainstorm all possibilities
So you have some wishes and statements of what you would like your business to achieve, now you need to make it happen. ‘But how?’ You may ask… Let’s start with brainstorming the possibilities! Here are a few tried and true brainstorming methods to help bring clarity to your future goals:
- Swot analysis – Swot analysis are often used to identify a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is a great method to decide whether a goal is worth undertaking, and used in brainstorming can stimulate a collaborative analysis within your team to highlight areas not broached before. SWOT analysis are one of the most valuable brainstorming techniques and often bring about new ideas and opportunities.
- List making – Start at one business area at a time, and create an outline of all possible short-term goals that may be part of a long-term goal.
- Mind mapping – if you are more of a visual thinker, Mind mapping is a great tool to enhance the brainstorming process by drawing an image of the relationship between ideas. Start with one goal or challenge, and use drawings and keywords to rectify the issue or accomplish the goal.
3. Set SMART Goals
A popular goal setting procedure to undertake for businesses is SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely. Therefore, by incorporating all elements of a SMART goal criteria, you assist moving your abstract goal ideas into actionable steps, increasing your chances significantly of achieving your goal. A SMART goal allows you to touch on each element of a successful long-term goal, and measure success.
4. Focus on Today
Aiming for a specific business goal at times can be daunting, but by breaking it down into smaller, actionable steps, you can reach your goal more accurately and not lose sight of the bigger picture. On top of that, by breaking down your goal, you in turn allows team members to help in the process! Many hands make light work, and goals are no exception to this.
By taking goals one step at a time, your will begin to build momentum and drive, and with steady growth and progress, you will accomplish your goal. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, even a small goal in the middle of a business crisis can lead to positive consequences when situations improve. Overall, goals are important to have in all stages of a business, whether it’s maintaining the growth of your business, or acting as a safety net during situational changes.
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