Setting goals is important to steer a business in the right direction and guide employees towards defined objectives. Keeping track of the goals is even more important to ensure the goals are obtainable so they become inspirational and not delusional. Goal setting does not just have to be about increasing the company revenue: it can be about service offerings, staff retention or even keeping your accounting in order. Goals can create an understanding of where the business is and where the business aims to be.
The goals you set will be specific to your business and its needs, but when you are setting yours, keep these four points in mind:
Vague goals will be lost in confusion. A goal of ‘make more money’ does not really outline to your employees what you need to do to get there. Clearly define your objectives and motives so your staff understand what you are trying to accomplish. This will not only put you on the right track to success, but increase staff cohesion as all members will be working towards a ‘common goal’. When all members of the team know what the company goals are, there will be less uncertainty when it comes to making decisions and working autonomously.
Setting unobtainable goals will set you and your employees up for failure. In turn, this will lead to low motivation and a loss in productivity. Employees will also be unlikely to participate in any future goal targets for fear of failure. Start with monthly projections to assess whether they are achievable then increase expectations as employees hit their targets.
Goals cannot be achieved overnight so set yourself a list of long and short term goal plans. A long-term goal may seem unachievable so fragment it into a series of short term goals that are easier to digest. From this exercise, you will get a better understanding of what short term goals need to be achieved for the larger goals to become realistic. Continually monitor your business against the goals and reassess them mid-year if necessary.
Many small business owners will feel like there is already not enough time in the day to complete the tasks at hand. Goal setting may initially seem time consuming, but when you have clear objectives to work towards, you will become much more organised in your approach.