If you are a business owner, you already know that in order to grow your business, you must keep moving forward. Otherwise you run the risk of being left behind, watching rival businesses pass you by. But the notion of goal setting is easier said than done. So how do you go about setting and keeping business goals? Luckily, there are helpful tips available for you to use to make your business grow successfully.
Goal Setting With A Purpose
Many of us make up a goal or resolution every New Year’s Eve. We usually make it up in our heads, and promptly forget it by the second week of January. However, in order to set goals for your business, you must be more concrete. First, you will need to visualize exactly the goals you want. Write your goals out in detail and be as descriptive as possible. Be sure and discuss what your business and your life will look like when you achieve your business goals. Research has noted that the more descriptive you are able to be with regard to your business goals, the more likely you are to be successful in your goal accomplishment.
While you are setting goals for your business, keep in mind that the goals you set must be achievable, which means that you have to be capable of achieving those goals. Of course, it is easy to envision lofty goals for your business, such as achieving $20 million in sales in a quarter, for example, but the goal must be achievable in order for you to work to reach it. If you think the goal is achievable, it doesn’t matter that you may not know all the steps or processes you need to achieve those goals, as long as you believe you will be able to achieve it, you are well on the way towards goal achievement.
The most important reason to set business goals is to provide a positive framework for the business to build on. With that in mind, keep in mind that your goals framework must have a time element involved; in other words, a set time that your goals can be achieved. For example, if you want to market a new product, one of your business goals should be that by the 6th month, you will have created a marketing plan for your product that details media exposure, packaging, and marketing strategies.
Finally, and most importantly, you must have a reason for wanting to achieve your business goals. Your motivation has to be something more than money or status, you must have a deep reason why you want to set these goals for your business. Perhaps it is because you have developed a product you truly believe in, and you want the world to benefit from it. Maybe it is because you know that your business helps people become their best selves. Whatever the reason is, if you don’t have a reason for your business goal, you won’t work to achieve it. Of course, making more money can be a goal, but not for the money itself–rather, you want to make more money because of what the money can offer you in terms of freedom from debt, and more time with family and friends.
Creating Your Framework for Achieving Your Business Goals
Now that you have a framework for your business goals, you need to create a framework for achieving your goals. One part of the framework should be the creation of milestones for your goals. Your goals are the skeleton, and every skeleton needs muscles to support it. Just like a skeleton, your milestones are the muscles of your goals. Milestones allow you to break your goals down into manageable chunks of goals and time to complete them. Milestones could happen as often as every day, every week or every month. Milestones allow you to continue to move forward towards the progress of your goals.
In addition to the milestones you need to achieve your business goals, you must have some kind of roadmap to get there. Creating a roadmap for your framework with milestones is an important way to get your business moving in the right direction. How will you start working towards your goals? What is your start date? After you begin your plan, what is the next step? Will other people be involved in your plan, and if so, who will it be, and when will you bring them in? The more meticulous you are in your milestones, the easier it will be to achieve them. You must be sure that you have all the systems in place you need, which means both people and personnel, to get your idea off the ground. In addition, be sure you have the financial support you need to move forward, because without the financials in place, your goal will be short-lived.
Measuring Goal Outcomes–Track and Analyze
In order to ensure that your business goals are met, you need systems in place to track and analyze your results. Several systems are available for you to use to manage your results and keep track of customer data. These systems can be very inexpensive and easy to use, and they will provide you with a wealth of information about your customers as well as your business.
Also, in order to grow your business, you need to be able to track and analyze leads. A CRM system to track and analyze leads is crucial for you to receive new customer leads to continue to move your business forward. Tracking your goals allows you to make assessments daily or weekly towards your progress, and you can adjust your plan as needed when elements of your goals change, or when your data suggests you need to alter your goal.
Change is never easy, and change in business is harder than other changes, because it involves your livelihood. However, it is much easier to make changes in your business when you have taken the time to set your business goals down on paper, complete with a framework and milestones to ensure that you follow a plan for success.