January the best time of year for creating resolutions. As a business owner your version of a personal resolution could be labeled as your business plan, business strategy, some refer to it as goal setting. Now that your business is plugging away into year 3 or 9, you may not have thought about your Business Plan for a while. If you haven’t thought about dusting off the business strategies you outlined in that plan, now might be the time to do so. No matter what your size, revenue or business offering, it’s never the wrong time to de-clutter or simplify and stay relevant to your consumer’s needs. Make the commitment to invest time into your business planning and remember to include long and short-term benefits. Goal setting doesn’t need to be limited to revenue. It can relate to innovation, employee retention, servicing offerings or anything that is important to enhancing your business.
Here are four tips to set those goals.
Measure success. No matter the size a good organization should be trying to improve, grow and become more profitable. Create target goals and establish parameters on how to measure them. When you are looking at your company from a three or five year perspective, your focus is beyond the tactical side of the business and you will see a more macro view, this allows you to see the company from a competitive, business vertical or economic perspective.
Team cohesion. Sharing set goals ensures that everyone understands what the prize is and what they are working towards. When your team clearly understands what you are trying to accomplish it provides greater rationale for the decisions you might make regarding hiring, acquisitions, incentives, sales programs or any other financially-driven decision. It also allows your team to make decisions autonomously and still reach the desired outcome, your goals.
Knowledge is Power. When goals have been defined, you can develop a deeper understanding of the effects of tactical decisions and how they play against the strategic goals. For example, when you have a budget that considers revenue to expenses, you will better understand the implications of a major purchase or winning a large new client.
Reassess goals. Remember to stop and take a look at your competition. Who is new in your market, what is the competition doing differently or what are they doing the same? Is it time to re-evaluate what you are currently doing? Don’t forget to look internally as well. Sometime streamlining processes internally can provide you bottom line cost savings. Just because you have been doing something this way doesn’t mean it’s the right way today. How do these relate to your existing goals? It’s ok to reassess and modify.
It is important to know that setting business goals will not ensure success for any organization. However, there is also a lot to be said for NOT flying by the seat of your pants! Take time to look at your organization from a broader perspective, it will give you great confidence in what lies ahead and how your organization will be able to optimize it.
“We can’t predict the future, but we can plan for it” ~Saji Ijiyemi