As a business owner, setting goals and targets can be a key part of building the success you are hoping for. Goals ensure that the team understands the priorities of the business and something to strive for, while targets help keep everyone on track with achieving what is important to your business.
Do you have a solid plan of attack for growing your business? While having clear objectives in place may seem like an obvious way forward, many businesses struggle with setting realistic and achievable milestones that will drive their organisation forwards. Luckily, setting targets doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need planning and structure to make them achievable.
In this post, we will discuss the importance of goal setting in a business and how to set useful goals and targets for your business so you can drive your business to new heights!
1. Review your current position
Keeping tabs on the present can be just as important as keeping an eye on what’s ahead. As a business owner, your goals and decisions have likely been based upon plans you had set out since the start. To track progress towards those objectives, it’s important to review any data you have that will tell you where you are up to now – if there is confusion here, this needs to be addressed as it is imperative you know how to demonstrate progress. ClearPoint Strategy provides some good tips on how to set better goals which address financial questions and factor in both market trends and your internal business needs.
2. Set measurable goals
Have you heard of SMART objectives? Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound? Although a little cheesy, these provide a strong framework for businesses to set ambitious goals. By measuring progress against these specific, achievable targets, you can identify where your efforts should be focused – instead of being overwhelmed and spreading resources too thinly across multiple areas.
Setting goals and targets can be an excellent way to push yourself and track progress, but not all objectives are easily achieved. For example, if you set a goal to develop 5 new products in 6 months and only develop 1, your goal may have been a little too ambitious. However, it is still important to measure this goal and ask yourself why you didn’t develop the other 4 products, was it better to focus on one rather than managing multiple? In outcomes where goals are not achieved, it reminds us that when it comes to setting targets it’s important to make them realistic yet challenging too. Moving forward our next objective should take into account what we’ve learned from previous attempts, so they remain achievable while helping you achieve your bold ambitions and reach your desired endgame faster than ever before.
3. Be adaptable
It can be easy to lose sight of your business mission and vision. It is important to consistently remind yourself of these and understand how much you have achieved in line with what you initially set out to do! Generally, your mission and vision will not change – they are dreams which guide you on your journey. Your goals, however, give you the strategic direction and these will change. Current events and ever-changing market conditions can shift your strategy in numerous ways – just make sure these are considered in decisions going forward. 2020 was a prime example of how businesses need to adapt if they may not exist!
To ensure continued success while remaining loyal to initial ideals, aim towards conscious changes that actively align with existing missions and visions.
4. Support your targets
What is the point of setting goals if you’re not going to focus on them? Unlock the full potential of your goals by leading, inspiring and encouraging those around you. If you are the only one in your team that is focused on achieving the goals, then you’re not going to get very far.
Make sure to write them down and make sure they are visible to all who will help you achieve them. Many NGOs will publish their targets on a website or in a book that’s shared with all the team, stakeholders, and anyone who will support them. Private businesses probably won’t do that, but they will communicate objectives internally to promote the direction of the business. Both actions are right but serve different priorities. Be sure to keep your business’s best interests in the back of your mind when you are developing and sharing your goals to ensure they serve you.
5. Assess your targets regularly
If you have followed the point above about making your objectives SMART, then you will have some powerful goals to work with that align with your business’s mission and vision. SMART objectives will provide you with set deliverables and an actionable plan, now all you have to do is keep an eye on your targets and monitor them. Don’t over-complicate it – if you have a financial goal with a couple of indicators and you achieve the goal much faster than expected then brilliant! How far can you exceed your target within the timeline you’ve set?
Social media has become a strong asset for businesses, but it’s not the only way to gauge success. Unless your business lives and dies on the impact of social media, it can’t be your only focus. Think of how your clients find you – your website will probably be the main source of information for people to learn about your business. Therefore, you need to measure the impact of your website.
Do you need to make a minimum amount of money each year to be financially viable? Then set a financial target that gives you a good profit margin. You will be aiming to grow by a certain percentage each year so a financial target will give you a good indicator.
Pay attention to what targets are off track. Those will need attention and adjustment if they are to succeed. If the target is not on track because it doesn’t have enough resources or attention, then that needs to be addressed. If you need 4 people to make the target achievable and only have 2 people, then realistically that target will take longer, or need more investment to deliver.
Your goals do not need to run from January to December or be the same as others. Forbes provides steps to assessing your goals halfway through the year. They can be as short or as long as you need them to be, but they need an end date in order to be able to measure whether it was achieved, so you can evaluate and plan better for the future.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Are you struggling to set goals for your business? Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help! Specialists in goal setting can provide valuable insight, structure and order that will ensure success. Their experience combined with your ideas is the perfect recipe for effectively reaching those objectives – so don’t be afraid to get professional advice on how best to achieve them.
Specialists in goal setting can provide valuable insight, structure and order that will ensure success. Their experience combined with your ideas is the perfect recipe for effectively reaching those objectives – so don’t be afraid to get professional advice on how best to achieve them.
Maybe one of your goals could be to seek help in defining your goals and adding structure to your business. We did this with Blue Ninja during 2020 and continue to discuss and refine our goals – ensuring steady progress year after year!
Setting targets is a crucial part of any business strategy and will ensure you stay on the path to success. Targets should be SMART and assessed regularly to keep moving forward and growing your business.
If you need help assessing your business or setting achievable goals, our team of experts are ready and waiting to assist you. Get in touch today to get started!