Goals are important and everyone needs goals
As we enter the fourth quarter of 2018, think of how it has gone so far. Did you get your goals for this year accomplished? Are you thinking about next year?
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
As a business, it’s important to have goals. Yes, the number one goal is to make a profit, but there are many other goals worth pursuing.
Possible business goals
- Expand customer base
- Introduce a new product or two
- Improve an existing product
- Be on page 1 in Google search
- Increase revenue by 20%
- Boost employee moral
- Be more approachable
- Clean up last year’s files
- Make sure emergency policies are current and implement a safety policy
- Inventory-increase or decrease, current on hand
- Shop for new suppliers, book keeping or computer system
- Marketing-a new product, an existing one
- Improve employee efficiency
Once you have your list, you can figure out the steps to achieve them.
Goals for the first 3 months of the year should be assessed in the last quarter of the previous year (Oct-Dec); ie. Launch a new product by March. The plan should be outlined by the end of December, so come January, you can work towards the goal. Quarterly meetings should be brainstorming meetings. Monthly meetings are good for exchanging ideas and weekly meetings to finalize details. During the goal time, weekly updates and reviews should be happening. This way any problems that arise can be dealt with sooner rather than later.
Possible ways to achieve goals.
- Write it down
- Be specific
- Give it a time limit
- Outline how to do this
- Enlist help, assign roles
- Be creative
- Be realistic
- Have a backup plan
- Review and make changes
- Weigh each idea, don’t dismiss ideas
- Budget and forecast estimate outcome
- Get feedback
- Execute plan
- Use employee’s strengths
Have one person in charge from beginning to end of project. Having multiple people doing things and no one person is keeping track of the progress, balls get dropped and some jobs are done twice. Make good use of the time allowed and keep the group on track. Assign roles based on a person’s strengths. Do not give calculations to someone who’s not as quick in math but they excel in drawing. Know your team and work together.
At CTO Enterprises, we like to use the S.M.A.R.T. Method. The S.M.A.R.T. method is as follows:
- Specific-state the goal
- Measurable-identify concrete steps to see your progress
- Achievable-is this goal possible
- Relevant-match with company strategy
- Timebound-set a time to have goal achieved
This is a common method. Recently an E. and R. were added.
- Evaluated-check progress is current and goal is still realistic
- Reviewed-how was the process, does something need to be changed
Be aware of the financial side of achieving your goals. A goal is no good if it costs you more to achieve than the benefits it will bring. This should be identified at the measurable stage.
All goals are not the same. While the steps are the same, how you outline the process may not be the same. You wouldn’t use the same strategy to increase revenue as you would to launch a new product. Take it one step at a time.
Plan for the unexpected. Life happens. Keep in mind that the first 3 months of the year are slower. Most companies are finalizing budgets and using up stock already on shelves. You may not get the big order until March or April so make sure you’re ready.
A key employee gets sick or must take care of a family member and can’t do his/her assigned roll. Who is next in line to step up? Can responsibilities be split and still achieve the same results? What if there’s a natural disaster that impacts your business? Have a backup plan. Assign dual roles so if one falls, the next can step up and keep the process smooth. Be realistic. If the person is a key person, the goal may have to be pushed back and postponed until a better time.
Goals keep business going. Big or small, goals are necessary to success. Hiring like minded individuals that share some of your goals is a good first step. Without that important piece, the goals cannot be achieved.