Setting business goals sounds simple enough. In fact, you’d think that every business knows how to set business goals: a clear vision of what the company needs to achieve in a span of time and how to achieve it. Basic though this may sound, a recent survey of 300 business owners in the 4th Annual Staples National Small Business Survey showed that more than 80% of businesses don’t even assess their business goals, with 77% saying that they have not achieved their vision. While this sounds disappointing, it does make sense: setting goals requires a lot of introspection, and the road from one point to the other takes a lot of time. No one can deny the value of setting goals for a success mindset, and here are a few important tips that will certainly help.
1. Identify your long-term goals.
Solidify your goals by putting them in writing. Reflect the reason why the company was founded in the first place, and put in writing where you want it to go in ten, fifteen years. Your vision and mission statement should normally fall under these four categories: social, profit, growth, and service. Think of each long-term goal as an initiative—something that will make your members feel as if it is bigger than them and that can only be achieved by their collective efforts.
2. Plot short-term objectives.
With your long-term goals in place, you should next determine what your short-term goals are. They must be SMART (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-specific). While the long-term goals are bigger than your members, the short-term ones are typically done in an identified period of time. Someone must be held accountable for each short-term objective.
3. Ask for employee feedback.
Your employees are the ones at the ground level, those who interact with your customers or clients on a regular basis, and who have a direct hand at your company’s success. It’s therefore only natural, even necessary, to co-create your goals with them. Give them an opportunity to help you; you will be surprised at the quality of insights they can provide.
4. Be focused.
The danger is in straying from your defined goals every now and then. Be conscious whenever this happens. Don’t lose sight of where you want your company to head towards. This laser-like focus will no doubt be instrumental in the achievement of your company’s goals.