“An entrepreneurial journey is the best teacher and while there are days it feels challenging, the rewards are countless”. Pooja Dhingra, the famous pastry chef and founder of Le15 Patisserie, shared this business mantra with TC46 in a recent interview and it sums up an entrepreneurial journey perfectly. Business goals are generally the motivation behind successful entrepreneurs and become the foundation over which a business is built. Strategic goals represent important achievements of your organization and can help you plan a strategy, tactics, and skills required to achieve them over the specified time period. Without goals, companies have no defined purpose and nothing to strive for; consequently, they stagnate or worse, lead to failure.
Benefits Of Goal Setting Exercise In Business
Here are three reasons describing the importance of goal setting in business:
- Company goals become a yardstick of business success. From an economic perspective, you can define the achievements of the company over a one year or five year period and determine the growth rate, profitability, or revenue figures you want the company to reach.
- Having defined goals can help you plan and decide better. You will gain a deeper understanding of the effects of your day-to-day decisions on your strategy and can assess them based on how beneficial they will be to your business.
- Having clear goals can help in achieving greater clarity amongst all team members and the management. This will help them in better teamwork and result in prudent choices regarding expenses, hiring, and other financial decisions.
Types Of Business Goals
Before undertaking a goal setting exercise, it is important to know the different types of objectives in business.
1. Time-Based Goals
Your business goals can be classified as either short term or long term, based on the time allocated to achieve the goals. Generally, companies set out long term goals which are broken into sizable bits of short term goals.
2. Quantitative Vs Qualitative Goals
Quantitative goals are set based on SMART goals and have measurable plans attached to them. Qualitative goals, on the other hand, are more subjective and address feedback received. One example is if the customers are engaging with the new website redesign and find relevant information easily.
3. Outcome Vs Process-Oriented Goals
The outcome is the result you’re aiming for, while process refers to the procedures that will lead to the desired outcome. Process goals are more immediate and tangible, and they keep you moving forward toward your outcome goals. Based on the types of objectives in business, you may choose the relevant type of goal.
The Process Of Business Goal Setting
Below are the steps that you can do to recognize how to set business goals in a strategic manner. We can further divide the process into three phases: Preparation before goal setting exercise, goal setting, and review.
Phase 1: Preparation Before Goal Setting Exercise
- Run Internal And Competitive Benchmarking: Collect data across various metrics from different departments of the organization and compare them against your competitors. This will help you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the company and help you focus on the goals of strategic management. Past performance can help inform a number of your future business goals.
- Conduct Market Analysis: Market analysis and SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis can help you gain a deeper knowledge of the trends in the industry, understand consumer insights, and help you plan the major company goals the organization needs to address for the future.
Phase 2: Goal Setting
Set SMART Goals
One of the most well-known goal-setting methods is SMART goals. SMART goal setting, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based, is an effective process for setting and achieving your long term business goals.
- Specific: Your goals need to be as specific as possible. Vague goals can lead to confusion. Increasing traffic to the website by attracting 100 unique visitors per month is an example of a specific goal.
- Measurable: Each of the goals needs to be measurable using milestones or metrics. An example would be to post content to various social media handles on a daily basis to increase impressions.
- Attainable: Your goals should be realistic and achievable within the time allotted. While it is great to dream big, to stay motivated one must be able to see results. Even long-term goals should be divided into smaller chunks to keep the momentum going.
- Relevant: The goals should resonate with the overall mission of the company and fit with the business plans. Goals that directly impact business performance should be given priority after calculating the impact versus the cost and resources involved.
- Time-Based: Each goal should have deadlines attached with them. This will help you correctly determine all the activities that need to be done on a daily basis to achieve the goal within the given timeframe.
Phase 3: Review
- Communicate Goals Internally: Every employee must be aware of the entrepreneur goals that need to be reached. This will help in aligning their actions with the goals and help in better teamwork and time management.
- Regularly Check Progress: Regularly conduct a review of the progress made on the goals and decide if any adjustment needs to be made in terms of tactics or strategy to achieve the goals of the business. Similar to public companies, you can check the progress of the financial objectives of a business on a quarterly or yearly basis.
Tips To Achieve Your Business Goals
Once you are finished with the task of goal setting, you must master how to achieve business goals. Here are some tips that will assist you in making progress.
- Commit To Your Goals
A common mistake is setting too many goals and then completing none of them. Once you’ve set your plan in motion, stay motivated till the end. Don’t procrastinate or second-guess your decisions, as this will hamper your progress.
- Build A Support System
To achieve all your entrepreneur goals, you should create a support system consisting of friends, family, mentors, and colleagues who will provide support, guidance, and cheer you as you face challenges.
- Leverage The 80/20 Principle
The Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule says that 80% of the result comes from 20% of the efforts. While achieving the financial objectives of a business pay attention to the activities that will bring the most results. This will help you in reaching your goals in a speedier manner.
- Be Flexible
While operating a business, one must remember that the environment is constantly changing. This requires us to be flexible in our plans and adjust our methods accordingly.
- Celebrate Milestones And Reward Yourself
Every time you reach a business milestone, it is necessary to take time out to celebrate it and also reward yourself and your team members. This keeps up morale and acts as a motivation to continue good performance.
- You can proactively avoid problems and roadblocks by setting goals of strategic management
- Defining your purpose is an absolute must for any successful business. You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing
- You can also use templates and worksheets on goal setting to make the process simpler and easier
- The action plan you create for accomplishing your goals should define specific actions you need to take to reach your goal
Setting business goals for the future can feel overwhelming. But if you take an ambitious goal one step at a time, you will start to build momentum, and you will reach your destination. Time management techniques and accountability will assist you along the way.