Although every business owner knows this is something they must do, very few people take the time to do it. It’s no surprise that those who plan well are the ones most likely to succeed. Your business development and growth will depend on your strategic planning. Why is it so difficult for business owners to put their heads down and get on with it? It’s simple. It’s too difficult to stop working in your business and start working ON it. While you address more pressing issues, strategy and planning get put on the back burner. Elite Entrepreneur Business Coaching can also help your business for growth.
Setting goals is your business’s GPS. Setting goals helps you determine where you want to go and how you can get there. It also alerts you to any potential dangers along the way. When setting goals, there are several important things to remember. As a reminder, the acronym S.M.A.R.T stands for the key elements that make goal setting successful.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant and Timed
Start the goal-setting process by defining your vision. What are you looking to accomplish in your business? Do you want to achieve a financial goal or something else? Are you looking to make a positive impact in your industry? Maybe your vision is more philanthropic, to leave a lasting legacy or make a positive difference.
Once you have a clear vision, then you can begin to break it down into concrete goals. It’s like the old saying, “How do you eat an Elephant?” One bite at a time. It will be easier to achieve your big goals if you break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Although your ultimate goal may be to have the best cafe in town you can see how vague this is. What does it mean to be ‘the best for your business? Attracting customers and making the best coffee (and how can you measure this), getting the highest ratings, or being the most profitable.
First, choose a particular area that you wish to improve and then set a goal. How can you tell if you are making the best coffee when you use the example of “best coffee”? Your goal should be customer satisfaction, not perfection.
You must be able to measure your goals to create concrete and achievable goals. You can track your progress and adjust as you go until you reach your goals. This encourages accountability so that your goals are not just a pipe-in-the-sky dream.
Keep it simple. It is hard to measure success or improvement. What does success look like for your business? What is success? Is it productivity, profit, retention of staff, training and education, or profits?
How do you know if you are making the best coffee? You can also ask your customers for feedback, and sales may be one indicator. Feedback, reviews, and customer surveys are great ways to gauge how your company is doing.
You have now set your goals and created a measurement system. Now it is time to do a reality check. Stretch goals are great! It is important to realize that you can achieve them. The big, bold goals may be more about your vision. It could also refer to the ‘ultimate goal’ that you are striving for. Keep your daily business goals small to make them easier to reach.
It is possible to have milestone goals. Let’s take another look at the cafe example. The cafe owner decided to make the best coffee in town and has set a goal of achieving 100% customer satisfaction over one month. This is quite achievable. They might ask customers for feedback, train their baristas, and change the brand of their coffee or milk to achieve this. These steps are all necessary to create the best coffee.
Imagine if the cafe owner set the goal of making the best coffee in the world. How do you measure this? It might be true that you claim it but it is impossible to prove. Set realistic goals and ensure you have the resources and abilities to reach them.
It is important to ensure that your goals reflect the current business climate and conditions. You may want to increase your turnover by 50% but if a recession or a new competitor is imminent in your area and your goals won’t be relevant to the market.
Also, your goals must be relevant “internally” so they are in line with your vision, mission, and purpose as well as the values of your team and customers.
Once you have set your goals, when will you achieve them? Your start and end dates should be set. You won’t feel motivated or urgent if the goal isn’t timed. You should set a deadline for each goal so that you can celebrate the achievement and have something to look forward to.
It’s easy for things to get put off without an end date. This can lead to a loss of focus and a tendency to lose sight of the goal. The ‘best cup of the coffee goal becomes a pipe-in-the-sky dream. You should keep your goals realistic, but allow yourself to be flexible if it works for you. Some people enjoy the pressure of working hard, while others prefer to take it easy and make steady progress towards their goals.
You can also track your progress by setting a time limit on your goal. It allows you to keep track of your progress and adjust your strategy accordingly.
It is also important to set goals for your staff, not only for the business owner. If they have something to work towards each day, they will be more dedicated to your business and projects. Motivating staff is easy with both individual and team goals. You will be amazed at the results of encouragement.