Setting Your Goals. It’s ok to admit it, most business owners go through the entire year without a real clear picture of the goals they have for their business. Just going through the paces, week after week, without a clue whether they are ahead or behind. I think the reason most business owners do this is because if they never commit to a specific goal, then they can’t be disappointed when they miss it. It keeps them from feeling worse about their lack of a real plan to succeed.
But we’re going to run this race differently. We’re going to set very specific goals. We’re going to make sure everyone on the team knows our goals and we’re going to measure our progress towards our goals on a regular basis. Are you with me?
Start here. Write down your goals for this year’s race in the following categories: Customer Satisfaction, New Market Expansion, Operational Efficiency, Revenue Growth and Profitability. If you have other specific areas that are critical to your success, then write down a goal in those areas as well. Be specific. What do you want to accomplish in each particular area of your business? When do you want to be at that goal? Who is going to take the lead in this specific area?
Now, if your goals are for where you want to be by the end of the year then I want you to go back and break them up into quarterly goals. Rather than staring at a huge, seemingly unachievable goal, it will be more motivating, more achievable if you state it in quarterly terms. Where do you want to be by the end of March? How about the end of June? How about the end of September?
Making the goals more timely and achievable will motivate you and your team to accomplish them. If yours is a manufacturing business or is dependent on daily, repetitive processes, then you may wan to state your goals on a monthly or even weekly basis. We can all learn from Lawrence of Arabia who led an army across the Sahara Desert, a feat never before accomplished, by keeping them focused on small, achievable goals which each led to the larger ultimate goal. We need this and our team members do as well.
Now that you have your goals written, determine how you are going to share them with your partners, your team and the person who is going to hold you accountable to them – your business coach. You must go public with your goals if you intend to achieve them. Shine a light on them. Don’t hide them just in case you do not achieve them or you can be certain that is exactly what will happen!
Lastly, begin measuring your progress against your goals. This is critical. Having a goal is one thing, but having a measurement system so you can see your progress on a regular basis is the key to victory! Keep it simple. Find a place to record your progress on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Share the results. Celebrate the small wins. Make corrections and adjustments on a regular basis. These tactics will keep you and your team focused and will give you the highest probability of success!