Who should make business goals? If you’re asking yourself this question, then the answer is yes, you should be setting yearly goals for your business.
Setting business goals is a little like entering a maze with a map to the finish line. Instead of wandering aimlessly, you’ll fly to the end because you know the path you need to take to get there.
At the beginning of every year, or even each quarter, you should sit down and decide what you want to accomplish, review what you did last year and how that went. Each year you’ll get better at setting realistic goals because you’ll have the power of hindsight. Looking back on previous goals, you’ll see what you accomplished and what didn’t quite make it off the drawing board.
When setting goals, be specific about where you see your business in the next year. These goals could be about production, revenue or even relationships. Take a look at what you’d like to improve, have you always felt your digital marketing campaigns are lacking? Then maybe this is the year you decide to do something about that. These will be personal to you and how you feel about your business and how you’d like to grow.
Still not sure what goals you should be setting for your business? Try reverse engineering. Picture your business as an outsider would see it, what areas are you less proud of? Is your website a little confusing? Does it have some missing links? Once you’ve identified what you’re not happy with, base your goals on the steps that will help you improve these areas.
So you’ve set your goals, now what?
Setting goals is important, you know this, you’ve done it, but how do you stick to these goals? How do you actually achieve them?
First of all, be realistic. You need to create goals that are relevant but also achievable. If your goal is to become the number one natural dog food company in Canada, you may want to pull back the enthusiasm a touch, because unless your competitors all mysteriously go out of business overnight, that’s not going to happen. At least not this year. But that might be a 10 year goal you can work towards.
Make deadlines. As an entrepreneur your personal projects sometimes get pushed to the side to make room for all the others begging for attention. One of the best things to do when setting goals, is to look at it like a project with individual steps, it will help assign it the same importance as a client’s project. And breaking it down into smaller steps will make it seem less daunting.
Keep it simple stupid (KISS). It could be as easy as signing a new client per quarter or upping your production by 10 per cent. Make it achievable, otherwise you’re setting yourself up to fail and that negative outcome will set you back and make you less likely to set goals in the future.