22 Jan Setting your business goals for 2018
If your office is anything like ours, then there’s been a lot of talk about New Year’s resolutions! The New Year is a great time to make a fresh start and to refocus on achieving our goals for the year ahead. Weight loss, a healthier diet, regular exercise and personal growth are always popular goals at the start of the year.
But New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t focus only on personal goals. They really should also extend to our businesses. What are your business goals for the New Year and how can they help you make 2018 your most successful year to date?
Why set goals?
When many companies start out, their goal is simply to survive. But as your business evolves, it’s time to get yourself out of the survival mentality and plan for a successful future. Goals give you a way to measure performance, judge success and provide your organisation with direction, a key way to increase motivation.
How to set goals
While nearly every business has one ultimate goal (making profit), it’s key to set goals more specific for your business. A key way to do this is by analysing your business’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you struggle to acquire new customers, your goals need to focus on improving your customer service, setting new business targets per month and starting some advertising and marketing campaigns.
While it seems obvious to improve weaknesses, it’s important not to enhance your business’s strengths.
When setting business goals, the SMART acronym provides a great guide.
S – SPECIFIC – what exactly do you want to accomplish
M – MEASURABLE – knowing when a goal has been achieved
A – ACHIEVABLE – ambitious but not impossible
R – RELEVANT – will the goal genuinely improve your business
T – TIMED – how long you have to achieve your goals
How to achieve your goals
A lot of business owners are big picture thinkers, full of great ideas. What many struggle with is implementation. There is a huge difference between setting goals and achieving them. Your goals need to be at the forefront of your thoughts and actions throughout the year. What is required to get from where you are to where you want to be? What exactly are the mini steps in between and how do you achieve them?
Set weekly or monthly meetings to assess progress. Constantly reflect on what is going well and what needs to be improved. Don’t carry the burden by yourself! Team up with an accountability partner who can provide you with advice and keep you on track to achieve your goals.