The ultimate goal for any business is obviously to be successful. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to attain that Holy Grail, requiring meticulous planning and motivation. Establishing incremental goals, whether you manage a company with 100 employees or simply run it yourself, are therefore vital to keep business activities focused and enable the company to push forward.
If you stick to the following main principles of goal setting, you should be able to define a strong business strategy and reach your main objective.
Make Your Goals SMART
One of the most widely used concepts for achieving business success is by adhering to the SMART goal method: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. This provides a strong and achievable set of rules that will help you focus by allowing you to generate a specific set of tasks and manageable steps to accomplish your goals. An example of a SMART goal for a B2B could be: “Obtain 30 new business leads in the UK manufacturing sector per month via social media campaigns and other marketing activities.”
Monitor Your Progress
It’s important to review your goals every so often to track whether or not they are actually being achieved and to make sure that you haven’t deviated from the original plan. If no progress is being made then you need to evaluate your daily or weekly workload, prioritise what is actually important and make adjustments. Commitment to the process is the only way you are going to succeed.
Exploit Team Capabilities
The whole business needs to be working towards the same goals and therefore they may require specific contributions from various members of staff or different departments. They need to be included in the goal setting process from the start. Additionally, if you are struggling with your workload and struggling to meet the small steps required, you will have to delegate either the specific tasks for that goal or other areas of the business to free up time.
Business is constantly evolving and you need to be prepared to adjust or realign your strategy to accommodate any changes – whether these are led by market forces or by personal circumstance. You therefore need to be flexible enough to absorb these issues without deviating from the main goal. Even mistakes can provide an invaluable lesson, and possibly even present new opportunities that previously you hadn’t explored. The reality is that you need to keep moving forward, step-by-step, to your final goal.
It’s important to acknowledge when a goal has been achieved, no matter how small. This is especially true if the goal has been achieved by a team member or department. Recognising their efforts, whether this is praise via a simple email or chat, or by some financial or beneficiary reward, such as a one-off bonus or day off, will improve morale and esteem and inspire them to continue striving to achieve the goals set. Even if it is a personal goal you have set yourself, take time out to contemplate your achievement. It will help you refocus and provide the motivation to take the next steps in reaching the final goal.