Did you know that the majority of businesses fail within their first five years? According to experts, a large reason for this is due to business owners not planning ahead and setting true business goals to guide them on their journey.
Why Goal Planning is Crucial
Without the right planning, in the beginning, it is to easy to lose your direction. You will become overwhelmed by your day to day activities alone. This is why business goals setting is so important.
Goals Are The Building Blocks of Success
Business goals help to push your business forward, which will help it to succeed. No matter which area of your business you are looking towards improving, having the right business goals can really help your business advance to the next level.
Goals show which areas to focus on and at the right time, in order to achieve the result you desire. Unless you have realistic, measurable goals, you will likely end up not achieving anything.
Business Goals Enable You To Monitor Your Progress
Monitoring your progress is crucial for your business to be a success and grow. You need to know which parts of your business are doing well and which areas need improvement or changes.
Without a clear idea of where your efforts should be focused, you could easily end up wasting time, money and energy on the wrong tasks. Therefore, by setting goals and having a way to review them often you will have a clearer picture of where your business is heading and what still needs improving.
Take your marketing strategy, for example. When you spend money trying to attract new clients or customers, you need to be sure you’re not wasting time and money on the wrong tasks. By setting business goals and reviewing them often, you will be able to see your progress and know if you’re on track or not.
Goals Help Boost Motivation
Do you remember when you started your business? Do you remember the enthusiasm and the excitement you had? That excitement and enthusiasm are what pushed you to start in the first place.
It is completely normal that some of that motivation you had, in the beginning, has since decreased some. And that’s where your business goals come in.
By setting your goals to be easily achieved, your motivation will increase with each goal you achieve. As you reach more goals, your motivation will start to increase more and more.
Goals Hold You Accountable
Business goals hold you accountable. You may have a vague goal in your head, but unless you get it on paper and monitor your progress you will fail before you have started.
When left to depend only on your own devices, you often are not as productive or even motivated as you should be. Having your goals written down, with a deadline, will help you keep your focus on the required tasks to achieve your goals.
Just remember this, goal setting isn’t a set it and forget it thing. You need to monitor those goals until they are achieved and continuously set new and bigger goals.
5 Types of Business Goals
Now that you understand why business goals are so important, let’s talk about the different types of goals you can set in business.
If you want your business to succeed, you have to set goals that are relevant, realistic and in line with what you hope to achieve. Check out Examples of Business Goals and Objectives from Chron for some great examples of business goals you may want to consider.
Below we will look at some of the common types of goals businesses set.
1. Income/Profit Goals
The most common goal of most businesses is to increase their profits. There are many financial goals you can set within your business to help increase your bottom line.
While most income-based businesses focus on earning a specific amount of income with a specific period of time, you could also use those goals to reduce your costs.
The tasks for these types of goals can include:
- shopping for less expensive suppliers
- investing in more affordable software
- outsourcing tasks to reduce in-house costs.
2. Customer Service Goals
No business will survive without excellent customer service. Due to a large amount of competition that businesses face nowadays, it’s crucial that you are an expert in the area of customer service. If not, customers will go to the competition quickly.
Many goals can be set to improve the customer service skills of your business. These include:
- improving response times
- adding different communication options
- providing better compensation to unhappy customers
3. Product/Service Goals
If you want your business to be successful, your products and services you offer must be foolproof. You also can’t just focus on your existing products.
Product development is the key aspect to a successful business. If you want your customers to return, you have to give them a reason to come back. This means you must consistently work on new ideas for products and services in your business.
Setting both product business goals and service business goals are of the utmost importance to future business income.
Product and Service Goals may include:
- improving existing products
- employing innovative employees to develop new products
- expanding the range of services you offer
4. Productivity and Motivation Goals
Productivity and Motivational business goals boost every aspect of your business. These goals relate to both you and any employees.
The more productive you and your employees are, the more successful your business will become. There are many ways to boost productivity and motivation in your business.
- setting goals to improve the work environment
- providing exclusive perks
- offering further training
5. Expansion Goals
Once you feel your business is doing quite well it is time to think about expansion goals. These business goals help you figure out a way to push your business forward. This could mean growing nationally or internationally.
Expansion goals definitely require the most work. There will be a lot of challenges you will have to overcome.
Expansion goals may include:
- researching a new target market
- investing in new business premises
- introducing international shipping
If you want your business to succeed you will have to focus on several types of goals. Just start with the most important business goals for your business first.
5 Mistakes To Avoid When Setting Business Goals
When you set the correct goals for your business, it will boost your success. However, there are a lot of mistakes you can make too.
If you set the wrong business goals you can do more damage than good to it. So before you make those mistakes in your goal setting, let’s discuss 5 mistakes you should avoid.
1. Not Making Your Goal Specific
The absolute biggest mistake you can make when setting business goals is to be vague. Your goals have to be as specific as possible for them to be achievable.
If you simply state that you want to increase your profits, although it is a great goal, it doesn’t give you much to work with. How will you increase your profits? How much will you increase them by? What steps must you take to increase them? You need to consider these questions when writing out your goals.
Remember, the more specific your goals are the more likely you will be in achieving them.
2. Setting Unrealistic Goals
Just as detrimental to your progress, is setting business goals that just aren’t realistic. You may have some great ideas of where you want your business to go. But you have to make sure the goals you set to get there are realistic and are actually able to be reached and achieved.
You have to be careful not to set a goal with an unrealistic type of goal as well as an unrealistic time frame. The problem with making unrealistic goals is that they can damage your productivity and your motivation in your business. If you don’t achieve them, and you won’t, you will become frustrated and overwhelmed as well.
3. Prioritizing The Wrong Items
Sometimes a business owner may set any old goal without putting enough thought into whether it is needed. The key to effective goal setting is to prioritize every one of your business goals.
Think first, about the areas of your business which need the most work or improvement. While you may think you want to expand to an international market, ask yourself if your business is really ready for that.
You may need to set other business goals to get your business ready for expansion first. That’s where prioritizing comes in.
4. Failing to Review Your Goals
Setting goals is just one single part of the process. You must make sure you review your goals and tasks frequently. By reviewing every goal and action you will know if the goal is actually working or if it needs some fine-tuning.
By reviewing and fine-tuning your goals you will know what changes need to be made and in what areas for success.
5. Not Prepared for Failure
Just because you set business goals does not mean you will definitely achieve them. Failure is guaranteed at some point. It happens to us all.
Don’t fret. Through your failures, you will learn how to succeed. Set your goals as realistically as you can and don’t assume everything will work like clockwork. Be prepared for failure and then be prepared to come up with an alternative plan if something does go wrong.
There will always be obstacles to overcome in setting any goals, whether personal or for your business.
Methods For Setting Business Goals
We will now discuss some methods for setting business goals. Remember, what works for one business may not work for another. You may need to try out a few methods before you find which method is the best way for you to set your business goals.
There are many different goal-setting methods out there! The one that has proven to be the best is the SMART method.
SMART stands for:
Every business goal you set should follow the above rules. All goals must be specific and measurable, attainable, measurable and in a specific time-frame in order for you to see results.
Breaking Down Your Goals
An easy way to figure out which business goals you should be focusing on is to break them down. If you are someone who struggles with being specific, then this method is for you.
Start by writing your main goals. Then once you have your overall goals written down, it’s time to get more specific.
The Pursuit Goal Planner by Evrim is an excellent planner “workbook” to help you focus on your goals in an excellent way!
Think about what you will need to focus on to achieve each one. Write down the smaller steps required in order to meet the end result of each goal. The further you break them down the easier they will be to achieve.
Reviewing Your Goals
Before you set new business goals, make sure to review your older goals first. Look at things like what worked and what didn’t work? Did you achieve the goal? Why or why not?
By reviewing your past goals you will see what to avoid and what works. This information will help you set better future goals.
Feel Positive About The Goals You’ve Set
Your goals need to make you feel positive about their outlook. They should feel achievable.
The more passionate you are about your business goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. Do not ever set a goal doing something you hate doing. You will only put it off or fail to achieve the goal.
Tony Robbins says, “Progress equals happiness,” and setting goals is what gets us there.
Tips For Setting Effective Business Goals
Your last step in understanding and setting business goals is to make sure you set effective goals.
Here is a bit of inspiration for setting effective business goals for your business.
Review the Current State of the Business
The purpose of making and setting business goals is to improve the overall business. Every goal you set should enhance your success.
If you really want to boost your business, you need to know which areas need the most improvement. Start by analyzing your business and list all of the things you feel you should change.
Once you have your list, decide which areas need the most improvement. Then focus your goals on those goals first.
Ask Your Employees For Insights
If you feel like you’re struggling for ideas, ask your employees for their input. You can even do surveys were their answers can stay anonymous.
Seeing their responses may give you some great ideas and it will improve moral overall because they were involved in the process.
Be 100% Clear
Make sure your business goals are 100% clear! Anyone involved in assisting you to reach that goal should have no questions as to what you are trying to achieve, how you will achieve it or when it should be achieved by.
If a goal is not 100% clear, your chances of success are not great.
Determine Who Is Responsible
Once your business goals are set, make sure you choose the best people to help you achieve them. Some goals may only be for you, but others may require enlisting others for help.
Assigning the right people only ensures success.
Understand What Resources You Will Need
Sometimes in setting business goals, you will need access to resources. It may be finances, software, training, or even additional people or staff. make sure to figure out exactly what resources you need ahead of time and make a plan for them.
The more prepared you are, the more likely you’ll achieve your goals.
There you have it, everything you need to know to get started at setting some effective business goals for your business. Remember, be specific, be clear, get help and plan ahead. Don’t be afraid of failing as failures are simply learning experiences.
Are you ready to set some business goals for your business?
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