Goals move the small business forward. They are the substance that takes a small business from its vision to the reality of success. Goals measure achievements both good and bad. We celebrate the good and learn from the bad thus moving forward. They are written objectives and address what we can achieve in a specific period of time. All businesses need them, a direction to follow and actions to take. Developed goals all have the same basic requirements listed below. Read them and get busy developing your own for your small business.
1. Be specific
The more specific the goal the easier to assign actions with a time frame. Small specific goals all add up and are easier to manage. For example, a goal might be to update your business plan quarterly. The action would be for the owner to update on the first of January, April, July and October.
Assess where you are in your business and set goals that are realistic and can be obtained. For example, if last year you sold 50 widgets, a goal this year to sell 5000 is not reasonable. Assess your small business and set realistic goals with appropriate actions.
3. Write all the goals down
List all your goals in order of priority with the most important first. Make them short and concise. Everyone can see them and have pride at accomplishment as you move down the list.
4. Action oriented
A goal is accomplished through actions. After the goal is written, list the actions to be taken underneath with a time period to accomplish the task. Then, assign a person responsible for the action. Track the goals and actions through completion. Have regular meetings to assess the progress and revise if necessary.
All actions must be assigned a time for completion. This moves the goal forward and shows progress. For example, selling ten HP computers with extended warranty within 6 months is a goal that might be attained. Then attach the actions to accomplish this.
Goals and actions mean nothing without measurement. For example, adding one new client a month is a measurable goal. If it can’t be met then assess if the actions and time frames are reasonable.
The progress starts with the small business vision. Goals are then set with actions to drive the vision forward in a specific period of time. The actions are assigned to individuals which accomplish the tasks. As the actions are accomplished you measure what has been achieved. The initial goals are then revised, added to or deleted and the process starts again.