If you want to see your business grow then it is important to set achievable goals to accomplish this. If you’re not working towards such goals then your ideas are simply figments of your imagination that are almost impossible to develop.
An achievable goal is much different from the vague notion of success that you have in your head in the beginning. It is concrete, it has intent behind it, and is actionable. It is one of the steps you can take to get closer to the end goal.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can set achievable goals to grow your business …
1) Goals Must Be Smart
One of the leading frameworks for setting achievable goals is SMART. Sometimes called a SMART Targets, this type of goal allows you to break down your end goal into manageable mini-goals or tasks and continuously monitor your success, so you remain on track and inspired.
SMART goals should be:
Specific (know exactly what you want to achieve. ‘Be rich’ is not specific, but ‘make $10,000’ is.)
Measurable (there is an easy way to monitor whether you are on the right track.)
Attainable (your goal isn’t so lofty that you’re almost certain to fail, i.e. ‘surpass Apple in market share.’)
Relevant (does the goal suit your business and its overall trajectory?)
Timely (you can achieve the goal in a reasonable amount of time.)
From the beginning, SMART goals encourage you to create goals that you understand and can be evaluated. Whether long-term or short-term, the ability to evaluate where your business is going is fundamental to its growth.
2) Communicate Your Goals Effectively with the Team
Communication is often overlooked within small businesses, however, if there’s anyone else on your team then it is extremely important. How can you achieve a goal if not everyone knows about it and understands it?
This is where being specific in SMART comes in to play. Everyone in your business needs to know what the goal is and what they (perhaps individually depending on their role) need to do to contribute. Goals become more ‘achievable’ when the team understands their responsibilities. Workers become more productive when they have something to work towards.
3) Set Goals in All Areas
Business owners often get tunnel vision when setting goals, choosing to focus on one aspect of the business because they feel other areas are doing ok. They might put all of their time and effort into marketing and the core business itself begins to fall apart. It is therefore important to set goals for all areas of the business.
Though each business will have different areas, you can broadly divide goals into the following:
Service: Goals in this area focus on improving the service to your customers, whether your business itself provides a service or you sell a product. Review feedback and act accordingly.
If customers are raving about your business because you go that extra mile, it will grow.
Image: Goals in this area focus on your business’ public image and how this can be improved by giving back to the community, being charitable, how you treat staff etc.
Your business can grow purely because others see it as a ‘good’ and positive business.
Investment: These are goals that cover ‘spending money to make money,’ something businesses should never be afraid of. Even if you need to borrow $5,000 to get to that next level, it will pay off in the long run.
Profit: These are your revenue driven goals. How can you make more money and what do you need to do to get there? More profit may be generated from goals in the other areas, but what can you focus on directly that can increase profit?
Pure Growth: These goals focus on the pure elements of growth, such as selling more products and business expansion. If you open a second store will this grow your business or cause it to go bust due to lack of demand?
4) Start Small and Build Momentum
Thinking about growing your business can be very daunting. Where do you even begin with such a task? The best way to get started is to pick a small and easy task (the most achievable of goals), that you know you can do quickly.
This could be anything from rewriting a sales page to emailing customers for feedback. The point is that you’re actually doing something and being proactive.
This is how momentum is built. Start small, build your way up, get those positive vibes going, and soon you will see results.
5) Goals Can Change
A smart business or a SMART goal for that matter can change over time. It would be foolish to remain rigid in your goals if they aren’t working or something unexpected happens. You need to make sure that you are constantly returning to your goals, evaluating your progress, and tweaking things if necessary.
This process will also help you set new goals. Goal-setting is not something you do once, it is a constant process as your business continues to grow.
Achievable goal setting takes a lot of thought and preparation, but by following the previous 5 tips you will be in great position to grow your business.