ABCs + 7 STEPS: A. Meaning of Goals, B. Why Important, C. How to Achieve: 1) Determine, 2) Strategy, 3) Action Plan, 4) Measurable, 5) Work Hard, 6) Measure, Celebrate Wins, Modify ??? 7) Evaluate Periodically (ie, monthly).
Achieving business goals is no easy task. Most often, businesses achieve results by identifying goals and setting timelines for reaching those goals.
What are your business goals, why do you want to achieve them, and what are you doing to reach them? These are essential questions for you as an startup entrepreneur or for a small business. What if you could see a roadmap ahead of you to achieve your goals faster? We’ve built a new framework to help you achieve your business goals and make your life easier as well.
This 7-Steps FrameWork makes it easier for you to set realistic goals, identify specific steps to get you there and track your progress along the way.
A. What are Business Goals?
First, you must understand that your business goals are part of your business Planning process. With their help, you want to describe what your small business expects to achieve throughout the specific period. Your business goals are simply the future of your business. You say what you want to achieve based on analysis, look into the future, and work hard to achieve what you want.
A1. What do you need to do, before you start defining your Business Goals?
Before you think and write down your business goals, you will need to know what is most important for your business to improve. You can achieve this if you use some of the following techniques:
- Market Research . . . is your starter. M/Research aims to discover your customer’s needs, market trends & development + most importantly – the competition. Be careful when you research to see things in the market from different perspectives. You can achieve this through several market research methods.
- SWOT analysis. Conduct this analysis to identify your business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats.
- Benchmarking. Before you continue developing your business goals, you need to better research the competition in your industry and compare the results with your own business.
B. Why are Business Goals Important?
Too many entrepreneurs manage their business without specific business goals and a clear achievement process. But, there is one thing that associated with all of them. Their companies don’t grow, and they put all their efforts into just surviving and maintaining the status quo.
But, you are an entrepreneur who wants to grow the business with exponential speed and steps. So, here we will take all the necessary things you need to do. Business goals are here to help you to achieve strong business growth. Because of that, setting up business goals is an essential part of your entrepreneurial journey.
You need to understand that you will not lose anything if you have business goals and a clear process to achieve them. With goals, you will have a clear direction where you want your business to move and a framework that will help you measure results. Here are some of the most important reasons you need to have business goals.
B1. Business Goals give you clear Directions
Assume that you have a business goal related to the profitability of your business. So, you have a goal that requires your company to increase its profitability by 20% in the next year. When you have a written goal, you can quickly start brainstorming ideas about what you need to do to achieve this goal. For example, you will analyze your sales numbers and costs to measure the profitability level of each of your products and/or services. You will check how is the ratio between profit and expenses. If this rate is the same, even if you increase the income by 20%, you will not increase your profitability. All of these things can bring you clear step-by-step directions about what you need to do to increase profitability by 20% next year.
B2. You will have a clear Basis to measure your Progress
Successful entrepreneurs always try to achieve their business goals, in order to improve & grow their business. If you don’t have goals, you will not have a subject that will need to be measured. For example, if we continue with the earlier case of increasing profitability by 20% from the start, you know what you need to measure. If you continue to break down this measurement, you will come to more specific subjects of measurement you will need to measure -to see how your business progress. So, you will probably measure the results from the activities you implement to achieve this goal at weekly, monthly, & quarterly meetings by measuring the costs & income..
B3. Your Team will be – more Inspired !!!
If you have clear business goals, then everyone in your company will understand what your small business is trying to achieve and what will be their role in these achievements. For example, the Sales Manager will know what they need to do to increase the profitability by 20%. Also, Marketing will have a clear understanding of its role. If the achievement of this goal requires substantial cost reduction, everyone will know what will need to do and why it is necessary for the company. If all employees in your startup or small business know & understand your business goals, it will be easier for them to do the work they need to do.
C. 7 Steps to achieve your Business Goals
Ok, until now, you already have sufficient background to start setting up your business goals, then work on their achievement. You know what you want to achieve, and you know what you need to do to achieve what you want to. So, it is time for the real work to make your business achievable. Here is a simple but robust framework to set up and achieve your goals.
1. How to Start with – Setting up your Goals?
One of the most critical questions I get from small business entrepreneurs related to business goals are the following:
- How can I set up my business goals?
- What are measurable goals for my business?
- What are SMART goals for my business?
- What are the most critical goals for my business?
Let’s try to answer these questions.
1a) How to set-up your Business Goals?
You can set up your business goals following these Action Steps:
- Write your needs down in one column – based on the analysis you have made previously and your vision about your company’s future. For example, “I need to invest in new product launches to stay at the top of my competition”.
- In the second column, translate each business need into Actionable items. For example, “I need to increase my profitability to invest in research and development, improve my income, & decrease my costs”.
1b) SMART Business Goals
When you already have a list of your possible long-term and short-term goals, you need to check are they something Specific. Goals that you can easily Measurable relating to the progress you are making with all of them. For example, “If your goal is to decrease your business costs this year by 20%, you have a specific number that is measurable and compare to see if the things you implement help you achieve this goal.
You can achieve this if you start using SMART goals from the beginning. So, your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, & Time-limited. Research on the effects of goal-setting on the performance show that:
In 90% of the studies, specific, but achievable goals led to higher performance than easy goals, “do your most possible goals to get successful results.
So, if you have more specific and challenging business goals, you will be more motivated to achieve them.
1c) What are the most critical Business Goals for my Company?
For the most critical goals, that you will need to set up will depend on your current situation in which your company operates. But, as a general rule, but we recommend the following:
- Profitability. which is essential for your small business, because it will enable you to invest in more significant business growth in the future. On the other side, if you have goals related to your profitability, you can continuously monitor your costs & income.
- Customer SatisfAction. you will need to answer: “How will you meet or exceed your Customer’s expectations”.
- Productivity. How is your company doing about supplying the most significant resources which are essential to your success.
- Growth. You want to succeed, your business needs to grow at a pace you can manage.
- Competitiveness. If you are competitive in your market, your business will be better than your competition. So, having goals related to your competitiveness is vital.
2. Define the Strategy to achieve your Goals?
In many small business companies, the strategy (strategic Planning) is not in place. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need strategic thinking if your company is a small business. You need to develop an appropriate longer-term vision for the company.
Doing strategic Planning is essential for your small business, because this Planning will help you to see broader issues – inside & outside your small business. Your strategy will need to cover both short-term goals, and long-term goals.
After the Planning, the tactics required to achieve your goals can be one of the most challenging parts. But, with some critical thinking, you’ll be able to make sure that the Plan you put together is as strong as it needs to be to succeed. Once you’ve done this, you can begin defining the metrics, milestones, & targets you will need to hit to reach your goals.
If your goal is to increase conversion in your sales funnel, the first step is to understand your customers’ goals, such as going from point A to point B. Once you’ve determined those goals, the next step is to strategize the path that takes your customer from point A to point B. This may mean finding a new customer, getting the customer to interact with your brand or product differently, or converting a current customer. You need to figure out who your ideal customer is, how they’ll behave once they’re in your sales funnel, and how you will get them to convert.
3. Create a clear Action Plan to reach your Business Goals.
According to the research by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 42% of people never succeed in achieving their goals, 17% infrequently succeed, and 41% usually reach them.
New Year’s Resolutions Stats
Makers 41%, Sometimes 17%, Never 42%, Don’t need 10%, Occasional Success 48%, Never Succeed 42% Those who make Resolutions are 10 x more likely to achieve their Goals !!!
The Action Plan is a process that your company will use to define Actions that will ensure the achievement of your strategic goals. This Plan will help you to implement Action steps and monitor the status of the implementation, proper allocation of resources, and decision-making based on the performance results.
How good is your Action Plan? Is it MIA? or missing some of the important actions? If it does exist, is it too broad – without specifics to monitor & measure the goals’ implementation status & achievement. Such Action Plans are limiting your company. You will not develop the required Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the Actions.
Focus. You need to focus on results to achieve your business goals. To do this, you will include the following performance measures (ie, KPIs) in your Action Plans:
- The current or actual measure for each activity;
- The expected outcome in specific measure after implementation of each activity.
NOTE: This is important if you want to implement a Continuous Improvement process and see what brings results and what does not – to adjust your plan, as needed.
4. Do you have measurable KPIs?
Performance measurement is the foundation for improving your business operations & achieving your business goals. You should measure the difference between realized performance & desired performance. If they are different, then there is a gap that you should fill with the improvements. For example, if your goal is to process 500 clients per day, and your business capacity can process only 300 clients, you will need to focus on:
- Process improvements
- Employees education
- New employees
Key Performance Areas. KPAs are areas of your business success factors and improved small business performance. A KPA contains one or more concrete KPIs related to a specific area. For your small business, the first step is to define goal areas & success factors on the KPA level.
Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are quantitative or qualitative measurements that reflect the company’s business success factors & strategic performance. You can define different KPIs related to the achievement of your business goals. If one of your goals is “increase profitability by 20%,” you can use the following KPIs:
- Sales Growth – per department, per employee, per spend dollar, etc.
- Reduction of Costs – per department, per employee, per spend dollar, etc.
(ie: If your goal is to reduce production time, one of your KPIs will be to measure the average supplier’s delays and variations.)
5. Work Hard to reach your Business Goals
Because now you have all the framework elements to achieve your business goals successfully, it is time to start working on implementing your Action Plan. You already have the strategy, Action Plan with Action steps, responsibilities, time frame, & KPIs. So, you can quickly start implementing one-by-one Action steps.
6. Measure & Celebrate your Progress
You have developed your KPIs, so it is easy to measure your achievements by measuring and analyzing the results. You can use weekly, monthly, & quarterly measurements to ensure everything is moving like it needs to.
Celebrate each of your milestones & progress with your team members to motivate them to work hard for the total accomplishment of your business goals.
7. How to evaluate your Business Goals
Now, the question is how to evaluate business goals. You set them up, implement Action steps, and now the question is, “Are their achievement bringing desired results for your company? In this step, you need to reflect on your previous steps and see what was right or wrong in the process. This Action step aims to help you improve your next setup and achievement of business goals – so your business will enter into the cycle of continuous improvement.
D. Frequently Asked Questions for your Business Goals
D1. What are Business Goals?
Business goals represent the way you look at your business in the future. How will you go somewhere if you don’t know where you wnt or need to go? So, the goals will help you develop, then achieve your business’s future in a way you want to achieve.
D2. What to do before you start defining your Business Goals?
Before developing your business goals, you must conduct market research and learn more about your targeted customers. Then conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats, then compare yourself with your competition.
D3. How to achieve your Business Goals?
Set your business goals starting with your business needs based on the analysis you have made, and be sure they are SMART goals (Smart, Measureable, Achieveable, Relevant & Timely). Factors to think about are profitability, customer satisfaction, productivity, business growth, & competitiveness. Then, define the implementation strategy and Action Plan with measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Lastly, implement your Action Plan, measure & celebrate their success, then continuously improve them – if needed.
Comments: Have you defined & have an Action Plan to achieve your Goals?
fm Entre-in-a-Box 8/22 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
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