“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” –Christopher Reeve
Do you dream of starting your own business? Do you lie awake at night thinking about ways to increase your sales? Planning business goals on a regular basis is a necessity in the business world. To stay afloat, you must try to improve your business and yourself each year.
Two main purposes of setting business goals are to evaluate the progress of your business and establish priorities for the business, management, and employees. Making a business goal public to your employees will increase the chance that it will be reached. If people don’t know that you’re working toward a goal, they won’t understand the steps to reach the goal.
Think about the business’ mission statement to establish goals that coincide with the values of the business. If the mission of the business is to produce quality items at a discount, then a reasonable goal would be to make your products more affordable by reducing the price by five percent.
Each goal needs to be specific and measurable. If you make a goal to increase sales, it will be difficult to know when you’ve reached the goal. However, stating that you want to increase sales by ten percent within one year is a goal that can be measured. Defining your goal to make it specific may be difficult, but it’s worth the effort.
Take each long-term goal and break it down into smaller, manageable goals. If you have short-terms goals leading to a long-term goal, you’ll be more likely to reach it. For example, if your long-term goal is to start a new computer software business in three years, you’ll need many short-term goals to lead to the success of reaching the large goal.
Write out each goal and put them in a location that you’ll see on a daily basis. You should write short-term goals for every long-term goal and have a checklist where you can track your accomplishments. This is a significant part of the process of reaching business goals. If you have employees, put the goals in a place that they have access to on a regular basis. Seeing them written down helps to emphasize the goals and place more value in them.
You want your goals to be challenging but realistic. Each goal should challenge you in some way, so you stick with it. However, you need to be sure that the goal is actually attainable. You don’t want to set a goal to start a new bakery in six months, when it takes most bakeries two years to plan and set up.
Learn from your setbacks. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t reach a goal at the specific time that you wanted to obtain it. Set a new, more reasonable goal and learn from the setback. What didn’t work? What obstacles are in your way? This will help you succeed in the future.