Tips for setting achievable goals in your small business

There are various elements of effective small business management. It’s crucial that you think about the budget, your level of customer service and whether you are marketing your company effectively.

With so many balls in the air, it’s understandable that some are going to fall to the floor. Unfortunately, if this does happen it will often spell doom for a company.

One of the main reasons for business failure is that the manager has failed to set clear goals. There is a range of reasons why setting goals will be a crucial element of your business model.

The Importance Of Setting Goals

One of the key reasons to set goals is that it keeps people in business motivated. This is going to help you achieve a higher level of efficiency overall and ensure that your team remains productive. With the right focus on goals, you can and will maximize the potential of your company.

Goals also provide a way to measure the success and growth of your business. Without key measures, it’s difficult to know whether your business is on the right path and this means that making decisions is more difficult. It also provides key messages on what targets should be the focus not just for the management but for individual employees as well. This helps ensure that everyone is on the right page and that a business is moving in the right direction.

Goals may also encourage teamwork or collaboration in your business model and increase morale. This is particularly true when you start setting the right rewards because team members want to come together to reach that particular reward. This is certainly true if they can’t gain the reward without support. At the same time morale is improved because it ensures that team members consistently get to experience achievement and celebrate what they have accomplished. This ensures that they can take more pride in their performance and this can also lead to more loyalty for your business. Employees feel more connected and want the company to succeed as a whole.

Now let’s explore some of the best ways to set achievable goals.

Make Sure Goals Are Specific

It’s important to ensure that the goals that you choose are specific rather than vague or possibly unrealistic. They need to be something that team members will be able to achieve and that can be clearly understood or visualized.

For instance, you might want to improve the profits of your business, but this shouldn’t be the goal. Instead, you need to think about a specific increase that you want to achieve. This should be attainable and ideally, you need it to be based on a financial forecast for your business. A goal should be a plan of action and you need a clear plan in place of how you are going to work towards it or achieve it.

Make It Measurable

Another key factor is making sure that the goal in question is measurable. If a goal isn’t measurable, then you won’t know whether you have achieved it or not. For this reason, you should not set the goal of making your key competitors nervous. There’s no way to measure this but you could set the goal of improving customer satisfaction. You can measure this by conducting a survey when you set out the goal and another after a set period. During this time, you should put tactics in place to help you achieve this goal by tackling the areas where customers want to see improvements in your business model. This does lead us to another tip for making sure that you are setting achievable goals.

Think About Time

You do need to make sure that you think within a particular time frame when you are setting a goal. You should consider whether there is a deadline in place and what this deadline is. If you don’t put a deadline in place, then again, your goal is going to be far too vague and the target will be unclear. You will also lose a sense of urgency which will be key when working to drive employees to succeed here. You have to put an endpoint in sight otherwise they have nothing to work towards. Without a time frame, you will also make a goal impossible to measure.

When you choose your time frame, you also need to consider whether it fits with your business model and your current rate of achievement.

Is It Achievable?

When you set a goal, you do need to make sure that you are considering whether it is achievable. It’s for this reason that it’s useful for individual team members to set their own goals. They know better than anyone what they can achieve and how far they can take your business. For instance, a business manager would probably love to see a 50% increase in sales in a week. However, your sales team will know that this just isn’t possible. They might, however, be able to achieve a 5 or even a 10% jump in a month or two. That means that the latter goal could be achievable.

You might think that setting goals that are not achievable is still going to motivate employees. However, it could have the opposite impact. They could not even bother to try because they know the goal is out of reach. They could also attempt to try and feel stressed when they are nowhere near the deadline. An unhappy worker will be less productive so you should avoid this.

Are You Being Realistic?

Any goal is achievable with the right amount of time. A company could, for instance, see a 50% increase in sales over a couple of years. But is this goal realistic? In other words are the resources in place that will allow the sales team to reach this point. If they don’t have the right level of training or skills and there’s no plan to improve their knowledge, the goal is not realistic. You always need to think about how you’re going to achieve a goal, instead of just focussing on the point you want to reach.

We hope this helps you understand the right way to set achievable goals for your small business team.