Whether you have a 50+ employee company or a small company, your business success depends on your ability to set and achieve goals. A smart business owner understands the value of goal setting to steer a growing business in the right direction. Not sure where to start with setting goals for your business? First you need to distinguish your long-term goals that can help grow your company.
Determine Your Long-Term Goals
Start by distinguishing your long-term goals from your short-term goals. Your long-term goals should have a timeline of about three to five years. Your long-term goals should articulate your company’s mission statement, reflecting the reason your company was founded.
These types of visionary goals usually fall within four general areas: service, social, profit, or growth:
- Service – Goals related to improving customer service satisfaction or customer retention.
- Social – Goals that focus on giving back to the community, through philanthropy or volunteer organizations.
- Profit – Goals set to increase profits by a certain percentage.
- Growth – Goals related to the expansion of the company, through new employees, for example.
Create Short-Term Objectives
Now that you’ve determined out your long-term goals, you need to figure out how to get there. Creating short-term objectives will help you reach your long-term goals. Set short-term objectives by breaking down specific actions to be taken by specific people.
When creating your short-term objectives, keep these points in mind:
- Specific – Great goals are well-defined and focused. Objectives need to be concrete and highly detailed.
- Measurable – Numbers are an essential part of a business. Put a figure or value, such as a dollar amount or percentage, to the objective.
- Attainable – Far too often, small businesses can set goals beyond reach. Get a handle on realistic grown in your industry to set smart goals.
- Relevant – Achievable business goals are based on the current conditions and realities of the business climate. You may need to update based on the realities of the market.
- Time-Based – Business goals and objectives just don’t get done when there’s no time frame tied to the goal-setting process. Set a deadline to keep things on track.
It’s important to periodically review your goals and make adjustments if necessary. Goal setting for your small business is an essential tool for success.
Create a business plan
Having a plan of action in mind to meet your business goals is great, but the only way to ensure your long-term and short-term goals are achieved, is to create a detailed business plan.
Think of a business plan as a road map– a tool that keeps you from making wrong turns, and helps you avoid dead ends and road closures. Think of it also as a tool that helps you:
Secure future funding needs– One of the first things a bank or investor will want to see when you reach out to them for funding is a business plan. That’s because business plans communicate your vision in a concise, compelling manner, providing you with a solid foundation to raise capital.
Mitigate risks– Business plans force you to create contingency plans for potential economic disasters and develop a financial plan accordingly.
Think of the current economic crisis due to COVID-19. While no one could have perfectly predicted that this would happen, the companies that are surviving the pandemic are the ones who had contingency plans in place.
Most importantly, business plans focus your attention on productivity and allow you to establish benchmarks to measure your success, while giving you directives to avoid costly mistakes.
Project financials and conduct a thorough market analysis– You can identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of a company through market analysis. With these things identified, you can boldly create a business, marketing and finance strategy that will help you overcome your weaknesses, capitalize off your strengths and take hold of opportunities.
Establish & communicate goals with your team- For many business owners, daily operations can circumvent real progress. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for larger, more important projects to become continually wait-listed. Having a business plan ensures that you have thoroughly outlined your strategic opportunities to capitalize on expansion, partnerships, new products/service offerings, etc.
And as you know, clarity is key to success when building a brand. Everyone involved should understand the objectives, expectations and requirements for fulfillment. A business plan ensures this by creating alignment among founding partners with consistent messaging and missions.
At Inc Authority, we can help you reach your goals by crafting a detailed business plan for you. We know what it takes, and we know the challenges that small businesses face. We also have the services you need to get where you want to go. We can do so much more for you, than incorporating your business! Our range of small business services are here to help your small business achieve its goals.
For more information about growing your business, please contact an IncForFree Representative today at 1-877-462-6366, Monday thru Friday, 8 am – 5 pm PST.