Posted on 02/12/2016, 14:12
Clear goals are essential for business growth and success. According to the Growth Accelerator Hyper Growth Insights Study 2014, 96% of hyper growth businesses planned their ambitious growth in the previous year – this reconciles with our own experience that growth and success don’t tend to happen by chance.
Well-chosen goals and objectives point a new business in the right direction and keep an established business on the right track. Goals give you a sense of meaning and purpose – a sense of direction that flows throughout your organisation.
As we move towards the end of the year you should be focusing on planning your goals for 2017 so you will hit the ground running in the New Year.
Our top 5 tips that help our clients set clear goals and then follow them up so that they make a real difference in their businesses:
1. Don’t wait to start
Goal setting is a broad process and may feel overwhelming. Sometimes these feelings can cause you to procrastinate because you don’t feel prepared. It may not be urgent but it is definitely important so start today.
2. Always set SMART goals
The goals you set need to be clear and they need to be written down. But they also need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-framed.
Your goals must state exactly what you need to achieve.
An example a Specific goal might be “We expect to gain 50 new customers by the end of June”.
Your progress needs to be measured and monitored so make sure you set goals that can be properly measured.
Your goals need to be clear about who is accountable for their delivery – ie who is in charge of making them happen.
Are your goals realistic and relevant to what your business does and to your market? There’s no point in setting an unattainable goal. If your turnover has never been more than £100,000 don’t set next year’s goal at £1 million.
When you set your goals always make sure you set specific deadline dates by when you plan to achieve these goals.
3. Share your goals with everyone involved
When establishing your goals for 2017 try to involve everyone who will have the responsibility of achieving those goals. Sharing the planning and the goals you set with your team will help everyone understand the direction your business is heading in and focus them on achievement. Your goals become your team’s goals which become the company’s goals…and then set your KPIs to measure them regularly!
4. Work on your goals every day
Setting and achieving goals is a process that requires regular ongoing attention – tricky when you’re trying to run a small business and all the aspects that entails. However, it’s no good setting goals for the start of a New Year but not looking at them again until mid-year. Plan and set your goals, then set milestones, weekly, and monthly actions you will take to achieve them.
5. Don’t forget to celebrate your successes
When you set goals you tend to focus on the end result and it’s easy to lose track of successes that happen in between. Set milestones and celebrate the achievement of each milestone. This also ensures you monitor and measure each success that helped you achieve the overall goal.
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