With the New Year upon us now, it is time for a change. With a fresh start to the fiscal year, we want to see our businesses flourish and grow. We want success but first, you need something to strive for. Something that will measure your progress and at the same time keep you and your business motivated. Setting goals help you do just that. Here are six tips on how to set goals and achieve them for your business.
1. Write down your goals
Writing down goals is a very important part of setting a goal. Having a visual representation of the goal helps remind you and your company what to strive for. It also can help keep motivation from dipping. If you write down the goal on a whiteboard in your office or room, you face that goal every day. It reminds you to step it up during times of low motivation, or when you’re in the dreaded “dip”. Writing down your goals puts a stake in the ground that says, “I want to be here.” It keeps you focused and reminds you what you’re working towards.
2. Balance SMART goals & Subjective goals
A SMART goal is a goal that is “Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely”. For example, your goal might be to generate $450,000 in revenue by the end of Q2. This is something you can achieve realistically, and you know whether or not you achieved it by the end of Q2 because it’s measurable. You’re more likely to work towards a goal if you know it can be met.
Subjective goals are a lot more general. An example may be to have more fun at work or to try and find some semblance of work-life balance. You might want to consider both types of goals since subjective goals are not tied to numbers or actual performance, but rather effort. It helps keep morale high when things aren’t going your way.
3. Set realistic goals
This is an important element of the SMART goal method. It’s so important, we’re breaking it out as it’s own. When setting goals for your business, make sure they are realistic and actually have a possibility of being accomplished. Goals help measure success and give you something to strive for. If you are setting goals beyond your business’s reach, it might make employees become less motivated and feel unsuccessful. Start off with simpler goals for your business, then once you reach your simpler goals, raise the ceiling. For example, if you want your business to reach a certain amount of sales, jot down a realistic number that’s not too far from your current sales but is still a number that brings a little bit of a challenge. Once that goal is met, push a little more. Overly aggressive goals are great in theory but can leave employees frustrated if the goal is too far away. Keep them just out of reach and you’ll find more success!
4. Having accountability
Make sure you’re sharing your business goals with the company. Knowing what you’re trying to achieve can give people a common language and something to strive for together. Explain why you think it is important and how it will benefit the company. This is when people will start to hold themselves and one another accountable. When everyone knows there is a goal to reach, you can see who stands out and takes charge trying to reach that goal.
5. Have a review period
Set aside a certain time whether it is bi-monthly or monthly to evaluate your companies progress towards a given goal. Use this time to adjust and tweak somethings if you don’t see your company reaching some benchmarks. Also, use this time to reflect on reaching smaller or short-term goals. Remember that if you do fail to reach a goal, that goal is not going anywhere. You still can retry and reach it. It is only failure if you give up and never try that goal again. Trust us, it will feel that much better when that goal is accomplished.
You only live once so when a goal is reached, it is totally fine to celebrate. Take everyone to lunch, or throw a party. Whatever it may be, you need to stop and celebrate your successes and everyone who worked towards reaching your goal. This celebration marks the end of a goal and helps you refresh so you can take on the next ones!