Goal setting
Small Business Marketing

A guide to effective goal setting for your business

Setting any type of goal is a great way to measure success and ensure that your business is operating in the way that you want it to be. Without goals, you will fail to see what you are achieving and will also be left with little insight into how you can improve in order to achieve long-term success. While many businesses do set goals, often they are unrealistic and fail to address key things, such as the market that the organisation operates in.

Read our step-by-step guide to ensure that your business sets goals that are attainable and aid your development.

Ensure your goals are specific 

Fuzzy and overly general goals are no good as they won’t do much to increase productivity and direction. You need to be clear about exactly what it is that you want to achieve so you can take steps to make it happen. For example, saying you want to increase profitability would be a general goal, whereas what you should be setting out to do is state the specific actions that will help you achieve this. Goals such as increasing sales in a certain department or landing two new accounts every month are better as they draw out exactly where you need to invest time.

Make sure you can measure success

A goal is futile if you have no way of seeing if you are working towards it, so be sure that all of your goals are measurable. In this case, it helps to work in numbers and percentages, for example, increasing profits by 2% each month. It is also good to set an end point. You don’t want your goals to be indefinite as this can be demotivating and can lead to complacent. Work in monthly slots and set reminders on your phone or computer so you know how much longer you have to achieve your goal.

Break it down

Yes it important to have an overall plan for the year but for me the key to achieving your goals is to work in 90 day cycles and then break it down to  monthly and then 2 week sprints. That way you progress and move things forward whilst at the same time tracking and making sure that you are ticking off the important tasks – this allows you to work on the business as well as in the business. You can get templates in our Resource vault for planning your 90 days.

The Eisenhower Matrix

Really see what you are spending time on by using the Eisenhower Matrix.  This will help you to prioritise tasks by urgency and importance, sorting out less urgent and important tasks which you should either delegate or not do at all. Track for a week how you are spending time and you will be surprised how you start to focus on the really important tasks.

Time planning

Track your progress and review and celebrate small wins

What’s the point in being successful if you don’t take time to celebrate? Every month make a point of seeing how close you are to reaching your goals and if you are moving in the right direction, celebrate by treating staff to a night out. This will boast morale and will keep things moving in the right direction.

Author Info

Caroline Sumners

Blogging about small business marketing, venues, events and social media!

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