While there are many businesses that are out there that seem to function only to make it from quarterly report to quarterly report, those businesses that are the most successful are those that start out with a solid business plan and solid business goals before moving forward. Small business should always pay attention to their own goals, as this is what can turn a small business into a giant of the business world and take the owner of that business to unprecedented heights.
What is a Business Goal?
Goal setting for small business is something more than dreaming, but something less than a true business plan. Business goals are the end game for your business life, the set of circumstances that you wish to pursue in order to consider your business a success. Short-term business goals might be to gain a higher percentage of the local market share or to raise your overall profits by a certain amount. Long-term goals might include such lofty ideas as becoming the market leader in a certain area or becoming the major name in a certain service. Your business goals help to give you a greater purpose than simply making it through the next quarter.
Setting the Course
A business plan is like a roadmap for the future. If you have specific business goals, you know where you want to go. Like all maps, of course, a business plan may not account for the detours and roadblocks along the way but it does provide for a method of getting from the reality of the present to the promise of the future. Once you have a business plan in place, you can take the time to move forward in accomplishing your real business goals. This is not a one-time process, however, and setting goals does not mean you can blindly charge forward without ever looking back. There are many Goal Setting Exercises that can help with this process. Please get in touch if you would like help with this.
Evaluating Your Performance
As a small business owner, you are likely to have done a bit of performance measurement for your employees. You want to know how they are doing, how they are accomplishing their goals and what they are bringing to the business. You should undertake a similar process when considering your business goals. Performance Measurement Systems are incredibly important to anyone who wants to follow a strict business plan — you need to know the progress you are making towards your goals, and what you can do to become more efficient in the process of exceeding your own expectations. You should take time to undertake a full performance measurement of your business at least once a year to figure out what works, what doesn’t and especially to figure out whether or not your goals are still realistic for your business. Please get in touch if you will like some help with this and I will give you some Examples of Performance Measurement Standards.
Reconsidering Your Direction
As you make progress with the goals that you have set, you might be tempted to rest easy and let the business run its course. If you wish to be successful, though, you must realize that goal setting is not a one-time process. Instead, you should feel compelled to re-evaluate your business plan as time goes by. You never know exactly how your business is going to turn out when you start, and you may find that you have new strengths or weaknesses that must be considered when moving on with your business goals. If you can take the time to be honest with yourself and realize that goal setting is something that must be re-evaluated from time to time, you stand a much better chance of having a successful business.
Accomplishing the Impossible
If you are willing to adhere to your business plan when it makes sense and modify it as time goes by, you will find yourself in a unique position. Unlike others who are less flexible or less committed to an ideal, you will find yourself in a position in which you can accomplish the impossible. As such, you should not feel uncomfortable in setting goals that may seem improbable. After all, taking the time to set the bar high will allow you to come up with a long-term plan to reach that point. While not every business is going to top the Fortune 500 or lead to unimaginable wealth, shooting for the stars with your small business is a great way to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
Business goals should always be difficult to reach, but not so difficult that they are impossible. They must be Smart Business Goals and no matter what you choose to do with your business, you should make sure that you write and follow a great business plan that will help you to chase your dreams. While you may not always be successful and you may not always get exactly what you want, goal setting will help you to drive your business forward in such a way that success becomes the most likely option.
We have a number of specialised performance measurement systems to help with this and our fantastic Business Goal Setting software can walk you through this important task in a methodical and wonderful way.
Call me today on 0800 047 0731.