Every successful business works hard to achieve their goals. Goals help your business remain focused, motivated and ensure that you are on track. When it comes to setting goals, many business owners don’t know where to start. No matter what business you run or work you do, setting goals effectively will benefit your work life balance.
Benefits of Goal Setting
Give yourself direction and focus. Everyone works better when they have something concrete and measurable to work towards. Goal setting can be overwhelming, so start with smaller goals that work towards the bigger picture.
Keep yourself accountable. Sometimes, it’s all too easy to fall off the bandwagon unless you have a way of ensuring you continue to make progress. Make sure you have a system for tracking your goals.
A huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction can be gained from achieving your goals, no matter how big or small – take the time to celebrate each milestone. It reinforces the energy and commitment!
Set expectations for yourself and your team. This should include a clear set of expectations and targets that everyone can work towards. Don’t forget to delegate, each task should have a lead person.
Be clear on the objective. It can be easy to forget desired outcomes along the way. Make sure when evaluating your progress, you seek to determine how you are performing against the initial objective.
You might have some goals in mind that you want to achieve in the coming weeks, months, or years – but are you keeping track of your progress properly? Are you setting them with a particular outcome in mind? What about regularly reviewing them? These are all elements that go hand in hand when achieving your goals.
The SMART Goals Method
Its important that your goals are realistic and achievable, otherwise you or your team could be left feeling demotivated and frustrated. Using the SMART goals method can help you create realistic and achievable objectives.
Specific: Your goals should target a specific area of your business for improvement and provide a clear path to follow. For example, a specific goal could be to hire a new team member in the marketing department to increase sales by 10%, by a set date.
Measurable: Goals should be measurable in order to track progression. For example, instead of saying “I’d like to get more clients this year,” a measurable goal could be to secure 20% more clients by the end of 2021.
Attainable: When setting your goals, they need to be feasible and within reach/available resources, so that you and your team remain motivated.
Realistic: Set goals and related target measures that are realistic. This differs from attainability (which looks at capacity to achieve the goal), and considers the appropriateness of deadlines vs. resources.
Time-bound: Any goal should come with a time-frame in which you’d like it to be achieved. This helps to make a goal specific and measurable, and works to ensure its delivery.
Other Things to Consider
Here are a few more tips to help you on your goal setting journey:
Ensure that you’re committed. Before setting goals it’s important to take some time to reflect on your business and team. Where do you see your business and team moving forwards? Are you committed to your business in its current form? It’s important to work on that before you implementing any new goals. Can you commit to the hard work and dedication that’s required to achieve the goals you set?
Regularly evaluate your goals. No goals are complete without regular check-ins. Doing this helps to keep you on track and highlights any potential issues. By regularly reviewing your goals it also allows you to adjust targets and/or make changes to resources, getting a goal back on track.
Write them down. Documenting your goals is really important and formalises the commitment. These can then be used as a reference point for your team to revisit as needed.
Create an action plan. How are you going to achieve your goals? An action plan should be put in place to give you the definitive steps to get you there. Divide your bigger end goals into smaller tasks to make them easier to achieve, and tick each one off the list as you go.