And write them down!
Without a goal or objective, you’re just running through the motions day to day, which works fine, but we’re looking at the big picture here.
To achieve, to grow, to expand, you need a goal. And this may be the goal, but there’s other steps that go into that process. This includes:
- How are you going to get there?
- What do you need to achieve first to get there?
- How are you going to achieve it?
- Who and what is going to help you achieve it?
When we speak about goals, and when we plan for goals, it’s best to look at it this way.
You need a short, medium and long term goal.
(Short term = weeks/months, medium = end of year, long term = 5-10 years)
It’s the little wins (or the short term goals) that keep you on track and keep your motivation going.
How to achieve it?
Make people aware of it. You can’t do it alone, so make sure your employees are working towards the same goal as you, if they don’t know about it, then it’s going to make it a lot harder.
Your goals should be aligned with you mission statement. Your mission statement is the overall purpose of the company, so henceforth your goals should be set in accordance with this.
Before you start goal setting here are some steps to undertake.
- SWOT Analysis (This will help you to identify your businesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses tend to be internal factors, whilst Opportunities and Threats are external factors.)
- Benchmarking – By researching similar business in your industry and area, it will give you an idea of what to expect, and a way in which to measure your performance
- Goal Setting:
- What worked well in the past year?
- What improvements would you like to make
- What could be made more effective
- Pick a theme
- Profit margins
- Work life balance
- Employee satisfaction
- Work place culture
- Create an action list
- These are the actions required for you to achieve your goal, in regards to both your long term, and short terms goals.
- Write it down
- Check items off a list. Make yourself and your employees accountable to the development and progress of your goal.
Don’t forget to break your goal down to more achievable steps, and celebrate the wins.
Let’s be SMART about it!
Specific: What EXACTLY is it that you want to achieve? It’s great to have a topic or a theme, but that then needs to be broken down into exactly what it is and what part of that are you going to achieve.
Eg. To become more organised is a theme, not a specific goal
A specific goal would be to have all of your meetings scheduled in your diary and calendar at least a week in advance.
Measurable: In order to see progress, we need to be able to measure it. This could be in amount of hours, weeks, costs, complaints, reviews etc. Otherwise one person’s definition of achieving it can be different to that of another’s.
Attainable: Now let’s get some perspective. Let’s make sure that we can actually achieve the goals we set. I mean let’s be real, if my goal was to be Iron Man, welllllllll, the probability of me being able to attain that goal probably isn’t going to be all that high.
Relevant: Again, why would I make my goal wanting to be Iron Man when I work in finance? Whilst it would be pretty damn cool, is it relevant to me and my business and improving it? Maybe not.
Time-Based: Have a date. Make yourself accountable. Stay on track to achieving your goal and achieving it by the set date. Are the steps to your goal being met by the specified time? If not either your efficiency or dates need to be re-assed. Understand why you’re not reaching these short terms goals in time and how to fix it.
To set an effective goal takes time. And it takes effort to monitor it, however monitoring it allows you to continuously asses the productivity of your business, and at the end of the day to reach your long term goal you need to be meeting and smashing out these short term ones.
Re-asses, re-evaluate, reveal in the reward.