s• Run internal and competitive bench marking.
These exercises will help you compare performance in various areas across your organization, and across your competitors’ or peers’ organizations. This information will be helpful during the business goal-setting process by showcasing where you are strong or weak.
• Complete a SWOT analysis.
SWOT is a high-level strategic planning model that will help you identify where your organization can improve and where it’s doing well. It’s an acronym for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.” This detailed SWOT analysis template provides the details of how to conduct the analysis. Doing the analysis first will help you think through your strategic challenges and opportunities before trying to set targets.
• Do a market analysis.
Where do you see your industry headed? What is trending for organizations in your space? A thorough market analysis will help you answer these questions.
• Review your past performance.
Without knowing where you’ve come from, it’s hard to decide where you should be heading. Past performance can help inform a number of your future business goals.
• Solicit input from employees.
Gaining insight from employees is a smart strategy, as it will give your leadership team insight from those on the “ground floor” of the organization. But if you do ask for input, be open to actually using it—otherwise, employees will be less likely to offer up their opinions in the future.
• Determine who will participate in the goal-setting exercise.
Determining who should be a part of this conversation is largely based on the size of your organization. Will you involve mid-level managers, or just senior leadership? What about your board of directors?
• Give all participants some pre-reading homework so they can come prepared.
You want everyone in the room to be on the same page and ready to go once the meeting begins.
• Specific : Each goal specifies your target exactly. For instance, increasing sales may be your goal, but it’s not specific enough. Increasing sales by 10 percent is much more specific.
• Measurable : One of the big problems with setting goals is knowing when you have met them. In other words, you must be able to evaluate your success. Increasing sales by 10 percent is measurable if you have the data on present sales.
• Achievable: A goal that is within your reach increases motivation and those brain chemicals that keep you and your team motivated. If you wanted to increase sales by 50 percent, your sales staff may see that goal as impossible to achieve and give up before they begin. The 10-percent mark, however, may be very possible for the sales team if they have a reasonable amount of time to achieve it.
• Realistic: A realistic goal is one that your team has the resources to realize. If the team has the skills it needs to increase sales, you have enough of the product to sell, you have plenty of customers in your sales area, and you have time to get the job done, the goal is realistic.
• Time: SMART goals are written with an end in mind. Increasing sales by 10 percent by the end of the next fiscal year provides a deadline. If you don’t have a deadline, the goal is too vague and the target is unclear. Time is a motivational factor in achieving goals. (I want to lose ten pounds is a goal. But I want to lose ten pounds by Christmas provides a deadline.)
• Examine who will be responsible for each of your goals.
Who will ensure everyone stays on track? Who will ensure that reporting on progress takes place each month or each quarter? Consider the roles and responsibilities required to assure continuous advancement.
• Identify the resources you’ll need to achieve these goals.
For example, if one of your goals is to develop and use a customer relationship management (CRM) system, do you have the funds appropriated for it? Budgetary limitations should also be considered during the goal-setting process.
Example of strategic goals increase share of market ,
Growth percentage of sales from new products
Balance the budget
Increase share of market
1. Write a Business Plan
You can’t successfully start a new business without setting goals, so if you’re just starting on your entrepreneurial journey, you probably have a number of business goals on your list, with writing a business plan certainly being one of them. Despite its reputation, business planning doesn’t have to be a long and painful process. These resources will help you get started:
• How to Write a Simple Business Plan
• Business Plan Outline for Small Business
2. Improve Your Bottom Line
It’s probably safe to say that most small business owners would like to increase their profit, making it a very common small business goal. Unfortunately, it can also be a challenging one. Improving your bottom line usually requires two approaches — raising rates (or selling more) and reducing expenses. If this is a relevant business goal for you,
3. Become More Productive
Many small business owners struggle with finding enough time to get everything done; it’s a common challenge for small business owners who wear multiple hats. You may feel like you’re constantly being pulled in different directions, or that business administrative tasks are eating up all of your time. If this sounds familiar, then a productivity goal may be the right one for you.
4. Use Technology to Do More
Technology can not only save us money, but it can save us time, too. And since it’s constantly changing, business goals for using technology in new ways are almost always relevant. Even if you’re successfully using technology in your small business now, there are new tools being developed every day that can help you do even more in your business. These articles will inspire you to think of new ways to use technology: