Setting trackable objectives and performance goals is essential for any business to be successful. In fact, according to Inc.com, 80 percent of 300 small businesses that participated the Fourth Annual Staples National Small Business Survey didn't track their business goals, and 77 percent of those 300 businesses had not reached the point of success they hoped for. Setting big goals for yourself or your business may seem intimidating, but taking the time to break them down into smaller, trackable goals will help you stay on track and motivated to take your business to the next level.
Evaluate the current state and past accomplishments of your company or organization. Discuss whether or not you’ve met your goals in different areas, where you’re having problems and what things you seem to be doing really well. Create a clear outline of your current state for your employees or your team to review as you begin setting goals for the future.
Work together to decide what your focus areas need to be in the next year or other time frame to either restore your business to its former success or advance it to the next level. Select about three different core focus areas around which you can form your objectives. The number of focus areas will depend on your situation and the size of your team or company. Keep in mind, when choosing focus areas, less is more. Having fewer focus areas allows you to concentrate more time and energy on achieving success in those areas.
Translate each focus area into an objective-type statement or sentence for the next year. For example, if one of your focus areas is to advance sales of a product among the teenage demographic, your objective statement might be “To advance sales of Product A among a demographic of high school students over the age of 16.”
Consider objective statements one at a time and set measurable goals for each one. Start with an overall goal, such as a yearly goal, and then break that goal down into monthly or weekly goals. This way, you’ll be able to see how well you’re keeping on track to reach your goals, and you’ll know whether you need to to re-evaluate them.
For example, you could set of goal of earning $1 million from selling Product A to your teenage demographic by the end of the year, but achieving that goal isn’t as simple as just dividing $1 million by 52 and selling that amount per week. Instead, you’ll need to set a deadline for developing a marketing plan, placing your product in the appropriate places, and then estimate about how much money you could expect to make in the following months based on your marketing strategies and the growth in popularity of your product.
Create an easy-to-understand time line or spreadsheet that outlines all your objectives and goals for the year. Make this document accessible to all your employees so they can track the company’s progress and determine areas where they can help to make the goals a reality.