Recently, I wrote about “squirrel syndrome,” the process of hopping from one idea to the next without completing anything or making meaningful progress toward the organization’s stated priorities. There’s no question that most organizations have more ideas and opportunities they would like to accomplish than time, money, and resources. That’s why goal setting is such a critical part of business planning.
Below are six tips for setting and achieving business goals.
- Institute a formal planning process. The first step in setting business goals is to determine what you want to accomplish. This is a core part of the strategic planning process. In our business, our planning process centers on the time-tested SWOT analysis used to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Quantify your goals. Once you’ve identified goals and opportunities, they must be quantified to make sure each goal is worth your effort. What is the potential return on investment? How will you measure the ROI?
- Create a road map. Set clear goals that you and your team members are able to act upon. Define each goal and create a road map that includes the steps required to reach your goal. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to determine where you are along the path to reaching each goal.
- Commit. Achieving any goal requires commitment and accountability. As a business leader, you may hold others in your employ to account, but who is holding you accountable? Consider establishing a board of outside advisors to hold you and your business accountable for the goals you establish. Often, they can also provide valuable advice along the way to accomplishing your goals, especially when you’re faced with unexpected challenges or circumstances.
- Set deadlines. If your goal does not have a set deadline, go back to the previous step because you’re not fully committed. Keep in mind that committing to a deadline for each goal is easier when the deadlines you pick are reasonable for you and your team members, but not so far away that they’re easily forgotten.
- Celebrate your success. Be sure to acknowledge and celebrate goals as you and team members accomplish them. For complex and longer-term goals, take the time to celebrate milestones reached along the way. This is not only motivational to everyone involved, it also helps to keep the end goal in focus.
Investment advice offered through Planned Financial Services, a Registered Investment Advisor.