The success of a business is the result of strategic planning, which involves a number of processes and includes the setting of yearly goals. Goals are essential and should be planned and utilized with care, especially if you want to take your business global and penetrate international markets.
Setting your annual goals is not a walk in the park. It should be a combination of goal reachability that will keep you challenged but not overwhelming that you will have to literally work yourself and your team to the bones to achieve them. While setting goals is vital to any type of company, you have to see to it that they are not too ambitious, which could limit the progress of your company and end up in failure than achievement.
Setting up yearly goals
Whether you are a startup, a mid-sized business operation or a global business, you could use some examples to guide you in picking the right business goals. You do not have to spend too much energy in developing annual business goals from scratch as you can find many examples.
What is essential is to ensure that your business goals will keep your organization reach desirable results. It is vital that once you start implementing the goals, everyone in the company is on the same page. You will successfully achieve your goals when you get everyone’s support, particularly in your company’s urgent and essential priorities. Properly done, setting your business goals is a good way to motivate your entire team, push engagement and induce results.
Before you can set up your business goals, you need to perform a SWOT analysis. It is a strategic planning method that helps in identifying where your business is performing well and where improvements are needed. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Here are some of the initial steps to create business goals.
1. Begin with broad goals and narrow the list later.
You will achieve better results in setting your yearly goals when you look at the larger picture first. Where do you want to take your business in the next three to five years, for example. This could be one of your long-term goals. Once you have it, you will have an easier task of breaking them into short-term goals for the year, the month, the week or each day. Each step you and your team take from then on is a move towards the achievement of your goals. For example, if you are operating in the international market and using social media for a wider audience reach, your goal could be to gain a specific number of followers for a particular month. To reach the target, the social media account manager should set aside time each week to plan a content calendar and come up with a schedule for content posting.
It is more effective to set the smaller target results within the umbrella of the bigger goals. Doing so gives you more chances to gain small successes that will keep your team invested in the goals and boost their morale. All of you would be more enthusiastic to fulfill the objectives for the next phase as a result.
2. Learn to categorize your goals
It is more a manageable and realistic strategy if you are able to separate your objectives. You can break that into different categories like company culture, business growth, building a stronger brand, financial success and more. Creating a more effective company culture would be the establishment of a remote workforce that will provide continuous support. What is vital is to set a specific target date to start the particular objective.
3. Include your team in the discussion
If you are a startup, you can include your entire team in the planning process. For other business sizes, you choose effective leaders and representatives to join the discussion and planning process of setting your business goals. Why do this? Your employees are the main players in reaching your objectives, which is why they should be part of the goal-setting process. They are at the forefront of the business, so their input is material to the establishment of your goals. If your business is a larger concern and has several departments, getting your employees involved in the planning will be vital in identifying where the goals may be overlapping and in some cases, interfering with your company’s other objectives.
Getting your staff involved improves inter-company relations as well. It allows your team members to feel committed and invested in the growth and progress of your company. They would be more enthusiastic to join all the activities to achieve your annual objectives.
4. Develop an accountability system
This step is more on the individual level, which is one reason why you need to make your team members a part of the process. Determine the palpable ways in which each individual member of a department or team can contribute, and set a reporting process to monitor progress. Holding milestone meetings year-round is essential to ensure that everyone is doing their share to meet the company’s goals.
Aside from providing encouragement and guidance for the team, it gives you the flexibility to rearrange priorities, if needed.
5. Cut back your schedule
In any business operation, you will realize that wasted time occurs. You could identify these when your goals are planned properly. When you have your daily, weekly, monthly and annual schedule mapped out, you will be able to see how much time is spent on activities that do not lead to achieving your goals. You can trim down these activities as much as you can. It is important to distinguish between those wasted times because many could be integral to your company’s operation. The head of the organization should be more focused on the overall direction of the company instead of its daily operation activities.
6. Allow your business goals to evolve
People and things change and it is the same thing with goals. Avoid having a narrow perspective on the annual goals of your company if you want to avoid failure. The thing about successfully achieving your business goals is to prevent yourself from thinking that you should achieve them as you set them. Flexibility is crucial. Within the year, you have to make room for reconsideration, strategy changes and adding or removing parts of your goals. What you are after is efficiency. The sooner you identify what doesn’t work, the faster you can make changes. It’s why you need constant monitoring, accountability system and milestone meetings. A business leader should stop static thinking because it can lower the innovation, progress and morale of the company.
While failure can teach you valuable lessons, why go through the process when you can quickly avoid it by being flexible?
Why set business goals?
Goals are important to any business and having well-defined and clear goals is essential in:
- Helping business growth
- Achieving business objectives
- Improving collaboration and teamwork
- Understanding your business directions
The opportunity to review and plan your business goals is usually before the end of a fiscal or calendar year so that you can have fresh directions when the new year starts. You will have more time to evaluate your business strategies’ effectiveness from the past year and set new objectives and goals for the coming year.
Setting business goals is a complex process, but it is necessary to ensure business growth. Your yearly business goals should be SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
How do you set this up?
Let us break down SMART and give each phase a definition.
- Specific. This means that you have to be very clear about what you want to attain for the year. Example: Getting 3 new clients a month.
- Measurable. It means ensuring that you can measure the goals, with tangible proof of achievement. Example: monitoring how you achieve your specific goal.
- Achievable. It boils down to identifying the resources, money and time to achieve your goals. Example: Meeting and gaining 3 clients because your schedule has open spaces for meeting new clients.
- Relevant. The activity you do is related to achieving your yearly goals. Example: Improving product awareness, hiring more employees or improving the bottom line.
- Timely. Making a realistic deadline to meet a particular goal. Example: Improving business performance means gaining 5 new clients within 3 months.
Keeping a monitoring system that works for your organization will keep you on track in achieving the business goals that you have set. Ensure that you have broken the strategies into smaller chunks to make it easier and faster to realize each step of the process. Set a start and end date, establish detailed actions to be taken, identify each person responsible for each task, set aside the supplies, budget and staffing you need and see to it the everyone in the team understands what results you want.
When your company hits a goal, make sure to reward your team. Realizing a business objective is challenging so each time you achieve a goal, make sure you acknowledge the team’s cooperation and performance.
We are here to keep your business goals on track
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