Goals keep you moving forward in your business. They give you and your employees, if you have them, something clear to focus on and aim toward. However, poorly conceived goals can do more harm than good, sending you off on a kind of wild goose chase after something that is either ill-defined or just not advantageous to your business model. To avoid these mistakes, you need to have goals that are concrete and that arise from the values that underpin your business.
Have a Mission
Being able to articulate your company’s mission will give you an overarching framework in which to place your goals. If you have never really taken the time to think about the mission of your organization, this is a good time to do it. Take a look at other company mission statements, and spend some time brainstorming what you hope to accomplish in your business before writing your own.
Identify Your Needs
Periodically, you need to sit down with your employees and talk about what they need in order to keep working toward the aims of your organization. In the accounting department, this might be software that automates invoicing. Researching the best solution for the size and aims of your company will help you choose the right system. Within your fleet, you may need to improve your safety measures. A collision avoidance or driver assistance system can help decrease the likelihood of serious accidents. You can read more about the importance of collision avoidance systems to fleet safety and what your options are. Having a good grasp on your organization’s needs alongside potential solutions will help you make the right choice.
With the practical knowledge of what is needed, it’s time to really let your imagination run free. What are your wildest ambitions for your organization? Write them all down, even if they seem outlandish. This is not the time to rein in your dreams. Think in terms of the short, medium and long term. These might be things you want to accomplish within a year, within five years and within 10 or 20 years or even more.
Take a look at all the ideas that you have written down. Most likely, you will identify certain themes. It may be possible to combine some. Choose a few that you want to focus on, perhaps one each under the categories of short, medium, and long term. Make a note as well of others that you may want to come back to later.
This is where you will get concrete. In order to make them something that you can work toward, your goals need to have a time frame and need to state measurable outcomes. A simple example is that instead of saying you want to make more money next year, you should say you want to boost revenue by X amount by next June. Next, figure out what you need to do monthly, weekly or daily to achieve that goal. Make a plan that includes regular check-ins to make sure that you stay on track.