How to set highly effective business goals that keep you motivated to take action and reach them successfully …

Your company’s goals will only be effective when you have a clear, measurable vision of where you want to go and how to get there.

Why Bother Setting and Tracking Your Business Goals?

80 percent of small businesses don’t track their business goals.  90 percent of small businesses fail – coincidence, I don’t think so.  Setting effective business goals and tracking your progress quarterly is paramount to your success.  So is creating an action plan to get there.

What are the key elements that make up effective business goals?

We all should be aware of the acronym SMART.  It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable or Action-Oriented, Relevant, and Time Based.

Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve?  Who will do what, where, when, and why?
Measurable – Avoid words like “try” or “hope to”.  Numbers, percentage increase or decrease, time, dollars, widgets, volume are good examples of measurable units.  If it is not measureable, how will you know you achieved your goal?  How will you track your progress?
Achievable – Create a stretch goal.  You’re slightly uncomfortable with it, you may not even know exactly how to achieve it … yet, but you believe deep inside that it can be accomplished.  When you set and write down and share a goal like this, your subconscious mind starts working towards how you can do it!
Relevant – the goal will help you, your team, your business.  It is a top priority to work towards.  It will make people’s lives better
Thrilling – Make it fun and exciting, motivate yourself and your team.  Be excited when you get there!

Short term goals can be quarterly or annual business achievements.  Long-term goals generally are in the 3-5 year time frame.  Since Measureable can include a time-based deadline, I like to have the “T” stand for Thrilling!

What will help you achieve your goals?

So you know the key elements to set a business goal.  What will make it so important and Thrilling that you will actually follow your action plan with accountability and passion and not only track, but achieve your goals?  Here are some questions that will help you keep the big picture in mind …

Why was your business founded or started in the first place (review your Mission)?  If you don’t yet have a mission, it is important to write one.  Check back with our blog at soon for the blog on How to write a meaningful and lasting Mission Statement for your Business.  What do you want your business to achieve?  How can your business help you reach your life goals?

What’s your BIG WHY?  How will your company solve people’s problems, help society or change the world?  What’s important to you personally?  Your children, financial security, society, charity, travel, fun, an important cause?

Here are some business goal setting categories and example measures:

  • Customers – customer service (ratings), customer retention (% over time)
  • Profit – net vs. gross annual income, % increase in net profit
  • Marketing – # of leads generated, marketing budget return on investment (ROI)
  • Sales – % close ratio, # of sales, $ sales per month
  • Social – % gross revenue given to charity
  • Employees – satisfaction ratings, retention
  • Quality of life – maximum # of work hours per week

How to create a plan to reach your business goals?

You now know how to set highly effective business goals and you have them written, shared and in place.  How do you create your action plan?  Start with your end goal and work backwards.  What are all the tasks and actions that need to be completed in order for you to reach your goals?  What is the best order to do them in?  What are the critical path items?  Critical path items are actions that have to be complete before the next action can be started.  For example, you may have to buy web hosting before your website can be built.  By answering these questions, you can create an action plan complete with the person responsible, start date, deadline for each task, periodicity for repetitive tasks, etc…

An example of working backwards from the big goal could be:  goal – increase profits by 10% over the next year.  This means we need 120 more leads with our 20 percent close ratio = 10 more leads per month = 2 new clients.  What is working well in our marketing plan that we can do more of?  What are new marketing methods we can try?  How can we improve our close ratio?  These questions will help you refine your action plan and you will indeed reach your goal!

Other Key Points:

Involve your employees in the goal setting process.  This will help keep them motivated and create buy-in when it’s time for change or action.

Set up rewards for those who help reach the goals – ask them what they want for a reward.  What would be exciting for them?

Break down big goals into smaller bite-sized steps or milestones – celebrate these to keep the energy going!

What have you found to help you set highly effective business goals?

Want Help?

If you want help setting highly effective business goals for your business, call Coach Jim Kaspari at (707) 246-3646 to get started today.

10710 Donner Pass Road, Suite 100 Truckee CA 96161

Here’s a video from February 2015 with Coach Jim as a guest speaker for a business networking group (Tahoe Business Exchange) in Incline Village, NV talking about how to set highly effective business goals and key tips for reaching them.  Enjoy!

Coach Jim
Coach Jim

Master business entrepreneurial coach since 2005. 400+ clients served in 9 countries. Dedicated to helping you reach your PEAK business potential and live the life of your dreams. Optimal performance with more time to relax. Serving local business owners in Sacramento, Folsom, Auburn and Roseville areas.

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