As an entrepreneur, you need to plan to be successful in business, and part of that planning process is deciding on your business objectives and setting out actionable business goals. Here are five steps you should follow to set the right goals for your business and make them actionable and attainable.
1. Reflect on the BIG picture
Building a business is a progressive journey towards attaining a pre-conceived vision. With a vision in mind, what you do each year is to set goals that bring you closer to that vision. So, take some time to reflect on what the big picture is for your company so that you can set goals that align with this vision.
2. Evaluate where you are now
Evaluation helps you take an objective look at your accomplishments so far in pursuit of your vision, understand your current situation, and determine what needs to be done next. How has the business year been for your company? What have you been able to achieve? What are the things that need to be taken care of as soon as possible?
3. Set your goals
Having looked at where you are going and where you are, you should be able to write down the things you need to accomplish next. Maybe you need to introduce new products, or set up a new branch office, or grow your customer base; write these things down and then prioritise them. Which ones are the most important? Which ones are the most feasible? Which ones would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them.
4. Make them SMART goals
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the SMART goal model, which says your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. But do you know what a SMART goal looks like?
Examples of SMART Business Goals:
- Reduce supply costs by 10% by 2020
- Increase market share by 5% by 2020
- Increase revenues by 20% by 2020
- Increase customer satisfaction by 5 pts by 2020
5. Break them down into actionable steps
After setting your goals, you need to answer some critical questions: who, what, when and how. This will help you flesh out the details about the goals, break them down and set milestones with deadlines. WHO does WHAT? WHEN does it have to be done, and HOW?
Here is an example of a goal document, breaking down the various steps and milestones for each goal.