It is the beginning of a new year and it is time to set new goals for your business for 2010. Setting goals is an important part of continuously improving your business. It allows the business owner and their employees to be proactive rather than reactive in their dealings. The specific goals for 2010 should align with the long-term strategy of the business. Below are several keys for setting business goals.
1. Goals should be relevant. That is, they should be something that somehow ties into your strategy.
2. Goals need to be actionable and measurable. It is not specific enough, for example, to state a goal of improving customer service. You need to understand how to improve customer service and state your goal in those terms. For example, an acceptable goal for improving customer service is to reduce project turnaround time by 3 days. You will then need to track and measure past and future project turnaround time.
3. Goals should have a timeline assigned to them. If the timeline is a longer period of time, the goal should also have benchmarks. For example, if the goal is to increase sales by $40,000 by December of 2010, then you might set a quarterly benchmark of $10,000 to track your progress toward the goal.
4. Goals should be reasonable. Goals that are completely unattainable serve no purpose toward improving your business operations. They only lead to frustration.
Obviously goals are usually focused on generating greater profits so they are often developed in the areas of customer service, sales, improving operational efficiency, and improving employee competency.
Check back next week when we blog about various items related to goals and operations that are useful for the small business owner to measure and track.