If you’re building a business from the ground up, then you need to understand the importance of goals. Goals set the direction of the business and help you signpost the way to growth and success. Without them, it’s easy to waste your productivity on efforts that don’t offer much in return. Here, we’re going to look at a few approaches to setting goals that can help you find your direction.
Plan out the business
You need to first think about the overall trajectory of the business and what it is that you’re trying to achieve. One of the best ways to see which goals best suit your needs is to take the time to write out a business plan. In the business plan, you will get a better idea of what it takes to run your business and, therefore, what it will require to help it grow further and meet its potential, after which, the necessary goals can become a lot easier to identify.
Make them SMART
You want to make sure that your goals are not nebulous signposts, but rather that they are something you can feasibly see your progress towards. SMART goals are perfect for that. The acronym stands for Specific (meaning that your goals are not too generic to be able to track), Measurable (so that you can see your progress towards meeting them), Achievable (so that you can see that you can meet them and don’t distract yourself with unrealistic objectives), Relevant (meaning that they are necessary to the overall success of the business) and Time-Bound (so that you can determine how long you should spend trying to meet them.
Short-term or long-term?
All goals should be time-bound, but does that mean they have to be urgent? A lot of businesses do break larger goals into smaller objectives that can make it easier to track progress and see victories in the short term. However, the example of Google OKRs, and how they twisted this formula on the head, can show that different businesses might succeed better by tracking progress and goals in different scales. It depends on the nature of your business, so think about which goals really matter and what is the best way to see your progress in them.
Make it a collaborative process
If you’re not alone in meeting your goals, then you shouldn’t be alone in thinking about them. Weekly or monthly progress meetings can be a great way to talk openly about those goals, and any ideas or feedback you can collect from the key contributors to those goals. If you’re running the business alone and have no one helping you, then you still need to take the time now and then to address your goals and to think about how close you are to reaching them and what needs to be done to improve your progress.
Which goals, especially work for your business and how you prioritize them is on you. The tips above can make sure that you’re at least able to set them appropriately.