Do you have goals for your business? Well, here’s a few reasons why you should...
Do you have defined goals for your business? If not, how do you know what tasks to prioritise, markets to target, sales to make, staff to hire, equipment to buy….you get the idea!
Whether you’re starting a new business, doing a strategy review, wanting to launch a new product/service or even breaking into a new market, it’s important to set some relevant and challenging goals.
But why should you go to the hassle of setting goals and metrics to track your progress?
Well, there’s no high-level, mind-blowing business insight reason which I’m going to impart to you as to why they’re important. Rather, I am going to share a few simple yet compelling reasons why I feel goals (and tracking them) are positive for your business:
You can use them to help you focus your efforts
They can support your decision making when you need to decide how to allocate your business resources (which might be limited)
They can help identify skills / capability gaps in your business
You can use them to identify target customers and / or strategic partners. But after investing time and effort in setting your goals, it’s important that you monitor your progress to achieving them, this is where you can use metrics.
Metrics do need to be tailored to your business goals, but as an example you could have metrics related to website traffic, social media impact, sale conversion rates, customer satisfaction, profit margin, average sale value and many more.
Whilst metrics can help you see if you’re on track to meet your goals, they can also be presented to potential investors and funders so that they can build confidence in your business.
When setting your goals, it is important that each one is clear, easy to understand and achievable. However, it’s also important that your goals are challenging and encourage your business to be innovative and proactive. It is also vitally important that your goals drive real benefit into your business in the form of, for example, increased efficiencies, an increased flexible and skilled workforce, new sales and increased profits!
There’s also no point setting goals that you know aren’t achievable, or goals which you have to explain time and time again to your team because they’re too complex, or perhaps the complete opposite and are too woolly.
To avoid this, it’s important that your goals are SMART.
There are a range of definitions for each of the letters in SMART, but I like these ones:
Specific – Keep it clear and concise so you know how to resource it
Measurable – If you can’t measure it, you won’t know you’ve achieved it
Achievable – There’s no benefit in setting an unrealistic goal that can’t be achieved
Relevant – The goal should bring a positive impact to your business
Time bound – Have a target date to focus your efforts
Don’t listen to the pessimists around you who are content with where they are. If you want to aim higher, have the confidence to push forward and set challenging goals that will drive and encourage you to think differently, be creative and take your business to the next level.
Dr Scott King is co-founder of Pinnacle Growth Group a business advisory firm based in Lisburn. Scott is experienced in advising public and private sector organisations of various scales and spanning numerous sectors.
If you would like to talk about how you can use goals to drive your business forward, email Scott at: [email protected]
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