Setting goals can be essential to effectively guiding a business and achieving growth. One survey revealed that a majority of small business owners surveyed do not set and track business goals and also report they have no achieved their visions for their businesses. It is important to set and distinguish short-term versus long-term goals. Long-term goals should be based on a three to five year plan.
The long-term goals for the company should relate to the mission of the company and the purpose for its formation. Visionary-type goals tend to fall into four general categories, including service, social, profit and growth. Service goals relate to improving customer satisfaction and retention. Social goals concern a focus on the community and giving back to the community. Profit goals concern increasing profits by a specified percentage. Growth goals concern how the company will expand which may be through mergers, acquisitions and new employees.
After long-term goals have been established, it is important to develop objectives to help achieve long-term goals. Objectives must be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time specific. When developing objectives to achieve goals for a business it is important that the objectives are not abstract so they can be clearly understood. Along the same lines, measurable objectives should have a figure assigned to them and action-oriented objectives should have defined actions associated with them. Objectives and goals should be challenging yet realistic so that they can be achieved and deadlines should be set to keep the pursuit of business goals on track.
It is also important to tie objectives and short-term goals to the larger business goals for the company. There are many considerations, strategic, legal and otherwise, related to the growth phases of a company which is why it is important to understand each as the business grows through a numbers of goals and successes.
Source: Inc.com, "How to Set Business Goals," Peter Vanden Bos, accessed on March 29, 2015