Goal setting is an important aspect of both your personal and professional life. You might have personal athletic pursuits and goals of buying a house. When it comes to your professional life, you might be reaching for managerial roles or be seeking that yearly bonus. In order to reach your goals, they need to be smart and SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
If you’re a business owner and you’re looking to the future of your business, the best way to ensure that you get where you want is through goal setting.
How to set business goals
Business goals are a lot like personal goals, they need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Here’s how SMART goals can come into play when you sit down to write your business goals.
Your goal needs to be well defined. If you just write “get rid of excess inventory stock”, that is very broad. Rather, it could be “reduce inventory stock by 10% a month for one year.”
Goals need to be able to be quantified. You need to be able to look at how much inventory stock you were selling in March of last year to be able to compare it to March of this year. If you want to increase web traffic to your eCommerce site, you need to have measurable trackers, whether it’s hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. You can’t just say, drive more traffic to the website. Rather, “website traffic to increase by 100 visitors every week.”
Lofty goals are lofty for a reason. They are far-fetched and hard to attain. Although it’s good to dream big, it’s good to start with goals that are achievable within your set time frames, resources and finances. If you say, I want my business to open 9,500 new coffee outlets around the country in six months, and you only have opened 20 in the last two years, that is a slightly unachievable goal.
When carving out your goals, they should be relevant to your broader aims and mission of your business. You might have a goal of hiring 15 new people over the next three months because your business is growing and you need more people to complete the work. Rather, a more relevant goal would be hiring 15 people, with five of those people who can go on a managerial pathway. This way your new hires are more strategic and relevant. These people can grow with the role and soon manage others as the team and company grows.
Time bound goals are a fantastic way of keeping goals on track and accounted for. A realistic time constraint keeps goals on target and allows you to make a time-bound plan for hitting the larger milestones. Divide them into long-term and short-term categories. For example, the timeframe with long-term goals should be three to five years.
The importance and impact of setting business goals
When it comes to reporting on your business’ success, having goals can provide directions for the future of your business and help you see how you’re tracking.
If you put in the energy to set and maintain goals, they can steer your business to the next level. By having a clear vision and defined steps, it will serve as a tangible guide for businesses big and small. They give you direction and open up new opportunities for your employees and your business on the whole.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.