Establishing professional and personal business goals is a way to drive progress and development. This is a crucial step as new business owners can get mired in the day to day. Business owners do not have the extra revenue to waste on poor management and avoidable mistakes. The creation of reasonable business goals and objectives help to align all aspects of a business and stand as benchmarks of growth from one year to the next.
How Can Business Owners Begin?
Brainstorm and write down the short-term and long-term goals that can include anything from funding, income, business expansion and outreach to new customers. After that, write the ones that are priorities as S.M.A.R.T goals. They are specific and quantifiable with measurable results within a reasonable amount of time. This helps business owners know if and when each goal has been achieved.
Most organizations have to hire employees, except for solo practitioners and entrepreneurs just starting out. A clear game-plan of designated roles and responsibilities need to be written out. For current and incoming staff, businesses need:
- To identify the roles needed in the organization;
- To delegate the responsibilities fairly within an organization;
- To write out administrative procedures, such as equipment manuals and operating procedures;
- Initial training to onboard staff;
- Periodic training to add to employee development;
Organizations need to establish consistent internal processes that will enable growth and expansion. Many organization start out with few written procedures and if they are initially successful and experience growth, find that what worked for them when there were a handful of employees is not enough to handle a few hundred employees. Clearly written expectations and procedures will help onboard individuals faster and enable all to fully understand the scope of their role and responsibilities.
Businesses need to build brand awareness and attract the interest of prospects. What creative marketing strategies will be created over the short-term to attract desired attention and gain market share? Small businesses need to develop and implement:
- A minimum of two large marketing campaigns during the first year of operation. This can include an online social media campaign and a promotional campaign.
If the business owner is also the marketer, smaller goals can include:
- Identification of the channels best suited for the business and audience;
- Allocation of time to learn about each channel and the materials that get shared, commented on or promoted (simultaneously learning about target audience behaviors and interests or concerns); and
- Consideration of the percentage of paid to earn media that will make up a part of the marketing strategy.
There is much to do besides running the daily operations within a business. However, to be successful, business owners need to understand all of the marketing options currently available to them and identify the ones are best suited for their budget and product or service. All of these goals should align with promoting objectives in the business plan.
What are the plans for the future? A long-term goals can include:
- Opening a few offices or stores; and
- Growing revenue and profits.
Such long-term objectives may be set for 5 years or more in the future of the business when monetary goals are large. Keep goals realistic and comparable to the prices of services and products sold. What has been outlined above is not quite SMART enough. Businesses need to make goals quantifiable. An example would be to increase profit by 10% by 20xx. Take any of the overriding objectives and break them into smaller SMART goals to increase the organization’s ability to move forward.