Business goals have meaning. You create them for a reason. But given enough time, you’ll have a page ranging from the fantastical to “nice-to-have” goals. So what makes a goal meaningful? How do you create a meaningful goal?
5 Steps to Creating Meaningful Business Goals
1. Think, “Where Do I Want My Business to Be?”
What’s your business look like today? Are you in startup mode? Are your current customer acquisition costs unsustainable?
The plan should be to get beyond surviving and into thriving — a better financial future. That’s where you begin to really turn a profit, increase cash flow, and run a healthy business.
What does that look like for your business? Set this vision in your mind as you create your business goals. When you build goals around this vision, each completed objective gets you a step closer to where you want to be.
2. Consider Timing
It’s great to dream of cornering the market and becoming the next big thing in your industry. But people often overestimate what they can do in a year, and underestimate what they can accomplish in 5-10 years. This can lead to a sense of failure and frustration in the short term and an inability to achieve what you could have with a longer horizon.
A meaningful goal pushes you. But it’s also realistic. If your mind and team believe the goal(s) to be unattainable within the timeframe you have established, you’ll have motivational issues. Similarly, if the business isn’t moving forward over a 5-year span, you’ll have business leadership and employee burnout and turnover.
Find that balance where you bite off what you can chew at any given time. That leads to the next way to make goals meaningful.
3. Break Goals Down into Objectives
Goals create an end-point, but they don’t describe how you get there. Plug any destination into your GPS, and it will give you a turn by turn. Your objectives describe the turns you need to take to get to a goal. A meaningful objective becomes a milestone that tells you you’re progressing in the right direction, just like coming upon the street where your GPS tells you to turn.
Let’s say you want to increase revenue by adding products and/or services to your business. You can’t launch them all at once. That would overwhelm business operations.
Instead, think in terms of — how many new products will you need to launch and how quickly to achieve this goal?
You need objectives that work toward this big goal. Create an objective to launch one new product/service per quarter for 18 months. As a result, you see your revenues incrementally climb toward your revenue goal.
At the same time, you can manage that growth, so no bottlenecks or customer satisfaction issues that you’d get if you tried to do too much too fast.
4. Break Objectives Down into Tasks
On the road to a larger number of goods and services, each one is an objective milestone, but there are a number of steps on the journey.
You may need to address tasks like:
- Product/service research
- Developing marketing and sales practices around the new offering
- Expanding infrastructure
- Hiring and streaming productivity
- Deploying new automation
- Investing in better customer management technologies
This can extend all the way to seemingly unrelated things like improving your business cash flow through strategies like better tax planning related to how you’ll test, launch, and advertise your new line.
Yes, you have tax savings strategies to consider here.
5. Track the Metrics that Show Progress Toward Objectives
Now, you’ve set the endpoint (goal), found good milestones for the journey, and plotted steps.
But before you begin to walk, it’s important to have a compass –something to periodically take out and see if you’re still headed right for your goals.
What will you measure to know you’ve accomplished what you set out to do? Trackable metrics leave no room for speculation or argument among stakeholders.
The truth is you can find thousands of things to track, so identify the key performance indicators. KPIs are metrics you measure that most clearly signify you’re on the right path.
Some metrics to track include:
- Attributing sales to particular products to see if they’re helping you improve revenue (the goal) or not
- Tracking your cash flow to see if it’s improving
- Managing expenses from raw materials, manufacturing, or outsourced service providers
Ready to Journey Toward Meaningful Business Goals?
You understand that goals are important both in your personal and business life. But those goals must be meaningful to make a difference. Identify where you want to be in 1, 5, 10 years. Be realistic and identify the steps you need to take to get there. Measure and adapt.
Tax planning is crucial. Make sure you track what you need to know to claim credits later — lowering your tax burden.
Getting accounting expert advice and service from Phillips Business Group to help achieve your goals is a smart business move. They get help improving cash flow and growing a healthy business, schedule a consultation today.