For many companies, their primary focus is making sales or growing their customer base; however, not every business leader is specifically focused on setting the right goals in order to achieve these priorities. While it’s one thing to identify the sorts of goals you have, it’s another task entirely to formulate a clear plan that specifically spells out what success looks like to your business, how it will be measured, and what best practices you’re going to implement in order to achieve those goals. If you truly want to find lasting success in your industry, these sorts of goals could be the difference between staying in business or flaming out after a few years of notoriety.
It’s important to note that goals have a place in any business, as long as you have the right strategy or methodology. Whether you’re a credit union in Middleville, MI or a cancer treatment center in Sparta, NJ, outlining your goals is the first step to make. Different goal setting methodologies have different pros and cons and might be more or less compatible with your overall way of running your business. Just because one goal setting strategy is popular in the finance sector, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right choice for those working in social sciences, so be sure to weigh all of your possibilities before you decide to commit to a methodology to hold yourself accountable to. Read on for an overview of a few different goal ideas and strategies that may be a good fit for you and your company so that you can make 2021 the year that you truly make some progress towards achieving the things that matter to you as well as your business.
Start simple with “S.M.A.R.T” goals.
One of the simplest ways to start thinking about the goals you want your company to achieve is a methodology that utilizes the acronym “S.M.A.R.T.” Setting “S.M.A.R.T” goals is an excellent way to get started in the realm of goal setting because it helps you ensure that the goals you are making are both realistic as well as achievable. This ensures that you don’t miss the mark by biting off more than you can chew. Since experiencing early successes can be a big part of maintaining any new habit or strategy, that sort of impact of “S.M.A.R.T” goals cannot be understated.
So, how do you actually go about setting a “S.M.A.R.T” goal? First, you need to know what the acronym stands for, and from there it’s relatively self-explanatory. The letters in the acronym “S.M.A.R.T” stand for “specific,” “measurable,” “achievable,” “realistic,” and “timely.” You’ll want to start by specifically defining what you want to achieve as a business, and from there, figure out how you can measure that progress. Your goal should actually be something you can reasonably attain and not some pie in the sky sort of idea with no basis in reality. You also want to make sure that you’re realistic about the goal and the impact it will have on your business. From there, you should give yourself a timeframe in which to accomplish the goal, which should be fair to your employees without being too lax. If you follow these steps, you can begin to find success by using goals in your company to get real results.
Tech companies can benefit from the OKR methodology.
Perhaps no sector of industry has as much focus on meeting goals as the tech sector. Technology development is all about streamlining your processes and meeting deadlines in an appropriate amount of time, and so it’s likely that if your business develops software or a technology product you think a lot about meeting goals. One incredibly popular type of goal setting methodology in the world of software development and technology is the OKR methodology. OKR stands for objectives and key results and was pioneered by two of the founders of Google, which explains one of the reasons that they may have caught on so quickly for those looking to see business outcomes and define their strategic priorities.
Like “S.M.A.R.T” goals, the OKR methodology focuses on how you define your goal itself. What you want to achieve is your objective, and the key results are the steps and outcomes that stem from achieving that objective. For example, if you set an OKR to expand your customer base in 2021, that might look like a few different things, such as more followers on social media and more sales in different geographic regions. Both of those key results give you clear tasks to work on as a company, since you’ll logically need to ensure that your departments are aligned towards achieving those business outcomes. You can learn more about OKRs by taking part in an OKR coach certification program which can help you lead your team to success using OKRs.
If you sincerely take a hard look at your business, you may realize that even though you have goals, goal setting isn’t engrained in your business operations or company culture. Many times, companies focus on short-term goals only without thinking about how those short-term goals stack up to contribute to long-term success. While it’s important to be able to take a micro and macro view of how your company is doing, goal-setting is a great way to ensure that you aren’t letting any big picture items or important smaller details slip through the cracks. You don’t need to have a masters in sustainability in addition to your MBA to recognize that being sure to balance both short-term and long-term goals is ultimately the recipe for the foundation of a sustainable business.
As you can see from the different methodologies above, there are all sorts of ways to approach goal setting and your business’ long term success. The important thing is to make sure that you’re actively thinking about what your goals are and implementing a strategy that helps you actively pursue those goals and find the results you want. Keep the above methodologies in mind as you talk to your staff or fellow members of the leadership team about the goals you have for your business and you’ll be sure to find lasting success and a sustainable future.