A guide to effectively setting business goals

04 February 2016

Guest post from Trent Brinsley of Alltel, a business communications specialist

No two businesses are alike. However, there is a common practice that is widely accepted by businesses all over the world—goal setting. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you out with the process.

Be specific

Create long term goals that reflect what your brand is about. From there, identify short term goals that fall under your overall vision for the company. Making your goals public helps to steer your business in the right direction.

Stay realistic

Being realistic doesn’t have to mean aiming low or settling for trivial achievements. Set reasonable goals that push your business to improve. In fact, going for unattainable goals can have an opposite effect and demotivate your staff.

The best way to avoid this is to involve your team in setting these goals. Aiming for realistic objectives not only show them that you understand their work, but also value their input in important business decisions. Over the course of time, check in with your team to see if you are all working in the same direction.

Define quantifiable goals

Make sure your goals are measurable by putting a value on your progress. For most SMEs, the standard measurement is always related to growth through profits. You may also look at through a productivity perspective. How much output do you expect from your team? What level of customer satisfaction to do you wish to maintain and how much retention do you aim to achieve?  

The vital part is identifying what measures and tools you can use to achieve those numbers. Maybe it’s time to switch to a hosted phone system that allows collaboration and productivity between remote sites.

Maintain consistency

The key to keeping motivated all year long is to stay action-oriented. Create a roadmap that will translate your business plan from paper to reality.

Break down specific tasks and delegate. For example, if your objective is lowering overhead costs, you could take steps towards switching to a virtual office solution.

Create deadlines

Long term goals should last between three to five years, while short ones can shift monthly or quarterly. Though short term aims could be amenable to changes, keep in mind that abrupt changes can confuse your staff and cause their work to lose value.

Goal setting is the first of many steps towards success in any industry. With regular evaluation and the right tools tailor-fit for your specific business needs, you can stay on track to accomplishing all of your goals.


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Last updated: 17 February 2016