It’s that time in the new year when we set resolutions for ourselves. In business, we set goals to track our successes (or lack thereof). This allows a business to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Just because your business is profitable, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
Side Note: Almost no one is doing 5-year strategic plans anymore. Business moves too fast today. Prepare a 12-18 month plan with a 36-month max.
When setting goals, never start with tactics (the fun stuff). Instead, use these 3 concepts for setting the proper goals.
- Obtainable: Set your goals high, but not so high you cannot obtain them. Set an additional “stretch” goal to push yourself but in a realistic way. Factors within and outside your business will affect you throughout the year. Don’t just set goals against your primary competition, but all discretionary spending options.
- Measureable: According to Pritch, measurement is the most important part. If you can’t quantify it via math, it’s not measurable. You have to start somewhere (X) and end the year somewhere else (+/-X). Goals need to be connected to audience and market factors such as share percentage, scope, etc.
- Specific: You can’t measure something if you don’t set a specific goal. “More Sales” is not specific, but “increase sales by X% or $X” is. The other aspect of being specific is setting a timeline and budget. What do you want to accomplish, when and how much will you spend? Only do those things that have positive ROI. You need to be profitable to survive.
Once you have taken these three steps, the strategy and tactics will be obvious. Now, divide up your set budget based on impact, priority, etc. then execute!
Bonus question: On a personal note, what’s your New Years Resolution?