Business Goals

Essential Tips for Setting Successful Business Goals

Posted by Stacey Papp

Successful companies set business goals. Period. For a lot of organizations, however, determining what to strive for can be a challenge in and of itself. Setting goals takes strong business knowledge and foresight into future decision making to understand the complex map toward success. Here are some essential tips to setting strong, yet attainable goals to propel your business forward:

1. Set Short-Term Goals for Long-Term Success
While setting a grandiose goal like, “Become the No. 1 leader in the industry” may be exhilarating, it certainly doesn’t paint a clear picture how that might actually become a reality. It’s a long-term goal, and an aggressive one at that. Setting short-term goals related to the big picture are vital to success, and they don’t distract from attaining the final result. Think of short-term goals as checkpoints along the way or items on a larger to-do list.

2. Be SMART About Goals
Speaking of attainable objectives, one of the most widely used methods to outlining short-term goals is the S.M.A.R.T. tactic. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. 
  • Specific: Organizations have a greater chance of completing a goal when employees know exactly who is involved, what will be accomplished, and why it’s happening. 
  • Measurable: Determine concrete criteria for success, and then track your progress on the continued effort to reach the goal. Before you take a step further, ask yourself how you plan to measure if you’re hitting the mark. 
  • Attainable: Once you determine the goal, seek out the ways you can make them a reality. Do you have the financial resources? The skills to get the job done? Can you actually do this, or not?
  • Realistic: Goals can be aggressive, but be real with yourself. Setting an unattainable goal is not realistic and will only deter the business from actually seeing it through completion.
  • Timely: Set a hard deadline. With no time frame in place, there is no sense of urgency to actually complete the job. 
3. Re-assess and Set New Goals
Goal-setting should not be a one-time event when formulating your business plan, but an ongoing determination of how to grow the company over time. It’s important to take a step back, look at progress and make changes. Is the economy or industry fluctuating and hindering your growth strategy? Were your financial projections too aggressive? Did you lose a top sales person? It’s okay to weigh these changes and reevaluate your goals from time to time.

Just be sure to set a goal for when you plan to do so. For more on goal setting, follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn

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