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What are the best ways to come up with company goals?
A smart CEO understands the inherent value of goal setting in steering a growing business in the right direction. Unfortunately, figuring out exactly what the right direction is—and the roadmap to get there—isn’t as much of a no-brainer. But having a clear, well-defined goals can:
- Help your business grow
- Achieve your objectives
- Improve teamwork and collaboration
- Help everyone understand the direction your business is heading in.
So what are the best ways to come up with company goals?
1. Carve out the time to set them
It’s so easy to put internal marketing to the wayside when you’re schedules and email inboxes are jam-packed with clients needs, requests, and deadline. It’s the classic story of the shoemaker’s kids, right? All of a sudden you realize you’re a website company that’s been in business for 5 years, but yet your website doesn’t reflect anywhere close to the type of caliber you promise and produce for your clients.
Pick a date, a time, and have your entire team block off their calendar. We recommend a quarterly team meeting to make sure you’re reaching benchmarks and nothing you worked hard to create is falling short.
2. Know what areas of your business need to be improved
Although you may already have an idea of the key areas, it’s important to regularly step back and review your business.
Here are some helpful tools and strategies you can use to help you assess your business:
- SWOT analysis – identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Benchmarking – research similar businesses in your industry or location and compare industry averages on income, and expenses. This can help you assess how your business is performing.
- Market research – do your homework and research the market and industry of your business to identify customer needs, trends and changes in the market or technology.
3. Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals
SMART goals can help you evaluate the goals you wish to set. Think about whether they are realistic. You should write down your goals in your business plan to help keep you on track to achieve them. Here is the breakdown of SMART:
- Specific – be clear about what you want to achieve
- Measurable – make sure the goal can be measured, and you can recognize if you’ve achieved your goal
- Achievable – check that your goal is something you have the time, money and resources to meet
- Relevant – ensure your goal is relevant to the direction you want your business to head in, for example, increasing profit, employing more staff, increasing brand awareness
- Timely – set a realistic deadline for completing the goal.
Want to see an example of SMART goals in action?
Okay, here’s a situation: I want to boost our blog’s traffic by increasing our weekly publishing frequency from 5 to 8 times a week. Our two bloggers will increase their workload from writing 2 posts a week to 3 posts a week, and our editor will increase her workload from writing 1 post a week to 2 posts a week.
- Measurable: An 8% increase is our goal.
- Attainable: Our blog traffic increased by 5% last month when we increased our weekly publishing frequency from 3 to 5 times a week.
- Relevant: By increasing blog traffic, we’ll boost brand awareness and generate more leads, giving sales more opportunities to close.
- Time-Bound: End of this month
- SMART Goal: At the end of this month, our blog will see an 8% lift in traffic by increasing our weekly publishing frequency from 5 posts per week to 8 posts per week.
We also recommend you target specific items to track. This will allow you to gain a “big picture” and quantitative view of your progress as a whole, and it can help your staff members track their individual progress. For example, if you set a vague goal like, “Sell as much as you can,” this will mean different things to different people. One team member might be pleased to sell nine widgets, while another will work overtime to sell 30. Setting common goals across your company provides your entire team with tangible numbers to aim for.
Set goals that lead to success
Ultimately, your goals are only as effective as the systems, resources, and people driving progress. With a plan that encompasses the aspects of goal-setting discussed above, you can better implement initiatives that will lead to business success.
See marketing tips for a growing business and tips to designing your website as additional resources as you continue developing the success and growth of your business. Charley Grey is happy to help with your business growth needs, as well as getting your website to work the hardest it can for you without you having to have your hands in it.