7 Steps To Setting Great Business Goals

There’s an old saying by Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

So with the start of the new financial year, it’s a perfect time to set your business up for success as you plan your business goals.

To help you on your way, here’s seven easy steps that will have your first goal set before your first meeting tomorrow, or even by the end of today. Set aside 30 minutes without your phone, without disruption and just focus.

  1. Reflect – as we spoke about in our last blog post, it’s important to take a few minutes to reflect on where your business currently is and what you’ve achieved so far. Remembering how much you’ve already achieved will put you in a positive mindset to help you set goals for the coming year. A positive mindset has been shown to be 31% more effective than a negative or neutral mindset, which is known as The Happiness Advantage.
  2. SMART – make sure your goals are SMART:
    1. Specific – what exactly do you want to accomplish? Who, What, Where, Why, How.
    2. Measurable – how will you know when your goal has been met? This is a finish line that you set so that you know when you have crossed it.
    3. Achievable – you want to stretch to achieve your goal but setting the bar too high can mean you give up on it if is too far out of your reach given the time and resources that you have. Seemingly contradictory to this though, a high goal is often easier to reach than a low one because there is a lower motivation to reach a lower goal. Think about how it’s actually easier to lose 20kg than just 2kg.
    4. Relevant – How does the goal tie in to your objectives? If it’s not relevant it can quickly be sidelined.
    5. Time Based – Set a date by which you will achieve your goal. This is an important motivator, especially as the date draws nearer.
  3. Milestones – Break each of your goals into smaller milestones. This will help you keep on track for your target and make it easier to manage the tasks you need to complete to reach your goal. Each milestone should also follow the SMART principles. Include tasks like: “John will contact CheckVault by 10th July 2014 to set up our free account”; “Mona will send out 5 quotes to our clients using our CheckVault account by 31st July 2014”. It’s clear what needs to be done, by when, who is accountable for taking the action and when it’s been completed.
  4. Write it down – Goals that are not written down are just wishes. Writing your goals automatically focuses your full attention on them. Those who write down their goals are a whopping 33% more likely to achieve them than those who just formulated their goals in their head. Next keeping goals visible and reviewing them regularly helps retain that focus. It reminds you what you are working towards and why. When you are met with resistance go back and look at your goals – it will help you move your focus from the obstacles and back to your goal. Some people use picture boards and other visual aids help to clarify their vision as well.
  5. Commit – There’s no point in spending the time to reflect, identify, set and write down your goals if you aren’t really going to commit to them. You still need to do the work to reach it.
  6. Share – Sharing your goals with your team, boss, spouse or friend will not only help you commit to it, they can also help you to stay accountable to yourself. Being held accountable is a real motivator. When setting goals for your business, make sure you share it with your team then they can set their own goals to get you all working towards the same vision.
  7. Celebrate – Take the time to celebrate your successes. There will be times when your goal seems tough and out of your reach. Focus on each win, treat each milestone as a victory. Celebrating the little victories will help you stay motivated to stay on track so you can focus at the light at the end of the tunnel. And of course when you reach the end goal you’ll deserve an even bigger celebration.

So, what goals will you be setting for your company and yourself this financial year?

If one of your goals is to improve your cash flow, or make your business more financially secure, you know CheckVault can help by providing a free service to secure payments from your clients up front. But goals are only good if you put them into action, so give us a call on 1800 28 28 58 to get started and get your business secured.