Management Matters

How to Set Business Goals For 2015

Date Posted: 01/28/2015

The start of every New Year is an opportunity to sit down and brainstorm with your team on your business goals for the year. It’s also a great time to go over the results you achieved against your goals in the previous year and what new business goals you want to achieve this New Year.

A lot of people set personal and professional goals at the start of every year but very few succeed.  This is because we all have inclinations, character traits and habits that we have built over the years.  Most of our New Year’s resolutions and goals involve breaking these patterns, which is very difficult to do and requires a lot of self-discipline.  So you have to be deliberate and strategic about setting goals and staying on track.  You need to set the right goals within the right time frame.

Having a clear mind, the right attitude, positive outlook, and adapting Mr. Covey’s rule of beginning with the end in mind you can succeed. Here are strategies to help and lead you to where you want to get for 2015.

1.    Have a clear destination.  The first step in setting business goals is determining exactly what you want to accomplish.  Make sure your goal is worth the effort.  Make a list of things you want to achieve and your ultimate end goal.  It’s important to set clear goals; you should know exactly where you want to go and should not waiver from your target regardless of failures along the way.  Successful leaders know that if you don’t know where you want to get to you will end up in the wilderness.

2.    Make your goals specific.  Define your end goal and create a road map for exactly how you’re going to reach your goal.  Be specific with what you want to accomplish at each check point.  You’ll achieve a great deal more than you would with these guidelines.

3.    Create an action plan.  Once you have a clear picture of what you’re out to accomplish as well as what targets you will need to hit, the next step is to create an action plan.  Create a list and accompanying time line of specific action items or tasks to complete in order to hit the milestones.

4.    Set a deadline.  Goals without deadlines indicate that you are not fully committed.  Setting a deadline puts your goal into context.  An indefinite schedule can lead to delays and some may never even be achieved. Don’t let your goals float, set a reasonable date by which to achieve milestones.

5.    Make some visuals.  Once you get every detail organized, it will help to come up with a visual presentation of your business goals.  You might use a flowchart, a spreadsheet, or some other type of business tools to accomplish this. In this way, you can have a clearer and complete view of everything you want to achieve.

6.    Work on it and never give up.  Once business goals have been established, make a commitment to them; stay motivated to achieve your goals. Share them with your team and assign and schedule each one’s task.  Make sure everyone understands and follows the timeframe and do have follow-ups to make sure everyone in the team is working on their part. If there are unforeseen circumstances along the way, it’s fine to have some delays but do not get discouraged – revise your plan and continue working to meet targets and move forward.

7.    Give incentives.  Don’t forget to reward yourself, once you accomplish your goals or reach a milestone within your goal. You have invested an incredible amount of time, energy and efforts to reach your goals, so make sure you take a moment to celebrate your success.

8.    Review at year-end.  In a year, look at your resolutions and goals again and assess which you can check off your list and which you didn’t complete.  Pay attention to those you didn’t achieve.  What were the reasons?  Did your team handle all the necessary tasks?  Did your business shift focus?  Use this information to guide you in creating next year’s resolutions.

Goals provide direction, motivation and a clear way to measure your progress.  Without goals, you may struggle to find the path from where you are right now to where you want to be.

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