Goal-setting is a helpful process that we can all do, whether it’s personal or for your business. When you write down your goals, you are 33% more likely to successfully achieve them than those who just formulate them in their mind.
The biggest challenges around setting short, medium, and long-term goals can be creating them and following through. This article will show you the importance of setting short, medium, and long-term goals. We will cover the following topics:
- The importance of goals
- SMART goals
- Why you should set goals
- Goal setting techniques
The importance of goals for your business
Setting goals helps you focus and achieve growth for your company. With businesses, one of the most significant motivating factors is profitability. However, an increase in revenue generally doesn’t happen without marketing, sales and managing your accounts properly.
They are also vital when motivating employees and understanding clients. When you have a goal, you have something to aim towards, and you can strive to improve your business to find a way of reaching that goal.
Many people set New Year’s resolutions, but they often fall by the wayside a couple of weeks into the new year. The key steps to setting goals are the following:
- Write down your goals
- Set objectives and habits that will help you achieve these goals
- Set yourself a deadline to complete them
Without these, your goals for your business are just dreams. Eventually, you will most likely forget about them after a while.
One of the best ways of setting goals is to use the SMART method. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. The SMART framework will help you to create essential goals and help you to stick to them. However, it’s also important to remember that your plans may change depending on how well your business performed over the last few months.
If your goal was to increase revenue by 10% in Q1 and achieve it quickly, you might aim to increase your income by 15% in Q2. The same can be said if you don’t reach your goal. The most important thing is to keep revisiting your goals and adjusting them accordingly.
Short-term goals are essential for businesses because they often dictate what daily tasks to focus on. They are also the foundation of much bigger goals down the road. The timeline for short term goals is generally two to three months. However, it’s essential to be realistic about what you can achieve in just a few short months.
If you want to break it down into the SMART framework for your business goals, it will look something like this:
- Specific: Increase revenue by £1,000 per week
- Measurable: You will be able to measure your company’s cash flow
- Achievable: You have researched and analysed data that it is possible to increase your revenue by £1,000 per week
- Relevant: Increasing your income is crucial for your business
- Timely: You have set a deadline for your goal
To reach this goal for your business, you will need to put the processes or actions in place to help you achieve it. For example, will you advertise your business more? Will you make an effort to speak at events? Will you invest a portion of your revenue into paid advertising? Setting your goals is a great starting point; the next part is taking action and developing habits to achieve those goals.
You can learn more about improving your sales pipeline in our article: How to Improve Your Sales Pipeline.
While a short-term goal is achievable in a few months, a medium-term goal is meant to be achieved in between several months up to five years.
Medium-term business goals may often depend on the success of the short-term goals. For example, suppose you achieve the short term goal of increasing your revenue by £1,000 a week. In that case, your next goal could be setting a marketing budget, hiring another sales representative or moving to a different location.
Long-term goals should aim to be achieved in the next five to ten years. While it can be difficult for small businesses to predict the future, it’s essential to think of the future and plan for it as much as possible; however, if you’re a startup looking to create an exit strategy for your company after the next few years.
You can start by creating long term goals and then break them down into short or medium-term goals, and work out what you need to do daily to reach them.
Why set goals for your business?
Goals can be a compelling way of creating focus and drive to achieve growth for your company. With businesses, one of the most significant motivating factors is profitability. However, an increase in revenue generally doesn’t happen without marketing, sales and managing your business expenses and budgeting correctly.
They are also vital when motivating employees and understanding customers. When you have a goal, you have something to aim towards, and you can strive to improve your business to find a way of reaching that goal.
Techniques to start goal setting
One of the best ways to start goal setting is to start writing down all of your business goals and get any ideas out of your head onto paper. There are some great techniques to start brainstorming, including:
- Brain dump: this simply just writing down everything and anything that comes to mind and organising it later.
- Mindmapping: is similar to the brain dump technique but a bit more organised. Start with a goal and write down anything related to your goal and structure it with a bubble in the middle with several different branches coming off of it.
- List-making: This technique involves picking one goal and listing all of the steps or smaller goals that it would take to achieve your main goal.
Try out a few different techniques and find out which one is the best for you. Whichever method you use will give your business a significantly better chance of succeeding than if you didn’t write down your goals.
Save time to focus on your goals
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