Talking Business with Lisa Clarken: Setting goals a powerful tool for your business
DON’T let those new year resolutions for your business slip away. Take time to sit down and think about what you want to achieve for your business in 2019.
Why bother to set a goal? Goal-setting is a powerful tool in business. It helps you focus your mind on what you want to achieve for your business.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins
The SMART goal-setting framework is a good one to use.
Specific – be a specific as possible with your goal. The more detailed it is, the more likely you will achieve it. A wishy-washy statement like 'I would like to increase my sales in 2019' is not specific enough. I want to increase my sales by 20% in 2019 is specific.
Measurable – how will you measure the goal? You will need to be able to measure it. It could be actual sales figures. This can be tracked daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly to make sure that you are on target and if you are slipping, look at ways to increase your sales but don’t wait until December to do so.
Achievable – be sure it is attainable or reachable. The achievability of the goal should be stretched to make you feel challenged, but defined well enough that you can actually achieve it. Given my current resources can I increase my sales by 20%?
Realistic - state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources. Set yourself goals that are realistic, will give you a sense of achievement and increase the likelihood of you continuing goal setting in the future. If my sales were €100,000 in 2018, setting a goal of €1,000,000 may not be realistic. But setting them at €120,000 may be.
Time – specify when the results can be achieved. An open-ended goal is more than likely not going to be followed through. You can set short-term and long-term goals. Be sure to have an end date and then you have a target to aim for and can also measure against it.
At the end of 2019 what was my sales figure? Was it €125,000 or €90,000. When you focus your mind and are determined towards SMART goals you are more likely to achieve them than if you leave it to chance.
A SMART goal is 'I want to increase my sales by 20% in 2019 from €100,000 to €120,000'. Then break this goal down into steps on how you are going to achieve your goal, e.g. I will make three new client calls per day.
Make sure you can get your sales figures in a timely manner so that you can track your progress.
Please feel free to send me a business advice question to email@example.com and I will cover the topic here.
Lisa Clarken B.Comm, MBS FS, ACCA
Streamline Consulting – Business Efficiency Solutions
* Read Lisa Clarken's Talking Business column in our print edition every Tuesday.