Goal Setting

Have you ever wondered why some people in business seem to be achieving so much at a rapid pace while you feel stagnant & are only just making ends meet?

Ok, so it could be because the company has good financial backing or was already well established etc OR it could be that the company in question & more specifically the people in the company have set goals that they are working towards.

A goal is not something created by David Beckham’s right foot or left foot for that matter although the theory is the same. If there is something you want to achieve in your business or personal life, setting goals & making a plan to work towards those goals is what will set you apart from the rest & help you measure progress towards personal & business growth & achievement.

If you are an employer, it is also a good idea to encourage your staff to set goals & help them monitor their progress. In corporate business this is usually done through targets or K.P.I.’s (Key Performance Indicators) which are usually reviewed on a monthly basis & in staff appraisals which usually occur once every three months.

How Do I Set Goals?

The best method for setting goals is to write them down, committing things to paper helps the brain absorb the information. I usually set my personal & business goals on New Years Day every year. Some people do this with New Years Resolutions which are all too often forgotten or broken early on in the year however, if you are serious about moving your business forward & you break down the activity required into bite size chunks then anything is achievable.

Lets look at some  examples of goals you might set:

Goal: To expand into new premises by the third quarter of the year.
Goal: To introduce three new products by July 2013.
Goal: To gain 3 new annual contracts by the end of 2013.
Goal: To increase annual turnover by 10% during 2013.

Get Specific.

Goal: To gain an additional 48 customers this year.

Now lets break that number down. 48 customers divided by 12 months = 4 new customers per month OR one new customer a week. Now that feels more achievable already!

So how are we going to achieve that? What methods can be put in place to attract more customers?
It may be as simple as advertising every month in a local magazine, paper or on the local radio, depending on your budget. Or you may start an e-mail or Facebook campaign targeting new customers or maybe a new product range or service. In relation to your type of business you will have to determine the best way to monitor your progress. You will also need to ask people how they found out about you, whatever is working... do more of that!

Don’t be disheartened if some weeks you don’t get any new customers, if you continue to monitor your progress & continue to actively do things to make the goal achievable, over a period of time the numbers will balance out.

The most important thing about setting Goals is to make them S.M.A.R.T.

Specific - 48 New customers
Measurable- Use a chart or just an exercise book to chart your progress on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Achievable/Aggressive - Make sure the goal is credible or believable. Making a million Euros in three months is highly unlikely unless you win the lottery but at the same time make the goal push you, one new customer this year is not exactly a challenge!
Relative - Make your goal relative to your type of business & what you want to achieve. There is no point in targeting new Russian customers for example if you are selling Union Jacks!
Timed: Set a time frame to achieve your goal, in this example we have given a 12 month period.

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