In business, it’s essential to be an ideas person, someone who looks at the big picture, assesses how a product is performing and comes up with solutions to improve that performance. However, it benefits no one if ideas are suggested, but there’s no follow-through or clear strategy for turning ideas into practice.
If the ideas are too big, they could be too daunting, which means achieving them may seem like an impossible task. If the ideas are too small and can be implemented in a day, they may not offer any real benefit and are therefore a waste of time.
Turning ideas into goals that genuinely benefit the business starts with not only understanding where the business is at and where it wants to go, but also where you are at and where you want to go. Ultimately the success of the business is your success too, so the two have to work in tandem to get the desired results.
In order to make real progress, consider taking a more strategic approach to business growth by setting measurable (and realistic) goals, planning for obstacles, preparing for change and, ultimately, having a better and more clearly defined purpose for your business and your team.
Most people think that writing a goal down is the first step to achieving it. While writing things down is fundamental, unless there is a strategy in place to keep track of accomplishments, the goal can easily get lost in the melee of day-to-day activities.
It’s best to monitor goals incrementally. Ask yourself, what do I need to do this month to realize this goal? Then ask yourself what can be done this week and what can I do today to bring the company closer to this goal?
Keep this in mind when forming your own goals, and remember that they don’t all have to be business related. It’s perfectly OK to include your personal goals here too. In fact, you should!
A balanced mix of personal and professional goals will help you get a clear picture of what you want to accomplish across the board, and the time it will take to get there.
Some things that you can’t factor into your goal setting are changes such as a competitor launching a new product or the introduction of new legislation that affects your industry practice. However, when it comes to setting goals, it’s essential to recognize that changes beyond your control will affect the outcome of your plans.
This is why it’s important to be forward-looking, to understand the rumblings in your marketplace and always anticipate change. You can use focus groups to ascertain your customers’ future expectations, since your customers hold the key to how the market will operate in the future.
When planning for the future, give yourself a head start by anticipating problems or obstacles. When planning for problems, sometimes it even pays to include some unlikely extremes – at least you’ll be thinking about what to do in the face of disaster.
Whatever your goals, ensure that you’re acting with a clear sense of purpose. By defining the purpose of your business, you set the standard for the direction you should be moving in. With a clear purpose, you can compare every proposal and every project to your overarching goal and ask yourself, ‘Does this align with the purpose of this company?’
This sense of purpose is ideally shared throughout your workforce, no matter how large or small it might be. Set clear, measurable goals that align with your purpose and stick to them — and you too can have your most phenomenal week, month or year in business yet.
Turning ideas into goals that genuinely benefit the business.
Because we’re passionate about ecological issues, maybe we can build that into the product and educate our customers too?
What do I need to do this month to realize this goal?
This month I have to contact the web designers and get the web design finalized.
It’s best to monitor goals incrementally.
OK, let’s look over what we achieved this week and see if we’re still on track to achieve this month’s targets.
To understand the rumblings in your marketplace and always anticipate change.
We’ve noticed that demand for the product has fallen off. Do we have any concrete reasons for this?
Whatever your goals, ensure that you’re acting with a clear sense of purpose
Increasing awareness of ecological issues is so important for us, does this product represent that ethos?
Top 5 Tips for Goal Setting
- Write goals down
- Break down goals into smaller achievements
- Have a clear sense of purpose
- Understand your personal goals
- Reward your efforts regularly
- What is the big picture shaping the direction of your company?
- Why are personal goals as important as professional goals?
- What do you do when a goal appears to be too daunting?
- Why is it beneficial to break goals down into smaller tasks?
- Why is it important to have a clear sense of purpose if you want to achieve your goals?