Let me begin by asking us you this question. How long have you been in business? How has business been, generally? Where are you now in your business? What goals (long, medium and short-term) do you have for your business? What are the goals for your business this year? How far are you in achieving them? You can ask yourself more.

Please don’t take it that I’m being too smart. All these questions are to encourage you up to think and be sure you know where you are, where you are going and how to move from where you are, to where you are going. If you are not sure of your answers to the questions above, this post is for you. I am sure you have read my post titled “Nine Benefits of Having Business Goals” and realized just how important setting goals are, for your business success. Now, let’s see how to get it right in setting goals for your business with the following points below:


 Have A Clear Business Vision

Why did you start that business? What are you dreaming of making out of it? Maybe you started with a small grocery shop but your vision is to transform it into a big shopping mall in 10 years; or maybe you started with one road-transport vehicle but look forward to owning a bus agency in 8 years; or maybe you started with a small day-care center but looking forward to growing it into a full fletched secondary school in 5 years. Where you want to take the business to, is your vision or overall goal.

It is important to get clear, your vision because it is from it that all your goals stem. Furthermore, think of what it will require for you to get to that place you intend to get to. Be able to roughly estimate the number of years, amount of money, number of people or number of machines that it will require, achieving that vision.  While your vision must be clear, at this point, you can only have rough estimates of what it will require. So think widely and deeply.

Breakdown The Process

If you have established a clear vision for your business, the next thing to do is to breakdown the process into shorter periods with each period, having medium-term goals. For example, if you hope to move from a 1 transport vehicle to a whole bus agency in 9 years, you will have to break the 9 years into say 3 periods of 3 years each and set goals for each 3-years period.
Your goals for each 3-years period should cover all aspects of the business.

For example,

-    Number of buses to own
-    Number of towns to cover
-    Number of drivers to have
-    Amount of Capital to generate
-    Etc.

Remember that these aspects can only be easy to determine if you have overall estimates of how much of each of these, you will need to achieve your overall vision.

Further Break Down The Process

When you are able to determine where you want to be at the end of each short period on the business, the next thing to do is to further break down your expectations into shorter periods of say 1 year and down to 1 month.

For example, if you want to own 3 buses at the end of each 3 years-period, it means you should be targeting owning a bus at the end of each year. The amount of money set aside to buy a bus at the end of each year, should be broken down into 12 months so that you can have a clear picture of how much you need to save for that purpose, at the end of each month. This should be same for all the different aspects listed above.

You have surely heard of SMART goals. But I think you need to have more than SMART goals. You need SMARTA goals, regardless of whether they are short, medium or long-term. SMARTA goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based and Action-bound.

If your goals are Specific, it means they are clear enough and anyone can tell what you want to achieve and can say when you have achieved them. They must not be vague like: ‘I hope to have many vehicles on the road, covering a few towns, by the end of the year’.

If your goals are Measurable, it means they are such that you can always determine how much has been achieved and how much is left, at every point in time.

If your goals are Attainable, it means they are things that can be achieved, given the amount of resources you have at your disposal. Think of the budget you have, the number of workers you can hire with your budget, the space you have, the time you have, and so on.

If your goals are Relevant, it means they are actually crucial in the achievement of your overall vision. If not, you will be wasting resources in achieving them if you ever do.

If your goals are Time-bound, it means every one of them has a set time when they are planned to be achieved. However, in setting times, be realistic and allow room for the unforeseen.

If your goals are Action-bound, it means they are formulated such that you can see the action steps that will lead to the achievement of each one.

Have Indicators For Each

Indicators are necessary when you set goals. They are the things you will need to see, to be sure that your goals have been achieved. In some cases, the achieved goal is visible enough and serves as the indicator but in other cases, the outcome of the achieved goal, is the indicator.

For example, if one of your goals for this year has to do with making sure that all your customers are satisfied with the services you offer, one indicator could be no complaint notes in the complaint box. Another will be maximum increase in customer base. Another example is that if one of your goals is to double your daily sales, an indicator will simply be having a sales amount that is double what you use to have.

Design The Action Plan

The goals-setting process should end with designing an action plan. An action plan is simply the road map towards the achievement of each goal. It should carry the goals which must be SMARTA, the non-human resources that will be required to achieve each, they persons that will be responsible in making sure each is achieved, the daily actions and activities that will build up to the achievement, how you will know that it has been achieved and how it will affect the achievement of a higher goal and/or the business vision.

Your action plan must be such that anyone can pick up and know where the business is, where it is going, how it will get there and when it will get there. It should be easy to understand and follow.

If you have understood how to set your business goals, the next thing to do is to find out how to achieve your business goals. Getting it right in setting your business goals will make achieving them, easy.  Here are 8 practical steps to follow in achieving your business goals.

I have taken time to write this article down just to encourage everyone, why don’t you leave your comments below, your view is very important.

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