Setting Your Business Goals May Sound Easy…It’s Not
Any entrepreneur, when they first start a business, will have long list of business goals that they want to accomplish. This includes profitability, naturally, but goes so far as to include fostering good employee and customer relations, and so on.
Goals are essential as they can help keep a business on track. If you are planning on expanding your business venture and are planning to open up new offices, you may need to get business loans, or follow other steps that will ensure you meet your goals.
Keep in mind that there is a large difference between realistic and achievable goals. If you set yourself up towards unrealistic short- and long-term goals, your company will be a victim to slow growth.
This article will list some examples of what unrealistic goals entails, and how small businesses can combat these very common issues.
Unrealistic and Short-Term Business Goals
While goals can keep a company on track, they must be well thought out and strategic. In particular, they must include the following considerations:
How quickly do you expect to see growth within your business? If you have told your employees that your products will fly off the shelves as soon as they hit retail, and you budgeted a lot of the company’s money on this, you may be incredibly disappointed with the outcome. Not to mention, you could have spent too many company funds unnecessarily.
If your goals are not realistic and timely, the chances are that you will not achieve them. All you will do is set yourself and everyone else up for failure, use too many resources, and lose an excessive amount of funds more than anything else. Even if you want to exceed your competitors, remember that slow and steady wins the race.
You don’t want to place unrealistic expectations on your employees, as this will only cause them to become overly stressed, and they will hardly work to the best of their potential, thus reducing the overall work quality. This has both short and long-term consequences on your business, as you will be continuously lowering the morale of your staff, thereby also causing higher turnover rates than ever before.
The starting point for setting in place realistic goals is communication, especially from those at the leadership level.
Do you offer guidance and direction to your employees? In order for goals to be met, workers must be valued and showed that they are integral members of the team. It’s essential that you pay them well, and if you have any outstanding debt, such as that from interest rates for business loans, make sure that it doesn’t affect the pay of the employees, as fair wages can do a lot to encourage productivity.
Communications should be prioritized not only internally, but externally as well. If you want to maintain strong relations with customers, and this goal is recommended for the sake of your profitability, you will need to engage with them and listen to their opinion often.
It’s only realistic that an entrepreneur wants to see their company growing in profitability. The question is, how do you plan on achieving this? Rather than stating you will see growth within the first 6 months of the business, it’s more natural to discuss with your business partners a realistic timeline.
If you have acquired loans from investors, which you very well may have, do not overpromise on what you can deliver, as this will only cause problems down the line. Even if you obtain acquisition loans in order to expand your company’s reach, ensure that you don’t do anything without first thinking about the long-term consequences of your decisions.
Keeping in mind the unrealistic expectations from your employees, consider what the alternative is. In order for your workers to be productive and work efficiently, they must be provided with enough support.
It has already been outlined that communication is essential, but what about the everyday assistance provided from their managers or leaders? Establishing a culture where people work together as a team will boost creativity and workflow, in general.
Tweak as necessary
In the event that you set a goal you later realize is unrealistic, tweak it accordingly. There is no point in pursuing a certain product or service if it has shown no results, as the chances are that it must be tweaked accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to change gears at any point in your company’s timeline, as you want to provide your customers with innovative work that they use, at the end of the day.
As a last point, don’t forget that you should account for both your long and short-term company goals. Even during the initial stages of the small business, consider writing down an idea of what you hope to achieve, and not merely in the following months, but many years down the line. Are you working towards global expansion? Are you going to enter new niche markets? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself.
There is a big difference between taking strategic risks and setting yourself up for failure due to unrealistic expectations. Starting a business may be a life-long dream for some, but you can’t expect that it will be successful overnight, or even in a few weeks or months.
It will take time to build up your company, grow its reputation, perfect your products and services and much more. If you tell yourself that you will triple your profits in the first quarter that you open up your start-up, you will likely become very disappointed once you realize that you aren’t able to achieve this.
At the very beginning, focus on finding the best possible employees, invest in equipment financing for your company needs, and only after some years have passed, should you consider expanding into the international market or getting new company acquisitions. Always start by focusing on your current endeavors, and slowly build your business up as you gain more experience and improve your profitability.