One of the reasons businesses make new-year goals is because they provide a crystal-clear target that enables employers to set quarterly or half-yearly milestones for their workforce. As a business coach, I believe having clear and well-defined goals can help the company gain control over the trajectory of progression and boost the chances of meeting your business objectives. Every new year provides the business owner with a new chapter of opportunities, as each resolution establishes a commitment to seize the opportunity to grow. A company with business goals typically represents its larger purpose and provides an end-goal for employees to achieve. Business goals are usually not specific but outline broad outcomes that the company aspires to achieve. The following steps will help the business owner set achievable business goals for 2023.
Every actionable goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART). The ability to be ‘specific’ about what you want, say or do directly influences your ultimate success, and being specific unlocks crucial attributes that are key to business performance. These key attributes include uniqueness, focus and clarity. I would advise every business owner to spend productive time organising and working out every detail of what they want to achieve in the new year. For instance, if your business wants to increase sales, it needs to identify its revenue models and the targetted increase in percentages, as you break them into vital milestones and set measurable and achievable results.
Most business owners are too optimistic and do not plan for setbacks. Plans can forestall mis-steps or circumstances beyond our control. For instance, most business owners have no control over the economic downturn and high cost of living they are currently experiencing. I would advise business owners to list all the things that went wrong in the previous year (2022), along with possible pitfalls which could cause a problem in the future. It is necessary to identify a feasible plan of action and prepare your team for any event that might come up.
Promote deadlines and accountability
Most new-year resolutions fail due to a lack of motivation to keep pursuing on the part of business owners, who mostly struggle to hold themselves accountable by setting deadlines. One of the strategies I have adopted for my business is segmenting my yearly goal into individual milestones, and setting their deadlines to make it easier for me to remain engaged and keep track of my business progress. I have also created a ‘sense of urgency’ strategy that urges me to complete the various individual steps that will lead me to accomplish my ultimate goals.
I believe consistency is vital in executing your business strategy goals successfully. It is also important to regularly evaluate and update your business plans and goals to adapt to the changing needs of your business. Due to the changes in our plans and circumstances, business owners can therefore consider adopting either monthly, quarterly or semi-annual evaluations. The periodic check-ups help me stay on track with my strategy and identify any goal that is not serving my business.
Bad days shouldn’t discourage you
Business owners must anticipate bad days as they celebrate their business achievements. I sometimes fail to meet and complete some of the things on my checklist, ruining a great day and traversing the next couple of days. One must not let such frustrations lead you to give up on your goals and vision. I have come to appreciate that one bad week or lost milestone does not mean all hopes to achieve the objective/s are lost. Business owners should get back on their feet and remain focused.
The writer is a Lecturer at the University of Professional Studies, Accra