Having over 12 years of experience in developing strategic plan and business goals, working with various private and non-profit organizations.
am always surprised to observe how few-many organizations only seem willing to involve senior program staff when setting goals in their respective organizations.
However, during the business planning process, organizations need to develop smart goals for both their long term and short term goal planning.
If it is generally assumed and agreed that staff employees are the general backbone and success of any organization.
Why then would they not be involved in setting business goals or involved in the business planning process? It doesn’t make any sense.
It matters not whether you are a small work from home business striving to achieve your own personal career goals, or a corporate entity giant involved in a merger or joint venture involved in an advertiser co-op.
Basic Business Rules to Follow And Why You Need Business Goals..
Rule#1 Business Goals Require full participation and involvement of both Management as well as staff level employees in the goal making business planning process.
If regular staff employees are involved, it creates more of an ownership buy-in process, and “empowers” employees at all levels-in “wanting” to take full responsibility in meeting their goal planning objectives.
The employees are empowered and believe they are part of the process not part of the problem and feel that their input is valued. Setting Business Goals with clear obtainable objectives for a company or organization is the life blood.
How to succeed in your business goal setting requires staff involvement, otherwise you just set yourself up for many eventual failures down the road. Without established business goals-how will you ever develop writing a business plan for yourself or your company. By default you choose NOT to remain in business-end of story…
Rule# 2 Failure to Plan-Means you Plan to Fail-No further explanation needed!
You must develop a business plan and appropriate smart goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely business goals for your organization if you wish to remain competitive and in business for any length of time. Just as you would not take a cross-country trip without a road map to guide you along the way-why would you not take the time to plan and develop your own organization’s business goals road map as well?
Rule# 3 Your business goal or plan begins first with your organization’s overriding corporate mission statement.
In other words you must know your mission statement for your company BEFORE you can begin to develop appropriate business planning goals. Your mission statement tells the “What”, your planning goals tell the “How”.
Rule #4 Develop business goals which are “task oriented” Business goals need to be clear and specific.
Effective goals use action-oriented verbs such as implement, deliver, measure, modify, or supply (as in these examples). You should avoid poor activity indicators such as facilitate, and analyze which can mean nothing of “significance” or measurable” gets done.
Rule#5 Establish both short and long term goals in your business planning model for your organization.
Just as with your personal life, you have both short and long term personal goals, so there are short and long term goals for any organization. As an example: a short term goal for a new non-profit might be to increase new membership giving by 25% during the next 6 months, whereas a long term goal or objective for the same organization might be to open up an international office within the next 12-18 months.
The point is to develop definite time-lines, establish both short and long term goals which are measurable, realistic, and articulated in simple but straight-forward business communication.
Rule# 6 Establish and set specific goals
Nothing will derail an organization’s bottom line faster than unclear goals or objectives. You need to plan to WORK and work to PLAN! In one or two sentences you must state exactly what the goal is, and by reaching the goal “X” will occur as direct result. Your job is to figure out what the “X” is as result from meeting your objectives as part of your organizational marketing tips .
Seven Reasons Business Goals End in Dismal Failures
1) Unattainable Use the SMART Goal guideline-goals need to be achievable or attainable in all business goal planning. Setting goals is meaningless if there is no real way to measure the goals overall impact and effectiveness. Goals should be challenging but not at the expense of not being able to meet the goal you have set for your organization.
2) Poor Business Communication as you know is a “two” way process. “I know you heard what I said-but how do you know what I said was what I really meant”? Think about it… For goals to be effective, direct and clear lines of communication needs to be crystal clear. Therefore make sure all forms of business writing is clear and concise.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered that many inter-departments have no clue what the other department is doing which impacts everyone. Corporate goals need to be communicated, understood and implemented at all levels of the organization.
3) Poor Strategy -Goals are great once they are all agreed to by all and are on paper. But then the real work begins regarding developing a cohesive strategy in reaching the goal. How are you going to get there? Think of your goal as the ultimate destination and the strategy is the road map in getting you there.
4) Goals not aligning with corporate mission statement.-If you don’t have a corporate mission statement about what your organization is about, how can you properly establish and develop business goals? Or-if your mission statement is too vague how can you get to where you want to go? Your organization’s mission statement, tells the “what” of your organization-what it is about, and your Goal-tells “how” you will get there.
5) Poor Implementation -Remember PLAN the WORK, then WORK the Plan! It’s great having a great plan, but how will the work be carried out? Who’s accountable and responsible to whom in the organization? What systems or processes are in place to ensure all your business planning goals, are going to be carried through to completion? What is your overall strategic plan? You need to understand these questions…
6) Unrealistic – You need to have a definite timeline established whether it be a short term or long term goal. There needs to be a definitive ending date “X” months/year/s down the road. You also need to be organized and implement sound time management tips in keeping you focused in your day to day tasks.
If for example-one of your long term goals requires that you accomplish A, B & C first within a specified time-line and you do not reach that milestone-then your long term goal strategy for your organization is out the door which impacts your operating expenses. Make sure you establish realistic timelines for all your goal planning.
7) Not having up to date computer technology including both software and hardware; web hosting, and IT server. You can not expect to be in business for any length of time with yesterday’s hardware and technology. Like the old adage, “it takes money to make money” is so true.
Maybe you just need a business tune up to help your positive thinking , in focusing more clarity in helping you to refocus your business goals. One such company that I can recommend is www.businesstune-ups.com.
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Remember: ”The only Unfulfilled Goals in Your Life are the Ones you Never Attempt”