Firstly, I am not going to use any business jargon. All of us understand the need to achieve goals, to make plans, to take action and so forth.

General guidelines for setting business goals

Remember to make all your goals smart – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound. Business goals are no different from any other goal in this respect.

Specific areas to focus on when setting business goals

Firstly, no business will survive without profit, so make sure you set this as your first goal. You need to set financial goals related to net profit, gross profit and sales. Secondly, set goals that show how you will achieve your sales. You need to set goals that indicate how many customers you need, as well as what products/services need to be available. Lastly, set some activity goals in the areas of marketing, sales, customer service, leadership & management, and organisation.

What setting business goals will and will not do for you

Goals are there to help you focus on what is important. Goals help you make day to day decisions. You can ask yourself “How does this help me achieve my goals?” for every decision you make, or any action you consider taking. Goals will not outline how you will achieve them. This requires making plans that will get you there, and taking action to achieve those plans.

Make sure you set goals, but keep them small in number. You need to be able to remember them without having to look at your written plans. If you cannot remember your goals you will not be able to make good decisions. A good decision is simply one that moves you towards achieving your goals and bad one take you away from them or makes you go nowhere.

Goals setting may be a simple exercise conceptually, but it quite difficult when you make the goals and keep them SMART.

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