A business without goals is similar to a ship without a destination. In the ship’s case, rations will eventually run out, and the crew will probably perish. The same fate is likely to occur with your business if you do not have short-term and long-term goals you are actively trying to achieve.
Goal setting at your year-end business retreat
The Importance of Year-End Organizational Goal Setting Cannot be Overlooked
Having defined organizational goals will help ensure that your team maintains clarity on your organization’s vision. If you can get your entire team moving in the same direction towards the same organizational vision, you can become an unstoppable industry leader. It is effortless to believe that everyone is on the same page, but if you are not creating tangible smaller goals that will get you closer to achieving your big goals, then your team will quickly lose sight of the vision.
An excellent time to address these goals is during the 4th quarter, ideally at your company retreat. By setting up a business retreat, you can direct complete focus on the upcoming quarters and the next year as a whole. This will help you define the roles that your employees will take, examine your financial numbers, and take a good look at your overall business.
Big-Picture Business Goals
During 4th quarter planning, it's time to sit down and reevaluate the direction your business is heading. Is that goal still in alignment with your current situation? Is this goal still big enough to get you excited?
Aspects of your business or your marketplace can change. You may have been on the path for a specific goal that is now out of alignment with your business. However, your circumstances may also show that you are sailing straight towards your destination and quickly breezing along. Whatever the case, you need to break down this big picture goal into smaller goals to grow your business.
After re-examining your big picture goals at your business retreat, evaluate your previous accomplishments, and see how well your goals were met. Did you reach the financial numbers that your business was trying to attain? Have any clients highlighted specific team member’s efforts? Highlight the goals that have been accomplished and organize a 2020 year-end party to truly celebrate these accomplishments. Often, organizations do not celebrate their achievements; instead, we tend to gloss over them and move right on to the next goal.
This can be extremely detrimental to the progression of your organization. Not acknowledging or diminishing your successes can lead to low team morale and, eventually, lack of team buy-in. People like to feel that they are making an impact; studies have shown that for some people, this can be more important than an increase in salary or additional vacation days.
Breaking Down Goals into Short-Term Destinations
Short-term goals for your business can be accomplished daily, weekly, or quarterly. Breaking down your numbers to quickly identify these points is easier when you have a coach, accountability partner or CFO advisor. You can learn a great deal by investigating and breaking down your financials. Did you have an adequate amount of cash flow for each quarter? Are receivables staying current? Do you have the appropriate staff in place that has bought into your vision? Do these people get their jobs, want their jobs, and also have the capacity to execute their jobs?
One goal setting procedure that can be used to evaluate your current progress is the SMART system:
You can always modify your goals if you need to. However, it's best to stay the course and not abandon your goals unless it becomes necessary to do so. You can take your big picture goals and break them down into short-term, specific goals that are time-bound, relevant, and achievable. You will gain a better understanding of the steps that are needed to achieve those milestones.
An Ongoing Process
Goal setting is an ongoing process. Your sales will fluctuate. The economy will change, and so will markets. As a savvy business owner, you must take advantage of any changes. We know that focusing on your business is essential. If you need to change small goals during a mini-crisis, our Atlanta CFO Advisory CPAs can help you reevaluate your methods to eliminate problems and get your business back on track. When your business is doing well, your goals can help increase profits. They can also help you stay agile during those inevitable economic slumps.
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