It takes a lot of sacrifice and effort for a business to become successful. Successful businesses don’t just appear overnight. Laying out goals and prioritizing them is the first step in taking your business to the next level. By setting business goals and fulfilling them, you can ensure your business will be going in the right direction.
Business goals are short-term items set for the business to achieve. Every business has goals unique to its operation and no two companies will share similar goals. Measuring business processes makes it easier to assess the performance of your business against the goals set.
In the fast-changing world of business, your business goals and priorities must remain up to date always. With the year still young and 2020 being the start of the new decade, this is the most opportune moment to come up with a strategic plan for your business.
Coming up with an implementable plan is a major challenge for many businesses. Re-evaluating your goals should be part of your annual exercise to ensure that all business processes are in tune with each other. Here are important things that you need to consider when reviewing your business goals this year.
1. Assess the Last Quarter of 2019
Assessing the last quarter of 2019 will be a great indication of your business’ trajectory. If you had a successful quarter four (Q4) in the previous year, your business is likely to carry that success with it onto the new year. However, it’s not going to be that easy and you need to evaluate the successes and failures of the last 3 months of 2019.
Knowing where you went wrong in Q4 allows you to assess the goals you had set at that time. You can look into the reasons for any failure or success and draw up better goals for your business. Capturing all the lessons learned here will help you draw up a better plan for Q1 in 2020.
2. Review the Previous Year
Once you've assessed the last 3 months of the year, you can then review the previous year in its entirety. Consulting your team will give you an idea of what went well or wrong with the business in the previous year. You should use anything that led to the success of your business to fuel its growth in the new year.
However, the failures of the previous year are an indication of areas of weakness in the business that need improvement. The nature of the weakness will greatly determine the type of action you’ll take. More often than not, it’ll be necessary to allocate or reallocate resources to the problem area.
Typical areas of your business that may need improvement include management, marketing, operations, and finance, among others. Nonetheless, you should follow each review with detailed plans to leverage the business strengths and rectify the weaknesses.
3. Prioritize Training
Investing in human resource development will be vital for your business in 2020. The professional growth of your team will play a big part in helping you achieve your business goals. For you to achieve this, you’ll need to prioritize training.
The high-quality training needs to equip all staff, including the management with the latest trends in business. These may include any developments in business technology, changes in regulations, and new marketing ways. Besides, you can fuel the business growth by training your team on these new ideas of business automation in 2020.
Knowing the unique needs of your business will allow you to come up with the right budget for training. Group training is very cost-effective due to the volume discounts offered. In-house experts can come in handy to train your team whenever a training need arises.
4. Set SMART Business Goals
For your business to grow in 2020, you need to set concrete goals. This is achievable by setting SMART business goals. These types of goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. This means that you should have detailed goals clearly showing items to achieve and the deadline for achieving them. Moreover, you’ll need to clearly show how you’ll prove the achievement of each goal.
For instance, your business deals in the supply of animal feed to farms. You can set a SMART goal to increase the sale of pig feed by 3-percent by the end of the second quarter. You can set to achieve this goal through online advertisements for 3 months. Increased sales here will be an indication of achieving business goals.
5. Use High-Quality Data
The business world today greatly depends on data. The accuracy of the data used in your business will, therefore, determine its success or failure. Using data that’s properly structured and accurate will aid in effective business analysis, while bad data can cause irreparable damage to your business.
Your 2020 should set off by prioritizing the quality of data used. Encourage your team to adopt the best practices in managing the data, which may include using business process documentation to collect accurate data on your business performance. You can also regularly check the quality of the data used and clean your databases.
You can engage a data consultant to help you with this task. They can also help in the assessment of your business’ current database to ensure it’s consistent and contains accurate information. Furthermore, you should prioritize the most important data for the business and use key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the quality of the data.
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6. Assess Your Business Leverage
Evaluating the financial leverage of your business can help with its growth. Making this assessment will allow you to determine whether the business is capable of accessing loans and repaying them in time.
Businesses that fail to take on debt often miss the opportunity to make new investments, hire new staff and clear old debts. Assessing your leverage will help you in the implementation of your 2020 strategic plans. You won’t have to worry about financing if your business can do that internally.
7. Make Your Vision Clear
Your business vision should form the basis on which you create your business goals for 2020. This is a vital part of coming up with your strategic plan. Come up with goals geared towards achieving the vision of the business in the long run.
This will give your business direction and make it easier for you to plan your work. Always ensure that your vision is up to date and clear to make your goals more achievable. Your vision should be easy to understand and be a source of inspiration for your team. Besides, it should spell out why the business exists.
8. Set Your 2020 Business Goals
Once you’ve dusted off your business goal, you need to write down what you intend to achieve in the long run. Set between one or three goals that you think are the most important for your business to achieve in 2020. Completing these goals should indicate that you’re closer to achieving the business vision.
Your annual goal could either be increasing the business revenue, getting a larger market share or improving the customer experience for your brand. It’s a proven fact that quantifiable goals are easy to track and more achievable.
9. Create Achievable Milestones
Setting your 2020 business goals aligned with the business vision will allow you to be more strategic and tactical as you aim to achieve them. You can easily break down the goal you’ve set for 2020 into small achievable milestones. For instance, setting quarterly goals makes it easier for you to achieve the overall business goal in the current year.
Your 2020 goal could be increasing your business revenue. For you to achieve this, you need to ensure that you get more sales throughout the year. You could set quarterly goals to increase the sales of your products by a certain percentage every 3 months.
10. Attach a Value to Each Goal
Value refers to the gains you get from achieving a particular task. This is the return your business will get from achieving a specific goal. Each business goal should have a value attached to it. This will allow you to prioritize the most important goal for your business in 2020.
11. Quantify the Goals
Once you've attached a value to each goal, it's easier for you to quantify the goals. This will allow you to be objective when prioritizing the business goals, particularly if you have several goals that your business has to achieve in the short-term. Quantifying your goals through the values attached will allow you to prioritize the most important goal. This makes it easier for your business to work on achieving that goal first.
12. Create the Accountability Agreement
After setting SMART business goals with a value attached, you should agree on the accountability with your team. This will place the implementation of the goal on a specific team or person and make it easier to achieve them through set milestones. Besides, you should ensure that everyone in your organization is aware of the business goal for 2020 so that all can work towards achieving it.
Setting and prioritizing your business goals in 2020 can look like an overwhelming thing to do. However, this is the most ideal time to prepare yourself and the team for the whole year. Through a detailed review of the previous year’s successes and failures, you can come up with SMART goals backed by high-quality data.
A well-trained team will also help you in prioritizing your data as you come up with a 2020 goal geared towards achieving the business vision. Set your business on the path to success today by following this ultimate guide.
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