As 2009 comes to a close it is important to review, in detail, events that had an overall impact on your business. In looking back, did your decisions provide the results that you intended? Can you envision room for improvement? In order for your company to achieve long term objectives, setting annual business goals is paramount, especially with the challenges of our current economy. So, let’s get ready, set, and goal… 4 Quick Tips to Get Goaling in 2010!
As a business owner, you should always be looking for ways to improve the operations of your business so that it can run effectively and efficiently. What works best for you will be related to your objectives; what your product or service is as well as your personal operational style. However, there are a number of functions that every business owner needs to address as part of doing business. Here are some topics that you should address each year to make sure your business is running with minimal effort:
- Financial Management: The bookkeeping and accounting systems, recordkeeping, taxes, collecting money and insurance, budgeting and managing risk are all part of keeping your business financially solvent. While many people consider this the most painful part of running a business, it needs to be handled well if you are going to stay in business. Intuit Quickbooks for small businesses is user friendly and even has a FREE downloadable trial version.
- Legal Management: You do not need to have a lawyer in house, but you definitely need to make certain that all the operations of your business are legal. Some of the issues to consider are business licenses, determining the correct legal form of your business, alliance agreements, copyrights, trademarks, patents, contracts with suppliers, and employment law. Two great resources for ‘do it yourselfers’ are LegalZoom and Nolo, both help small business owners create reliable legal documents.
- Management of the Business as a Whole
Who is in charge of running your business? Selecting the best team to help keep the business functioning on a day-to-day basis will help you as you work at planning for its future. The manager, CEO, boss – whatever you want to call that function – sees that the business objectives are met. Planning, organizing, staffing (human resources), directing (leadership) and controlling are the traditional realms of management. According to Brian Tracy, author of ‘Hire and Keep the Best People: 21 Practical & Proven Techniques You Can Use Immediately,’ the critical constraint on the growth and success of any business is the ability to attract and keep excellent people.’ So, make sure you have processes in place to recruit the right people to be on your team!
- Marketing: Marketing involves getting the message out to customers about your product or service. Have you incorporated the four P’s: product, price, promotion and place (distribution) into your strategy? Each of these functional areas involves a lot of coordination and planning to arrive at the best advertising, public relations and sales package to best present your product or service to the customer.
Set Specific Goals
Most business owners set goals that are too vague, thus, causing goals not to be completed. This can be avoided by setting specific goals. For example, instead of setting a goal to increase your internet marketing presence, you might want to list several specific ways you plan to do so, such as:
- Audio files
- Blogs: WordPress, Blogspot, or TypePad
- Business Articles: Ezine Articles or Business Know How
- E-newsletters: Constant Contact or I Contact
- Special Reports: Camtasia Screen Capture Software
- Videos: Viddler
A common reason for failure in completing goals is having too many on your plate. Determine what your priorities are and then focus on them. By prioritizing your goals, you are focusing on those that are important to the overall success of your company.
Set SMART Goals
Once you identify what goals you want to implement for 2010, you will need to find a way to review and measure progress. Some goals will take time to achieve, so it is important to measure your progress regularly. Try implementing SMART Goals into your planning. SMART Goals is a simple tool used by businesses to formulate an actionable plan for results. SMART illustrates the 5 characteristics of an efficient objective:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – attainable
R – realistic
T – timely
Goal setting is crucial if you want to remain successful and competitive. The key to success in setting goals for your business is making sure they are attainable and measurable.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting and coaching firm. She is currently employed as a Project Director, business coach and consultant for the Women’s Business Center, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She also serves as a volunteer SCORE counselor, an organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. She is also a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA’s Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneur’s, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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