Are you thinking about how to set business goals?
Goal setting is incredibly important. Without goal setting, and effective goal setting you aren’t going to get far in life or business. At least not far in the direction you really want to go.
So, what are the secrets of setting good goals, and ensuring your company is on the right track to achieve them?
1) Get Really Clear About What Your Purpose Is
Setting goals and crossing them off the list is only beneficial if they are really achieving what you set out for. What is the preeminent why of your company? Why does it exist? Why did you decide to go into business in the first place? What is its purpose? Those are key questions when wondering about how to set business goals.
Being really clear about this ‘north star’ is really vital to everything else. If your compass is just a few degrees off course, you’ll end up far, far away from where you meant to go, and in a very different place.
Take as much time as necessary to get complete clarity on this. It will dictate everything else that follows, and whether you can stick with it and are happy with the goals you have achieved, or not.
Your vision is even a by-product of this. It’s what the world looks like when your mission is complete and you’ve fulfilled your purpose.
If you want to build a billion dollar business you will most likely need financing and the vision is something that investors will need to get aligned with . In addition, keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
2) Know Your Priorities
You may have lots of things in your brain that you would like to do and which your company and product may be capable of doing. Be careful. To get anywhere, and to stay on course you must be very keenly focused.
Having one goal is going to be much more effective. You can always come up with more after you achieve that one.
If you really must have multiple goals on your list, be sure you prioritize them in order, numbered by importance.
This is also where your company values and culture come into play. You can have fewer goals to focus on, and still achieve these other things by being clear about your values. Your values dictate how this main goal is achieved, and what you will and won’t do on the way. They are a decision making guide.
Keep in mind, that your priorities are no longer just about you or the product when you decide to start a business. You’ll have company goals, and responsibilities to the company and its stakeholders.
Goals will become what’s good for the company, not just what is good, interesting or important to you as an individual. Even if you are the founder. This is a critical part of addressing how to set business goals.
3) Consult Your Teams
Consult your workers, department heads and executives. Consult startup advisors, investors and vendors. What goals do they think are important and achievable? What might you be overlooking in this process?
4) Get Buy In
Not everyone may agree on priorities. You still need them to buy into the values, mission, goals and priorities or the infighting is going to sabotage you. Just like author Jim Collins states, you only have seats on the bus for those who want to go where your bus is heading and on the route you are taking.
When you scale and become a bigger company you will have corporate governance and a board of directors. It becomes more difficult at convincing all the parties so you really need that level of clearance to get everyone enrolled in that direction that you want to pursue.
5) Make Your Goals Visible
Make your goals big, visible and ever present for all. Most business disasters, internal conflicts and customer issues are a result of a disconnect in expectations and alignment. Be sure everyone sees these goals all the time. They should be top of mind at the beginning and the end of every day. That alignment is a critical part of how to set business goals.
6) Choose Your KPIs
What business metrics will help track progress on these goals, pull you in the right direction, and indicate you are heading in the right direction? Scrap all of the rest which are really just a distraction. Be clear about the nice to haves which aren’t priorities, versus what your teams need to be executing on. What needles do they need to be moving which signal success and they are doing the right things?
7) Know & Set Benchmarks
Know benchmarks for key metrics in your space. What is average? What is excellent? Decide how you plan to differentiate and compete on these things. Be sure your team members know what the numbers look like when they are doing well, versus dying against competitors. What numbers mean they are adding value and are doing a good job, versus failing hard? You have to set the expectations. Without benchmarks it will be hard to tackle how to set business goals.
8) Separate Your Short, Medium & Long Term Goals
This is where most companies and entrepreneurs completely blow it. It is also where the few really stand out and shine and create those rarities which are so valuable and inspiring.
If you only think short term the medium and long term is going to be a mess, if you even make it that long. If you only focus on the long term, you may not survive long enough to see things pay off.
A sustainable and successful company is one that knows how to set goals which enable them to survive today, thrive tomorrow, and don’t jeopardize the long term. Think about Wells Fargo. They felt pressure to pump up their numbers in the short term, and someone thought an excellent way to achieve that was by stealing the identities of millions of their own customers, setting up fake accounts in their names and laundering money through those accounts.
While giants like this which are deemed too big to be allowed to go out of business may be the exception and have a pass to get away with these things, the vast majority of companies won’t survive the negative branding and lawsuits. Of course, one day in the near future, a fresh brand will come up with an alternative to banking which appears to care more about integrity and their customers, and people will flock to them.
So, separate your short, medium and long term goals. What are those goals for 1,5, 10, and 100 years out. Decide where to focus, and what you won’t sacrifice on the way.
Hopefully this post provided you with some perspective as you are navigating how to set business goals.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.
You may find interesting the video below where I cover in detail how to set business goals.
FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE VIDEO:
Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to set business goals. Before we get started, make sure that you hit that subscribe button, and this way you will never miss out on any of the videos that we roll out every week. So, really knowing your path forward; understanding what’s going to be the way to go is, without a doubt, the way that you want to get your team enrolled and everyone pushing in the same direction. In today’s video, we’re going to break it down for you so that you can understand what’s behind setting some of those key milestones and key goals so that you can go at it with accomplishment. So with that being said, Let’s get into it.
You need to get clear as to what is your purpose? What is your purpose? What is your why? What is the what? What is the how of the business? What is the vision? What is that mission? All those are key things that you need to know because, ultimately, whether it is you wanting to be passionate and excited about what’s in front of you, you’re not only going to think about yourself, but you’re going to need that enrollment, also, from your investors, from your employees, from customers. And it’s all about having them be able to see that there is a future – a future in which they can see themselves living in and getting excited by it. Without the, you’re going to end up losing people.
So, always, always, always, before you even think about metrics, before you even thinking about being wildly successful, you need to have the right type of vision and the right type of alignment around it so that people can really come in with you and push and get through whatever is in front of you, whether it’s good times, whether it’s bad times, where you need to adjust, pivot the business, learn from whatever failures so that you can get back up and running, that’s why you need to have a north star. You need to have something that is guiding you guys through the good times and the bad times and whatever that is, but you know that there is a clear future and a clear path that you’re all aligned to accomplish.
Get your priorities straight. Honestly. The thing is that always, there’s going to be a new shiny thing that is going to be knocking on your door. When you’re executing, when you’re building something, scaling something, there’s always going to be all types of distractions coming your way. You need to understand, and you need to learn how to say, “No.” And honestly, when you’re able to say no, and you’re able to really be laser-focused on the execution, at that point, you’re going to be able to unlock unimaginable milestones.
But for this, you need to avoid any type of distraction, any type of nice potential partnership, any type of maybe like a retreat or whatever is distracting you from really achieving your milestones, put it aside. You need to always be thinking, “What can I do today that is going to move the needle forward to get me to where I want to be. To get me to where I want to see myself and my team and the business and our investors.” That’s why you need to avoid distractions and learn how to say no. Prioritize.
Consult your teams. As the saying goes: you’re going to be able to go faster if you go alone, but farther if you go together. Your team may be seeing things that you’re not seeing, and for that reason, listening is critical. Be able to ask them the right questions because as a result of that, you might get the right answers for the execution, for setting up those goals, goals that make sense. For that reason, enroll everyone, whether it’s your team, your investors, advisors, maybe people that have walked that same path in the past that can give you some feedback. You want to have others crowdsourcing that process, that journey, that path, those milestones, and have them help you to really make sure that you are on the right track.
Get buy-in. This is really important, especially if you’re a little bit more mature as a company. You are going to have a board that is going to be overseeing the strategy. As the founder or CEO or perhaps senior executive, you’re going to have to pitch to the board your idea, the way that you’re thinking about those goals, the way that you’re thinking about accomplishing those goals, and they are going to need to approve that. So for that, you want to enroll them slowly in it.
Before you go to that board meeting, you want to perhaps have individual discussions with them so that by the time that you get to that board meeting where you’re going to be having this discussion, they’re already sold. They maybe have even had chats between themselves, and you’re going into a room where they are inspired by what is coming ahead and what is in front of you.
In many cases, many of those board members perhaps would be your own investors, and maybe that leads to them getting excited about where things are heading. That may lead to a potential conversation of them wanting to give you more money. So maybe it’s an internal round where you don’t have to distract yourself by going out there and fundraising again.
By the way, if you wanted to fundraise, below is the pitch deck template that founders are using all over the world to raise millions. It’s completely free, and I think that it will really help you.
Make your goals visible. This is ultimately one thing that is going to constantly remind you, whether you have to put it on the ceiling on top of your bed, whether you have to put it in the entrance so that all your colleagues are going to be seeing them every day – keep reminding what those goals are. Maybe there’s a plan: by this year, we’re going to accomplish A, B, C, and D. But you need to have that as a refresher, as a reminder all the time that
pushing into that direction.
You need to choose your KPIs wisely. By KPIs, I mean metrics. What are the critical metrics of the business that are going to determine the health, that health that is showcasing that ultimately that business is growing over the course of time? Those are metrics that you need to track, that you need to be laser-focused on and that you need to make sure that there is growth over the course of time, whether that is weekly, whether that is monthly, but again, that is something that you really need to get aligned with your team.
Know the benchmarks. Perhaps here what you can do is research the market, research your competitors, research out there to know that those goals that you’re setting are realistic, achievable, and actually grounded because, obviously, what you don’t want to do is come up with these goals that are completely out of proportion. Then, you put it in front of employees, and then they’re going to think that you’re crazy. So you can’t afford to lose the respect of your colleagues. When you are not grounded on the facts, on the what-so, you’re going to lose that respect, and you can’t afford that. With that in mind, always have benchmarks, always have things that you can go to and verify and compare. That will help you make sure that you have realistic stuff in place.
Short, mid, and long-term goals. Just like Bill Gates says, ultimately, human beings “overestimate what we can accomplish in one year, but we completely underestimate what we are able to accomplish in ten years.” With that, basically, put a plan in mind. Put a plan in place where – let’s say, where would you guys or gals like to see the business be in ten years? Then, you reverse-back-engineer the process to where you are today. Ultimately, you think about the short-term goals and the mid-term goals in a way in which you are taking immediate steps in order to get to that long-term plan that you’re envisioning – to those long-term goals, those long-term milestones that you want to accomplish over the course of time. But at least you’re really designing that path forward that is going to guide you all in the execution.
So make sure that you hit a Like on this video, subscribe to the channel, and then also leave a comment below. We’d love to hear how you’re thinking about the goals for your own business. Then as well, if you need any help when it comes to your own fundraising efforts, shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help out. Thank you so much for watching.