Setting goals and achieving them requires motivation, determination and discipline – whether they’re personal or business-related. This year I set myself the personal goal of competing in my first Try-a-Tri, a mini triathlon comprising a 250 metre swim, followed by a 12.5K cycle and then a 3K run.
In just under three weeks time I’ll be donning my lycra for the challenge and although I expected to be looking ahead with fear and dread, I couldn’t be more up for it. Working towards this goal has improved both my fitness and motivation, so much so, I’m already thinking about the next goal I’m going to set myself!
In the same way that setting personal goals can have a positive effect on your wellbeing, business goals can give your company direction, encourage sales and have a positive effect on your bottom line.
The history of goal setting is an interesting one. As a concept, goal setting was first introduced by British philosopher Cecil Alec Mace in 1935, but it was American psychologist Edwin A. Locke’s pioneering research in the late 1960s that lead people to recognise the motivational benefits of goal setting for business.
Another interesting discovery made by Locke on the behavioural effects of goal setting concluded that 90% of laboratory and field studies involving specific and challenging goals led to higher performance than easy or no goals.
So, when setting business goals don’t be vague or go for the easy option, choose challenging goals that are specific and measurable as these are most likely to keep you motivated and bring the greatest reward.
Now for the difficult bit, where should you start?
If you’re keen to set goals for your business but don’t know how to go about it, start by applying the SMARTprinciples. Write down a list of goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
An example of a SMART business goal might be driving more traffic to your website and increasing your online enquiries: The goal is specific; it’s measurable as visitors and enquiries can be monitored using your website’s analytics; it’s attainable as it can be accomplished with the right tracking devices in place; it’s relevant as it’s likely to bring your company rewards; and it’s time-bound as website traffic and enquiries can be monitored over a defined period of time.
We helped our client David Bailey Furniture Systems achieve this very goal by redesigning the company’s website and rewriting all the web copy implementing search engine optimisation techniques. Within a month of the new website’s launch, the site achieved a 32% increase in visitor numbers and a 50% increase in web enquiries compared to the same period the previous year. You can read the full case study here.
Don’t forget that with any type of goal setting, personal or business, it’s important to evaluate your results so you can learn from your mistakes and celebrate your achievements.
Did you find this post useful? Let me know, or if you have a question about business goal setting or would like help setting goals for your business, post me a comment.