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Worthwhile business objectives

Last updated February 26, 2013
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The Why and How to Set Worthwhile Business Objectives.

Before the 'how' let's ask why we should set business objectives/goals/games/targets. It doesn't matter what you call them. The important bit is to set them because:

1. If you don't know what you want or need to achieve then you'll never achieve it.

2. When will you know when to celebrate?

3. When will you know when it's time to adjust your strategy?

4. You need a focus and so does your team!

5. How can you plan, fund, grow, and develop if you don't have a clear idea of what the endpoint is?

Don't forget that any aims, objectives or end game goals must be SMART:  Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant & targeted.

What objectives should you set? Well, they can be anything at all that is relevant to your business. Consider:

1. Financial objectives – profit, (percentage or pounds), turnover, margin, cash etc.

2. Performance – service satisfaction, quality-control complaints, etc.

3. Health and safety – but please don't set any other target then Zero for deaths or injury! Zero is the only acceptable target.

4. Environmental – reduction in waste, increase percentage of recycled materials, moving to online invoices etc.

5. Marketing – X more repeat customers, increase average spend, new geographical regions, export markets, new products, reducing excess and discounted discontinued stock, increase market share, better than ex-competitor.

6. People - retention figures quality skills flexibility.

The key to 'how' is setting out  where you are now, and where you want to be at X point in time.

Then established the gap between the two, across all of the business. The primary objectives are then the 'vital few' things that you have to achieve in order to get to your overall goal.

Once these are in place and you have checked they are SMART, albeit stretching, then you can drop down a level to set smaller objectives which, when achieved will help you achieve the bigger goals.

The key to success is to continually review your progress against your plan and reassess, redress and refocus as required.

Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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