A goal without a plan is just a wish.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
A great leader is a great planner. They understand that a goal without a plan is just a wish.
But creating these plans and the goals that fuel them can be a complex process; they don’t magically fall into place for us while we make the journey toward our vision. We have to take the right steps to ensure our team has the best chance of meeting these goals and that they drive the vision of the entire organization forward.
To create the most successful plans for your business, the following areas must be considered first:
- What is a business vision?
- What are the business goals for the upcoming year? What about for the next 10 years?
- How will your organization work to achieve these goals?
The best plans address each of these areas. But the goals within that plan are just as important to establish correctly. Here are some of the best practices when setting goals that will optimize your team, maximize ROI and ensure your company is on the right track toward manifesting your vision.
1. Identify Your Business Vision
Transformational leaders identify and establish a clear vision that consists of goals. Think of it as a roadmap, with the vision being the destination and the goals being the stops along the way.
This vision isn’t personal to the leader; it’s articulated to the rest of the team and shared by them as well. Your team can use your business vision as a guide and create a roadmap to accomplish some incredible achievements. To get started with your roadmap, you need to set the right goals first.
2. Create SMART Goals
SMART goal planning is the optimal way of creating goals. SMART is an acronym for:
- Specific. As mentioned, this is how specific your goal is and should be as concise as possible.
- Measurable. Is your goal able to be measured with a tool or system?
- Achievable. It’s great to have lofty goals, but they should be within reach of achieving within the timeframe you’ve set for the goal.
- Relevant. Is the goal relevant to your business, vision and team?
- Trackable. Can you track your goal over time and gauge its status?
With SMART goal planning, you will have concrete and measurable components that data can back. Implementing several SMART goals into a cohesive and structured marketing plan can:
- Reduce the chances of negative ROI.
- Save time and money.
- Enable you to assess and prepare for future marketing opportunities.
3. Always Plan Ahead
Setting concrete KPIs is crucial to turning a vision into reality and achieving operational excellence. When setting your business goals, follow these 3 initial steps:
1. Narrow Down Your Goals
It’s difficult to set goals when you don’t know what you want to achieve. But there’s more to the process than discovering a vision — configuring those goals to provide the highest chance of success is just as important. After all, if a goal without a plan is just a wish, setting yourself up to fail with the wrong types of goals won’t get you far.
Business owners struggle all the time with this step, so you’re not alone. The first step is figuring out what will drive your business forward in a sustainable way. For example, if your goal is for your company to succeed, you’ll spread yourself too thin trying to complete all of the action steps required, which often leads to giving up. This is why you need specific, measurable goals.
2. Be Specific and Accountable
Now that you know to steer away from goals that are too broad, the next step is to turn them into ones that you can measure and achieve over time.
Instead of making the following statement: “I want my company to succeed,” you should consider focusing on smaller, measurable KPIs. For example, “I’d like to increase leads generated by 30% across our website(s) by 2025” is a much more measurable and concrete goal.
It’s also important to ensure the goal aligns with your vision in order to produce a positive ROI instead of wasting resources. Furthermore, you should hold yourself and your team accountable for these goals. You can accomplish this if you implement regular meetings into your team’s schedule to get updates on everyone’s progress.
3. Meet Often To Discuss Deadlines and Progress
A goal without a plan is just a wish. And part of that plan should be to ensure your team is actively working toward that goal.
When conducting a team meeting, have your team bring reports that show the timeline of your goal and the progress they’ve made. Make sure they identify successes, opportunities for improvements and any barriers they face. You should have a clear idea after each meeting where your company is at in the timeline of the goal(s) you’ve set. For most teams, a five-year goal plan provides enough time to see what is working. Anything less than a five-year goal plan could lead to hasty decisions that produce negative results.
Goal Planning Will Set Your Business Up for Success
At XINNIX, we equip teams with the knowledge, techniques and tools to transform them into foundational leaders for their organizations. This involves creating the best action plan through our flexible training programs that provide experiential learning to create SMART goals that match your vision.
This goal-focused action plan is our roadmap. In our Roadmap to Success class, we give you seven essentials to build and perfect the optimal business plan centered around your needs.
Sign up for our on-demand Roadmap to Success class today!