More than likely, you’ve got big goals for your career and your business. And that’s great: goals are important because they help trigger new behaviors and keep you focused and driven; in fact, a Harvard Business study revealed that 14% of people who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. But let’s back up. You might have big goals, but do you have clear, detailed goals for your business? Sure, we all want to make X dollars by the end of the year, or want to sell X amount of policies in a month, but how do you plan on getting there? What are your smaller, daily goals, and do you know what will bring you closer to your long-term goals? And which goals should you focus on first? Being able to answer these questions is vital to your business’ success.
Why Create Goals?
Brings Your Agency Together
Many studies have shown that goals make employees more motivated, happier in their position, and ultimately, more productive. Having goals set in place will:
- Keep everyone accountable to themselves and to each other
- Help you and your employees define a vision of where they want to be
- Encourage employees to think about the meaning of their work, and give them ways to measure their accomplishments
- Boost performance and motivation
- Give a feeling that you are all on the same team
Creates A Sense of Accomplishment
Meeting any goal, whether it’s a weekly sales goal, or even just a daily goal of tackling customer questions/concerns, can give you a sense of accomplishment, which will keep you motivated and working toward your larger goals.
Gives You Something to Reach for
Even goals that you don’t achieve are valuable! Not reaching a goal that you set for yourself gives you something to work towards; instead of writing off these missed goals as failures, make them your “stretch goals,” or ones that you will eventually reach, but will need to stretch yourself to do so.
How to Set Your Goals
So how do you actually go about setting the right goals for yourself and your business? The best way is by using the SMART method, meaning you should set goals that are:
- Specific– Your goals should be well-defined and clear.
- Measurable– There should be specific criteria that measures your progress towards accomplishment.
- Attainable– Don’t set goals that are impossible to achieve or attain.
- Relevant– Make sure your goals are not only realistic and within reach, but they are also relevant to what you want to accomplish.
- Time-bound– Give yourself a clearly defined timeline to create urgency, including a start date and target end date for your goals.
Goals to Focus On
So now you’ve got the method for setting goals, what specific kind of goals should you be focusing on for your business?
- Sales Goals- When setting sales goals, think quantity and go from there: for example, do you want to focus on daily sales? Quarterly sales? How many returning and new weekly customers you have? Make sure you are following the SMART method and setting sales goals that are both measurable and attainable.
- Marketing Goals– You should have strategic marketing goals that are based on your sales goals. Remember, these days social media is your best friend when trying to get noticed and get more customers, so your marketing goals should include a content strategy that spells out how many times you want to post a week, and on which social media platforms.
- Operational Goals– These goals will focus on how well your business is operating, which is based on: your customer service, process consistency, team growth, and administrative efficiency. To improve your business’ function, you will need to create goals to boost these areas.
To keep yourself on top of your goals, stick to a well-sequenced timeline that breaks your goals down in the following ways:
- Annually- Breaking down your annual goals will help you get started with your sales, marketing, and operational goals.
- Quarterly– Once you’ve gotten started on your annual goals, reassess your progress every 90 days. Are you meeting your goals? Do you need to make adjustments?
- Monthly– Create monthly goals to lay out what you will and will not work on for the month. Base this list off your quarterly list.
- Weekly/Daily– Now break down your monthly goals and focus on what you need to do or accomplish each week or day to reach those larger goals.
Setting goals is a must for the long-term success of your business, but you have to know how to set the right kind of goals. Not only that, but you should be consistently revisiting your goals, so you can make any necessary changes each month. As you work on your goals, evaluate how the changes you make to them impacts your business, and you’ll eventually move closer to succeeding at reaching them.
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