Setting and Achieving Business Goals for New Year’s Resolutions
Welcome to 2018. The new year brings a fresh start. Business owners or managers can discover opportunities to reach goals in the new calendar year.
Start by using the SMART method. This technique involves goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. The SMART goals approach benefits traditional organisations that set KPIs (key performance indicators). Managers find tangible evidence, especially through numbers, to see if employees either meet requirements or not.
There are some benefits to the SMART goals. Specific aims will be more understood than something vague. If I just wanted to ‘reach many people’ through campaigns, that could mean anything. It could be just 50 more people, or 500. There’s less ability to know when the goal has been met or not. That leads us to measurability. Increasing sales can be easily tracked. Were more products or services sold than in the past? Likability can be measured if a survey is distributed. But if you want to ‘become a better person’ or ‘be ethical’ in the year, how could that be measured? Followers of the SMART method also prefer attainable goals. If I wanted to visit every country in the world this year, that might not actually happen. A social media influencer could want 100 million followers in a few months. Good luck with that. But an increate of 10 sales in every week may be quite attainable. Relevance can be in relation to strategic objectives and broader vision. Some people want more ‘likes’ or ‘engagement’ on social media. But does that convert to behavioural change? Relevant goals will achieve what you set out to do. Finally, timely goals will have a clear time frame. Do you want something done in a week, month or year? If you don’t say when something should be done, tomorrow never arrives. SMART goals have their place. I’m now going to suggest reasons to be less rational in setting goals during the NYE and further into the new year.
Goals can be great for more purposes besides pleasing superiors in an organisation. Many people choose to own their businesses, NFPs or personal brands. This could be in line with individual values. Maybe you want to be more ethical in 2018. Or you want to balance your business alongside family and other life commitments. Would you really be so specific as to focus on balancing just with your household or community group? What if you want to change lives, however that might happen? By all means, don’t try and do everything including raise unicorns this year. Be SMART. Then allow for qualitative beautiful achievements like the smile on someone’s face.
Measurable goals keep everyone on track in a great way. They get us within the budget, allow for milestones and tracking. But let’s add more goals that are very qualitative. I passionately want to serve my household and find more spiritual meaning in 2018. How will that be done? I don’t want to limit myself to what I already know. I’m open to new opportunities that I’m not yet aware of.
I have seen other entrepreneurs questioning the limits of ‘attainable’ goals. Sure, keep your feet on the ground and try something you can actually do. But who’s to say you can’t master that new skill or successfully sell a new product? I had loved ones with good-intentions telling me in the past that I shouldn’t start a business. I eventually did create a business, but I procrastinated because I valued those people’s opinions. I should have taken their advice with a grain of salt but then became responsibly courageous.
Relevant goals are brilliant. If your business creates candles to be resold in stores, would you really start a whole new product category? You can do anything. But either stay aligned with your brand or start another brand alongside the current one.
However, people branch out in all sorts of directions. Some friends and employers used to box me in as a ‘writer.’ This was because I studied a masters degree in journalism. However, I had gained audiovisual skills through academic studies and on-the-job work experience. Should I really limit myself to what other people think would be relevant? I would suggest finding a balance between focusing on goals long enough to achieve them, and also diversifying for success in new areas.
Timely goals are beneficial when you want to achieve something within a set amount of time. Let’s then forgive ourselves if projects take longer than expected. Agile developments often try an approach, then quickly change if it doesn’t work. That’s fine. But if you’re still refining your methods after a period of time, that does not equal failure.
Start 2018 with enthusiastic responsible ambition. Set goals. Give yourself new year’s resolutions. Do what makes you happy for a fresh start. Find a balance between traditional and untraditional goals in work and life.