Turn New Year's Resolutions into Attainable Business Goals
How many of us have abandoned a new year’s resolution? Probably the majority. And who should we blame? Ourselves. We set ourselves up for failure by being unrealistic. So let’s make a resolution to turn our unrealistic dreams into attainable business goals in 2019.
Now I know what you’re thinking, isn’t dreaming big the fun part of setting business goals? You’re right! But only until those dreams are abandoned and you realize that they were never really attainable for your business in the first place. Here are some easy steps to avoid this reality and set your business up for success:
Define Your Current Situation
It is important to understand the present situation of your business before making any decisions regarding the future. Once you understand how your business is currently performing and what you’re doing correctly, it will be easier to assess what needs to be improved upon. But where should you begin this assessment?
A SWOT analysis should be the first step in the assessment process. This will help determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding your business. The strengths and weaknesses should relate to internal elements. This may include current assets, competitive advantages, areas that need improving or hindrances to your teams’ success. Opportunities and threats, on the other hand, relate to external factors such as current market trends and changes in consumer behaviour.
The next step would be benchmarking. Benchmarking is the process of evaluating the current position of your business in relation to standard practices in your industry and best practices of your competition. By comparing your processes, approaches and technologies, you can determine what you should be doing to run at an optimal level and meet the standards being set within the marketplace.
Market research is a process a business should constantly monitor to remain aware of current consumer and competitor trends. It is important to understand your target customers to better determine how to reach and engage with them. Information regarding competitors will help you understand what is lacking in the industry and how you can fill a demand in the market.
It is important to define your main target audience and your top competitors. This will help to narrow down your research. Conduct your own primary research by administering surveys to your target. This will help determine their spending habits and overall impressions of your brand.
Secondary research can be used to determine what the current trends are amongst your industry and content competitors. Understanding the competition will help you set goals to get in front of them.
Get Employee Input
No one knows your business better than your employees. Asking for their input and ideas will make this year’s business goals more robust. Employees offer an important perspective and will reveal key insights and weaknesses that may otherwise be overlooked. Asking for input will also show that you value your team and their opinions.
Defining upcoming goals can be turned into a fun team-building exercise. Get your co-workers together and brainstorm attainable objectives. Working as a team on a creative and mutually-impactful project will build valuable work relationships and trust.
Specific - be specific with your goals. If you are too general or abstract, it will be difficult to measure success. Specificity ensures that your business remains accountable for meeting clear benchmarks.
Measurable - make sure that you define how to measure each goal. This ensures that the business can monitor success and determine when the goal has been satisfied.
Achievable - now that you have determined the current situation of your business, you are properly equipped to set goals that are achievable in terms of time, budget and scale.
Relevant - it is essential that your goals are relevant to your business. If you set goals that do not align with your brand and its values, you will not end up with the desired outcome.
Timely - set a deadline for each goal. This ensures that you remain on schedule and active in the execution of each task.
With these helpful tips, your business is sure to achieve all your New Year’s business goals. How will you set your business up for success in 2019?
Written by: Taylor Mitchell - Marketing Coordinator