Why Waste Time Setting Goals?
I was late for an important meeting scheduled on the other side of the town and getting tense about it. I set the location on my Google maps and got going.
Navigating new and unknown territories requires focused attention because it’s so easy to miss a turn or an instruction.
This got me thinking, if you are going to the same place every day you don’t need GPS…. and its ditto in business. If you are doing the same thing and expecting the same results…. you don’t really need explicit goal setting.
BUT if you want Growth in Revenue, Higher Profitability, Increased Customer Satisfaction, New Market Expansion or Improved Operational Efficiency and things like that – then you need to think about goals.
Surprisingly many business owners want to succeed on these parameters, but miss out on setting clear actionable goals to achieve them.
A little later, I was meeting Karan, owner of an IT company for our second session and I was keen to dive into
“So Karan, what are your business goals this year and how do you see yourself achieving them so far?”
Karan sipped his piping hot coffee and said “Why waste time…setting business goals?”
I blinked, but heard him out. He continued “I did set goals when I started and did my best to achieve them. Now I am more practical and set goals for my employees to achieve, but as the business owner I just give it my best. I don’t want to feel disappointed.”
“So how do you measure your success or your growth when you don’t have goals in place?” I asked him.
“Well, I have been trying to cross the ₹17 Crore revenue target, because I do want to expand, but I have not managed to do so yet. It’s tough.” Said Karan.
We clearly had our work cut out. Karan and I set about discussing and defining why he needed to set goals and how he would achieve them.
Planning for achievements precedes goal setting… but setting goals is also about “willingness to change” and understanding what you should NOT be doing to avoid expensive mistakes in terms of time and effort.
Goal setting is creating the goal posts that reiterate you are on the right path. Therefore, it’s also important to make goals as efficient and measurable as possible.
S.M.A.R.T Goals : Writing down Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based goals ensures you are not chasing “impossible” dreams.
I got Karan started by explaining to him “Your SMART goals should include –
- What you want to accomplish in each area
- Who will be accountable for it and in
- What time span. “
An example would be breaking down your annual targets into achievable quarterly goals for each division. So if you want to earn 10% more revenue on a product, a SMART goal will help you define whether you need more of marketing effort OR
you need to increase customer delight Or reach out to new markets to achieve this goal; who is responsible for delivering on
it; and by when.
Supporting Goals With Systems : We need systems to measure incremental improvements. For example, without a system your telemarketing team may call 20 prospects in one day and just 5 the next. Instead, if you define a lead
generation system with specific channels and follow up procedures you can track the performance regularly and take appropriate actions.
On boarding Your Team with Goals : Our discussion helped Karan understand how important it was to work with the team on the common goals and empower them with information on how they could align their performance areas to the goals. Such inputs also help improve employer and employee communication and create a tremendous amount of synergy for achieving business objectives.
Commit To Goals –Go Public. My advice to Karan included writing down the goals and then sharing them his teams, partners and of course me – his ActionCOACH who would hold him accountable for them. Going public reinforces your confidence in your goals and your commitment to them.
Karan had a lot to think and decided to take time out to think deeply and articulate goals for his organization. That’s a fantastic start in my view!
As an ActionCOACH Business Coach we help our clients get a new perspective on what they are doing and guide them to do it correctly and achieve better results faster.
The tips we share are a small part of what we do at our coaching sessions.
If you’d like to take the whole framework and install in your business, then do drop an email at [email protected] with subject line as “Scale Session” and we’ll reach out to you with all the details quickly.