Nothing screams “end of year wrap-up” like reflecting on everything you’ve achieved with your business. It’s an exciting time to celebrate with everyone you’ve worked so hard with. The part about measuring all your wins over the past year is the fact that your progress doesn’t end when the clock strikes 12. Use the momentum you’ve gained throughout the year to inspire the next goals to achieve heading into the new year.
Setting yearly goals for your business
The best place to start when you decide on what to work toward in the upcoming year is making sure the goal is reachable in the first place. The simplest and most widely used formula for effective goal setting is creating SMART goals. SMART stands for:
A not-so-smart goal might look something like this:
“I want to get better at emailing potential customers.”
A SMART version of this goal would be:
“I will write, edit & send 1 email per week to the people on our prospect list, averaging a 10% increase in total emails sent by the end of 2022.”
With a few additional details, we immediately see this goal transform from something that will end up on the “oops, I forgot” list, to a completely attainable action item.
Choosing the right goals for your team
Goal-setting is multi-faceted. There are goals that contribute directly to yearly revenue and profit numbers, and then there are skills-based goals that boost team performance and personal capabilities. Helping your team focus on their individual goals will directly impact the success of your company as a whole. It’s a win-win.
Focusing on different types of individual goals can help shape the decision for what’s needed company-wide.
1. Long-term goals
These goals are in the realm of 3, 5, 10-year goals and beyond. These aren’t the goals you’re expecting to check off as complete a the end of each quarter. Think of long-term business goals a the holy grail of things you want to accomplish over a longer period of time.
Long-term business goal examples:
- Grow client retention to a certain amount
- Tighten up internal process
- Improve profit margins
2. Short-term goals
Short-term goals can cover a wide range of timeframes, from a few hours to a few months. It’s pretty subjective depending on how your internal structure is set up. In general, a good way to go about determining a good short-term goal is deciding what steps need to be taken to achieve those long-term goals (whether directly or indirectly). Those steps will turn into your short-term goals.
Short-term business goal examples:
- Improve client communication
- Improve productivity
- Add new training to the onboarding process
3. Quantitative goals
Quantitative goals are measured by objective numbers and touchpoints. It is heavily focused on hard data. These are the type of business goals we’re used to hearing about most.
Quantitative business goals examples:
- Increase sales X% each month
- Increase client retention X% by the end of the year
- Send X number of client satisfaction surveys each month
4. Qualitative goals
Qualitative goals are – you guessed it – focused on quality vs. quantity. Instead of measuring progress with analytic tools and charts, these are based on subjective experiences. This is where we get into the realm of personal development, boosting soft skills, etc.
Examples of Qualitative Goals:
- Be more confident in client meetings
- Improve employee satisfaction
- Get better at using a certain tool
How to decide what kind of goal to pursue
The annoying answer: You don’t need to decide! But let us explain. The reason there’s no need to decide what type of goal will work for you is because each type tends to go hand in hand. For example, even though we don’t often see qualitative goals as the main focus for business goals, they’re usually the backbone of reaching a data-based goal. Qualitative improvement is usually the first step in improving numbers across the board. Similarly, short-term goals help you reach longer-term goals (and so on).
What’s important is not what type of goal you set, but how it improves your organization as a whole. Focus on what’s right for your company, and let that guide you toward the right type of coal to get started.