Setting goals for your business can help you stay on track in your bid to build your business.
It can be challenging to grow your business if you don’t have targets in place, for example to increase your customer base, reduce your business admin or improve sales of your products and services.
Here, Tracey Catterall from accountancy practice NCAT Solutions. shares some top tips on setting goals and why it’s important for your company to do so.
Setting goals: Why is it important?
Setting goals is an important part of any business as without goals and measurable business targets, a business will spiral out of control. Furthermore, you will have no way of measuring and tracking improvements or declines over time.
For our clients, we set financial and non-financial goals:
- Debtor days
- Positive customer reviews
- Reducing customer complaints
- Staff productivity
- Achieving web presence
- Increasing efficiency
- Inventory movement
Relieve the stress
Setting goals will not only relieve the stress of fighting against the clock each day but will also give your staff a clear structured work flow that can then also be rewarded up on achievement.
We work with businesses on weekly and monthly goals to achieve the overall long-term objective: win more business. To achieve this, goals need to be broken down into weekly targets and defining the appropriate marketing strategies.
Goals are crucial for growth and success but equally important is your execution plan to achieve the desired results. And you can’t forget measurement – if you do not measure your progress how will you know if you are on track?
Not just more sales
Goal setting can take many forms. Not just obtaining new clients and increasing turnover but also making sure deadlines are met, legal responsibilities are completed and service levels are met or exceeded, such as all orders received are despatched within 24 hours.
To help some clients meet their goals, we develop bespoke interactive KPI (key performance indicator) dashboards. These bring together a variety of key measurables that are tracked against their overall goals.
Setting the bar
If a goal is easy to achieve then you have not set the bar high enough. Targets should encourage businesses to stretch and strive for improvement while keeping the goals realistic.
Setting yourself a goal of “This time next year, we will be millionaires” if for the past 3 years you have only been turning over £20k per annum is doomed for failure.
Reaching for the stars should always be encouraged but remember it is a long journey and you need to plan each step of the way.
We like to help our clients set achievable goals and support them through the year towards achieving their targets.
One example we have had was a self-employed tradesmen came to me to do his tax return. After reviewing his accounts, I had pointed out the savings he could make by trading as a limited company and becoming VAT registered, which he found pretty daunting.
After providing him with the various tax advantages and documenting the structure in black and white, he agreed to take the next step.
We managed everything from the company formation through to the VAT registration with HMRC and setting the accounts up for trading.
We helped him to identify his core market and how he could expand his business. We set goals together by identifying achievable targets and planed an execution strategy.
Two years on and he’s now doubled his turnover and taken on employees. He still has the same goals and structure in place but increases the size of his goals each year.
Final thoughts on setting goals and growing your business
Taking time out to think about what you want to achieve across a period of time is important. It doesn’t have to be a long-term goal, say between five to 10 years. It could be a short-term one, which could help to make a difference.
Perhaps it could be a goal of reducing your business admin by 10% within six months by using accounting software, hiring the services of an accountant or using a virtual assistant. The outcome is you have more time to build your business.
Put a plan in place, take the time to review your progress and keep working to achieve (and exceed) your goals.
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