One of the most important jobs you face as a business owner is goal setting. Aligning your vision for the company with targeted, specific goals can lead to success. But what happens when you don’t reach a goal?
What if you reach your goal earlier than expected? Is it ok to redefine your goals? Periodic evaluation of goals (along with any necessary redefining of your goals) is essential and expected.
When You Miss the Mark
At the beginning of the year, you may sit down with your staff, review the accomplishments of the past year and develop a strategy for increasing sales, generating more leads or any other specific business-related targets.
Using the SMART goal setting strategy, you compose a list of goals that will guide your company through the coming months. Sometimes, however, things don’t go as planned. The market changes, new competitors crowd into your market space, or production problems delay new arrivals. Whatever the reason, a periodic evaluation of goal progress makes it clear: you won’t hit the target.
Conversely, redefining your goals is not always an indicator of missing your target. It can also be the result of achieving your goals faster than anticipated. A new product that exceeded the initial projection figures can skyrocket through sales goals quickly. Market shifts that allow for growth, competitors that leave the market or new marketing strategies can cause your company to move faster through growth stages.
In both situations, a prudent business owner will re-evaluate their goals and redefine them according to their new reality. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have learned to redefine their goals mid-stream, and are diligent about keeping their company responsive and flexible.
Richard Branson, head of the Virgin Group, has become iconic for his pursuit of monster-size goals. While he is most famous for the success he’s had, he is not shy about owning the failures he experienced on his path to success. According to Branson, “…a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.” Whether it is adjusting a goal as needed, or creating a new one, Branson has learned to use both success and failure to propel him to the next level of success.
Is it Time to Redefine Your Goals?
To maximize the benefits of goal-setting, consistent progress check-ups can be an invaluable tool. How often should you evaluate your progress? There is no cut-and-dry answer. Some companies monitor their progress closely, holding weekly update meetings to ensure they are moving forward towards their goals.
Others follow a monthly schedule, while still others may do quarterly check-ups. The period is up to you, but the more frequently you monitor your progress, the easier it is to make adjustments as needed.
Remember: you wrote your goals as a tool to help you succeed. Redefining your goals is simply a realignment of your dream with the steps necessary to reach your target. Just like an alignment for your car, the process will help you run smoother and achieve your dreams easier.
Need the guidance on setting goals for your business? Contact the team at My Big Idea™ for more information on how goal setting can revolutionize your work, your team, your goals and lead to your big idea.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing THE Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.