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How to meet your business goals

How to meet your business goals

After you've set your business goals, the next big challenge is to make sure you stay on track as you work towards achieving them. Here are some simple steps that will keep you focused.

 

 

1. Set clear priorities

Good time management is good business management, but don’t feel bad if you still find this a struggle. According to a recent McKinsey study, only nine per cent of business executives surveyed were “very satisfied” with how they use their time.

A simple daily ‘to do’ list, with items prioritised, is a good start. Be careful not to overload yourself – for example, you might want to focus on three key activities that must be completed by Friday.

You should also be able to work without interruption on high-priority tasks for at least a few hours every day. If needed, make use of anti-distraction tools, such as a social media blocker.

2. Value relationships

Getting things done is all about finding the right balance. If you limit your communication to indirect, ‘time saving’ channels such as email and instant messages, your efficiency can actually plummet.

Make time each week to walk around the office and chat with employees. This will give you a better sense of how they work, and any productivity barriers that you can help break down. Likewise, talking to customers and prospects face-to-face will give you a better picture of their own business goals and pain points.

These subtleties are usually lost via email and phone, but are vital to keeping you on track and avoiding misunderstandings.

3. Delegate

Trying to work towards your business objectives entirely on your own is usually the path to failure. Whether you build cabinets, write books or practice law, it’s important that you stay focused on the core skills that give you an edge in the marketplace.

For this reason, it can be a good idea to work towards outsourcing all the non-core responsibilities – such web design, accounting and recruitment – as soon as you can afford to.

Small businesses without the budget to hire for these skills are often able to find the people they need through outsourcing sites such as oDesk and Elance.

4. Track your progress

If your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound), measuring your progress against them should be a snap. You’ll have product delivery dates, revenue goals, and other guideposts you can use to define smaller objectives that are more easily measured and adjusted.

And don’t forget to think ahead. If you do people’s taxes, will your customer service staff be ready for the surge in enquiries around July 31? Make sure you are properly prepared for the risks as well as the opportunities.

Setting realistic business goals and objectives are only the first step. The real test is how you choose to work towards them. These strategies can help keep you on the rails, even through the bumpiest periods.

Sticking to your business goals is imperative, but how do you set realistic goals in the first place? Find out here.

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