As we turn into a new year, many businesses take the time to sit down with their teams and set goals. While this is something you can do at any time of the year, at the end or beginning of the year is optimal as it’s typically a good time to assess last year’s progress and where you’re headed for the future.
Setting goals can take a bit of planning but putting in this work now can reap big rewards in the coming year, or the next three to five years, if you’re thinking strategically for the longer term.
How should you go about setting goals? Here are some steps you might want to include in your staff goal-setting session.
1. Collect financial data
Gather all your financial data from last year and print reports to hand round at the meeting. This will help you to assess your current position and where you want to improve. The data can be anything that affects you financially. This might include:
- Sales figures – comparing them to budget
- Expenses YTD including insurance, rent, COGS, employment costs etc
- Cashflow movement, loans etc
- Reviewing your debtors and creditors
- Payroll data for the 2020 compliance requirements
2. What plans do you have?
This is a good time to bring to light those ideas you’ve had percolating. Where do you see your business in a year from now? Is expansion on the cards? Do you want to introduce a new product or service? Perhaps you want to cut back in some areas?
If you know what you want, you can then plan accordingly, such as hire new staff.
3. Implement systems to support goals (while maintaining compliance!)
Having goals is all very well. But if you don’t document them and set up systems to support them they’ll never get off the ground. If one of your goals is to increase the number of leads, then you could look at implementing a lead generation system with appropriate follow up procedures and metric tracking.
4. Keep expenditure aligned with your goals
If you want to achieve your goals you have to assign the proper resources to them. So make room in your budget for any added expenditure, and ensure that staff are spending their time on activities that align with company strategy.
5. Set your team concrete milestones
Once you know your goals and what you need to do to achieve them, then you can set daily, weekly or monthly goals for your team. Having short term goals and consistently nailing them is a great motivator and gives team members a sense progress towards the business’s overall objectives.
6. Reward and recognise
An important part of goal setting that is often overlooked is rewarding team members. Motivation can quickly start disappearing when the achievement of each set of goals is glossed over by management. Rather than immediately starting work on the next lot of goals, take time to thank team members and recognise the milestone. It doesn’t have to be a financial reward either.
By introducing a culture of appreciation you’ll build a loyal team that will help you take your business to the next level.
Need help with business planning? Toowong accountants at MSI Taylor can help you grow your business, improve cashflow and achieve your strategic goals. For business strategy Brisbane wide, contact us today.