How to measure business goals
Setting business goals is a great way to accelerate and achieve success but you need to bear two important things in mind when you’re deciding what your goals are:
I’d always recommend setting between three and five goals at a time – any more can be too many, and will be so absorbing that they become a whole new business activity in themselves, rather than an enhancement to your current business processes. Remember, you’re looking to enhance your current successes, not create a cottage industry that needs managing as a separate, additional entity.
In order to measure the goals you set, you need to ensure that information is:
Easy to understand
Easy to communicate
... and that your goals follow the ‘SMART’ principle:
Specific –targets need to be clear and detailed
Measurable – ensure you can measure progress/outcomes
Attainable – make sure they’re realistically achievable (apart from your BHAGs)
Relevant –they must be directly aligned with your business objectives
Time-bound – set a time in which you aim to achieve them
Methods of measurement
By using the SMART method outlined above, your goals are given a definitive structure that allows you to track progress based on a set of identifiable objectives.
By being specific about each goal, you and your team know exactly what the desired outcome is that you’re working towards. It’s one thing to say ‘We want to increase sales’, but quite another to put a value on that e.g. ‘we want to increase sales by 30% in six months’.
By setting tangible values, you can measure your progress along the way, enabling you to adapt processes as you go to stay on track. Sales is a good example because you can put an exact value on your products, and measure what you sell and how you sell it over the relevant time period along the way to show you’re heading towards your objective – or providing the opportunity to change tack if you aren’t.
Making sure your goals are relevant and attainable also ensures that you’re not de-motivating your team by expecting something that everyone can see is just not possible – for example, setting a goal to quadruple your sales within two months is a lot of pressure when it’s unlikely to be achievable.
Putting it together
If you’re not sure how to prioritise or measure your goals, you can always invest in some training or external support so that you can learn how to identify and implement the most successful strategy.