None of the business owners we know would argue against the value of business goals.
Yet despite their good intentions, many business owners never seem to get around to setting goals for their companies. Their desire to get serious about business goals gets lost in the fast pace of day-to-day operations, forcing them to take a reactive posture to their companies' futures.
But there are plenty of reasons why goal setting is the most important thing you can do for your business, even if it means putting off what seem to be more urgent business functions. Although no one will complain if you put off the task of setting goals, it's your responsibility to take the bull by the horns and make goal setting your number one priority. Why? Because business goals matter more than you may know.
- Intention. Business goals represent an intentional approach to your business. They tell your team and the marketplace that you're not simply going to react to developments, but take an active role in shaping your company's future and the marketplace itself.
- Focus. Does your business lack focus? If so, it's probably because your team is waiting for you to tell them where they should be investing their time, energy, and passion. Goals focus your workforce and identify the desired outcomes that everyone should be working toward.
- Motivation. If you've never set goals before, expect to encounter a certain amount of resistance from your team. That's just human nature. But if you hold your ground, you'll quickly discover that your team is more motivated than ever to work toward the company's success.
- Strategy. Goal-setting is a necessary first step in strategy development. Goals create a framework for business strategies because they help define decisions, processes, and activities – the tactics that are the nuts and bolts of strategic business development. Without goals, your strategies will lack order and purpose.
- Roadmap. When you set goals, you describe your company's intended destination, which inevitably leads to the creation of a business strategy describing the route you will take to get there. Like roadmaps, a goal-oriented strategic plan becomes a document you can use to communicate your intentions to internal and sometimes even external stakeholders.
- Confidence. There is no getting around the fact that business owners who have taken the time to articulate clear, achievable goals are more attractive to investors than those who operate on a wing and a prayer. Goals inspire confidence with investors and with your employees. More importantly, goals give you the confidence you need to make the right decisions for your business.