Jolynn Green is Executive Director of Community Futures Central Island

Setting goals and objectives for your business is incredibly important for success. Goals enable you to decide the direction of your business, provide motivation towards a goal/image and is an excellent measure of your progress.

Ideally long-term goals are set for three to five years to accomplish, using a timeline to keep on track.  Objectives are more like milestones which help to make your long-term goals achievable.

Goal setting is often looked at in three main areas of your business; service, sales and profitability. Service based goals which focus on your customers can lead to better customer service and increased revenue.  You’re in business to make a profit, so revenue driven goals are important. Goals set to make more money from your business is often accompanied increasing sales and by steps on how to decrease expenses. Depending on the stage of your business, growth and expansion should become a prominent goal.

To be effective, your goals must specifically state what it is you want to accomplish. The achievement of the goal should be clear; “increase sales by 2 per cent monthly by introducing a new service.” The achievement of the goal should be measurable. While, “get involved in the community” is vague, “create a volunteer team to help with the annual community fair” is easily understood.

Action-oriented goals, enabling you to create concrete steps, don’t always have to be physical. “Instructing the entire team on how to operate the new CRM software is as important as the investment in the new CRM system.”

Lastly, its essential to make sure that all your small goals are relevant to your big goals and that a realistic amount of time is set to achieve your goals.  Adding a deadline to your SMART goals in vital to success.

So gather ALL of your staff and get them involved in creating the goals to emphasize how success is a collective effort. Remember to take some time to celebrate and reward your employees as goals are achieved.

Jolynn Green is Executive Director of Community Futures Central Island. Jolynn can be reached at ed@cfnanaimo.org or 250-591-7499.