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Setting Measurable Goals

For your business to grow, you need to have concrete goals which are measured on a regular basis.  They serve as both motivation and critical checkpoints.  Increasing sales or getting more clients is not specific enough.  You need to determine how much you want and how soon you want it.  From there, you can put together a strategy, execute it, and measure your success against it.

Business goals are not so different from personal ones.  If you set out to lose weight, you would start with a number.  Let’s say it’s 25 pounds.  You determine when you want to reach that goal, then do some math to determine the calorie intake and exercise requirements.  If it is a six month plan, that’s about a pound a week.  It’s doable, measurable, and obtainable.

Let’s look at a few measureable business goals:

  • Increase revenue by 5% this year.
  • Reduce office supply costs by 40% over six months.
  • Get 5 new clients each month.
  • Add 10 new products to my e-commerce site each week.
  • Go 25% greener this year.
  • Get a positive return on all advertising.

Brainstorm business goals for an hour; then, get to work on the ones you want to pursue.  Make sure you mark your calendar for the checkpoints.  Measuring your success along the way is an opportunity to reevaluate what you are doing to reach the goal.  If you didn’t lose weight on the lettuce and chicken nugget diet, make a change and step on the scale again next week.

If one of your goals is to get a bigger return on your advertising dollars, be sure to use all the data available to you.  Make sure you are using the right medium for your message and get every piece of data possible from the campaign.  Look at the reports, analyze the data, and refine your campaigns.  It’s not good enough to just put something out there and hope it works.  And, a year-end review will make no difference in the outcome.

Strong competitors always know where they are in the race.  When it is time to sprint, they already have the right shoes on and can adjust their stride to win.