Setting great business goals should be the primary focus of anyone who hopes to succeed in the payment processing industry. For many, setting goals is a fluid, undefined process that results only in vague hopes and dreams.
Learning to set clear and concise goals makes all the difference. Here are eight tips to get you started on setting business goals that work:
1. Decide Why You're Setting Goals - Setting goals just for their own sake is not a very good way to motivate you toward reaching them when times get tough. Spend some time thinking about why you want to succeed. Are you working for your family, for a cause, or for something else?
2. Lay Out a Timeline for Achieving Goals - Goals are meaningless if you think of them in the context of "someday." In order for a goal to be effective, you must give it a clear deadline to work within.
3. Make Your Goals Measurable - This is one of the most missed elements of goal setting. Your goal needs to be something that you can actually measure and track. It is never enough to say you just want to "increase sales" over a period of time. Instead, you need to give yourself a hard number to aim for based on your current situation.
4. Set Big Picture and Mile Stone Goals - Putting all of your emphasis on a big picture long-term goal can be really difficult when you get stuck in a rut. Instead, you need to enhance your long-term goals by breaking them up into shorter milestones that can be achieved in the short term. Each time you check something off the list, you are one step closer to the dream.
5. Understand What Needs to Happen - For some reason, many businesses set perfectly logical goals, but don't consider what actions they are going to take to make them happen. If you want to increase sales by 5% over a period of time, you need to be thinking about what marketing tools and other strategies are going to go into that process.
6. Build Good Habits - Part of setting business goals should always be focused on creating sustainable behaviors that will help grow your business year after year. If you have to choose between doing a marketing blitz or creating a culture of great customer service for life, you should always choose the activity that will stand the test of time.
7. Track Your Progress Visibly - Whether you use a chart or some other method for gauging your success, you want to have a constant reminder of what you're working towards. Spreadsheets buried in your computer may not be enough to help you see your wins and keep you motivated.
8. Adjust When Necessary - Sometimes your plan of action needs to change to really reach your goal. You may discover that one element of your plan isn't working as expected. You may discover that one of your goals is too much to bite off in one chunk so it needs to be broken up.
These eight steps will help you in setting business goals that are really effective and useful to your company. If you are missing any of these key components, your goals may fall by the wayside, forgotten and neglected over time. This year you can change all that and hit your goals with plenty of energy.