Does your business have short-term and long-term goals that it's trying to reach?
Having defined milestones will help guide direction and ensure that your business is on the right path. They are a crucial part of every business plan and should be matched up with your daily business operations.
A business without goals is similar to a ship without a destination. In the case of the ship, rations will eventually run out and the crew will probably perish.The same fate is likely to occur with your business if it doesn't have short-term and long-term destinations that it's trying to reach.
An excellent time to address these goals is during 4th quarter planning. By setting up a business retreat, you can direct complete focus on the upcoming quarters and the next year as a whole. This will help you define the roles that your employees will take, examine your financial numbers and take a good look at your overall business.
Big Picture Business Goals
Your business probably should have a big picture goal. During 4th quarter planning, it's time to sit down and reevaluate the direction your business is heading. Is that goal still in alignment with your current situation? Is this goal still big enough to get you excited?
Aspects of your business or your marketplace can change. You may have been on the path for a certain goal that is now out of alignment with your business. However, your circumstances may also show that you are sailing straight towards your destination and quickly breezing along. Whatever the case, you need to break down this big picture goal into smaller goals that will help grow your business.
Are your big picture goals still in alignment with your current situation?
Are these goals still big enough to get you excited?
After re-examining your big picture plans at the retreat, evaluate your previous accomplishments and see how well your goals were met. Did you reach the financial numbers that your business was trying to attain? Write them down and see how you did. You can learn a great deal by investigating and breaking down your financials. Did you have an adequate amount of cash flow for each quarter? Are receivables staying current? Do you have the appropriate staff set up to reach current goals? Do employees know what management expects of them?
One goal setting procedure that can be used to evaluate your current progress is the SMART system:
- Time sensitive
You can always modify your goals if you need to. However, it's best to stay the course and not totally abandon your goals unless it becomes absolutely necessary to do so.
Breaking Down Goals Into Short-Term Destinations
Short-term goals for your business can be accomplished daily, weekly or quarterly. Breaking down your numbers so that you can easily identify these points is easier when you use the expertise of one of our CFO advisory CPAs. By utilizing our Atlanta accountants and tax specialists, you can take your big picture goals and break them down into short-term, specific goals that are time-bound, relevant and achievable. You will gain a better understanding of the steps that are needed to achieve those milestones.
An Ongoing Process
Goal setting is an ongoing process. Your sales will fluctuate. The economy will change and so will markets. As a savvy business owner, it's imperative that you take advantage of any changes. We know that focusing on your business is important. If you need to change small goals during a mini-crisis, our Atlanta CFO Advisory CPAs can help you reevaluating your methods to eliminate problems and to get your business back on track. When your business is doing well, your goals can help increase profits. They can also act as safeguards during those inevitable slumps.
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