Many business owners are under the false assumption that goals have to be a formal document, several hundred pages long. There are businesses who have been successful with goals written on a single page. While not every business will have the luxury of keeping their goals to one page, the consensus is to keep your goal-setting efforts as simple as possible. Goals need to be usable. If you create a multipage document that is both unreadable and unmanageable you have wasted your efforts and your time. If the goals affect others, you will be wasting their time as well.
When you set out to create clear and concise goals, people will find them easier to work with. Start by listing out the major objectives of your business. Keep this stage high-level. It can be as simple as stating you want to increase your customer base by 12% within the next year. Another possibility is setting sales targets. There are no right or wrong answers during this first pass, and you can make changes as necessary.
After you are happy with your high-level goals, it’s time to dig in and create tasks that will accomplish the high-level goals. When you determine what these are, assign dates to complete them by. Determine any prerequisites for completing them. These could include funding, training, etc. The more specific you are with the tasks, the easier they will be to accomplish. If you have multiple people who are going to help you with your business goals, the next step is to match up who is qualified to perform which tasks.
You also need to make sure they can accomplish them in the period given. It’s a good idea to ask them if they feel comfortable with the amount of time allocated. Some managers may even choose to add extra time as a fudge factor, to ensure successful completion. Other managers will try to undercut the time as a way to push their employees. Which way is better, will depend on the team. Creating goals for your business is an ongoing process. It changes as the needs of your business changes. There can also be situations when members of the team leave before all the goals are complete. By keeping your goals and tasks as simple as possible, you will set up an environment where these situations will not have a big impact on completing the overall goals.