Using What, Why, How and When to Develop Business Goals
One trick when developing your business goals is to ask the following questions throughout the process: what, why, how, and when. These questions can help you get to the needed goals and tasks. It may require you to do more research, but it is a great place to start.
What Do You Want to Accomplish?
You need to have a clear idea of the goals that you want to accomplish. Asking yourself what those goals are will help flood your brain with ideas. The what could be that you want to increase sales by 20%. It could also be to set up a new factory in another location. Concentrate just on those high-level goals at this stage. Don’t worry about anything else.
Why Do You Need Those Goals or Tasks?
The next stage is to ask why for each of your goals. This will help you determine what is truly necessary and separate the wants from the needs. It can also get you started in thinking about some of the challenges you may face with each of the goals. You can use this why questioning for your tasks as well.
How Are You Going to Implement Them?
This is probably going to be task-related, but sometimes it can be as simple as one task. This will probably contain the most detail of any of the other questions that you ask in the process. Asking how will help you develop step-by-step processes that can be used to make the goals happen.
When Will You Complete Them?
Assigning hard dates and making those dates known is a great way to hold yourself and your team accountable. If your department has been given the initiative to complete by a certain date, you may need to back out that date and come up with dates in between. The ideal situation is for you and your team to determine the final date, but that is not always possible. If you don’t have control over that final date, do your best to fill in the tasks with satisfactory dates that give your team enough time to complete their tasks. Asking these questions during each stage of the goal setting process will help you define goals that are not only achievable but ones that actually matter in progressing your company and aligning with its initiative. This takes a bit of practice if you are new at it. But, as you keep doing it, you will find it gets easier.
Why Small Business Owners Don’t Set Goals
There are several reasons why small business owners fail to set goals. It’s a common problem and can adversely affect their businesses. The following are some of the more common reasons.
Afraid of Failure By setting goals, if the business owner doesn’t meet them, others may see this as failing. This can be a fear for the owner and could be a big
reason why they don’t set goals.
They Are Not Sure How
This is one of the biggest reasons why small business owners avoid setting goals; they don’t know how. It’s one thing to list a bunch of desires and another entirely to create a plan that may actually move a company forward.
Afraid of Success
Just as strong as failing is what happens when a business owner sees success. Are their companies big enough to handle that success? If they set goals, they may have to take on more activities such as hiring and expansion of facilities, etc.
Will Be Held Accountable
When you make your goals official, you now have a road-map that holds you accountable. This means that the expectation is much higher and can put unnecessary pressure on these already busy owners.
Too Time Consuming
It takes time to brainstorm ideas and to create tasks that are associated with the goals. This is time taken away from core business functions. Unless they have employees to take up the slack, many business owners are sole employees and have to manage the day-to-day activities.
Why Bother? You Are the Only Employee
This was covered somewhat in the previous paragraph but when you are the only employee in your business, why do you have to come up with goals? Many small business owners think they know what needs to get done.
Just Go with the Flow
Many smaller business owners are under the impression that they can just wing it, i.e., to go with the flow. The belief is that whatever is going to happen will just happen as if it’s meant to be. Setting up goals is a waste of time for people who feel this way. While there are business owners who have been successful without setting goals, most struggle with their business. In fact, this could be the single reason why a majority of small businesses won’t last past a couple of years. By having a road-map, they are in a much better position to see what is working and what needs help.