Having met with many local entrepreneurs recently, it was clear many didn’t understand why goal setting is important for their business growth.
Issues with time management, productivity and focus stopped them from goal setting.
This made it difficult to find the time set specific, measurable goals for the next 12 months.
They all knew where they wanted to go, but needed a push to get clear on why goal setting is important to create a business that could sustainably grow.
There are six key reasons that setting goals was essential to the small business owners I spoke to:
1. Focus on acquiring new customers
Clients and customers are at the heart of any business.
Without customers and the revenue generated then the business becomes just a good idea.
One of the main challenges every business owners faces is how to attract, retain and maximise their customers?
The key to winning new business and ensuring customer retention is providing great products and services but also adding a great customer service experience.
A strategy needs to be developed for ensuring this customer growth and maximising revenues from existing customers.
2. Having an integrated marketing strategy
Many business owners are not marketing experts.
They need strategic advice when it comes to developing positioning, a marketing strategy, campaigns and communication channels.
The challenge is to enable the business to tell its story in a way that enables the business to grow and build customer engagement.
Bringing an experienced marketer into the business to help develop this strategy can allow the business owner to focus on what they do best.
3. Having more time to think and plan
For many business owners there are simply not enough hours in a day.
All owners are stretched for time.
Creating more time means sometimes saying no and focussing on what is essential for the success of the business.
This is where business owner often seek external advice.
A business coach or consultant will help them focus on what is critical for the success of the business.
4. Taking Control of Cash Flow
It is imperative for a small or medium-sized business to manage their cashflow effectively.
However, sometimes managing the P&L seemed to be the third or fourth ‘order of the day’ for some business owners.
A business coach or business consultant will take the time to analyse business performance.
They will look at revenue and costs, looks at aged debtors, analyses client profitability and puts effective financial planning measures in place.
5. Increasing Profitability
Business Planning seemed to be a bit of an afterthought for some of the business owners I spoke with, they were working more ‘on the fly’.
Annual Planning should start a minimum of four months before the end of the financial year and should start with a formal annual budget.
Goal setting should include:
- Understanding the profitability of each client/customer
- Exploring growth opportunities for the best customers
- Business development planning
- Analysis of the overheads required to service those clients/customers
- Marketing strategy and planning
- Building a great customer experience
- Deliver a sustainable profit margin
Successful business owners create wealth and grow their business by understanding how to build a culture where sustainable profitability is a given.
6. Having Clear Systems And Processes
Many business owners are not across all the processes involved in running a business.
The challenge is to make the processes involved in running a business simpler.
This is where an external consultant or expert support can prove highly beneficial.
Failure to manage processes such as sales, marketing, business development, building customer loyalty, operational management, HR and employee development can lead to businesses failing.
Being stretched across business functions is not the best way for business owners to develop their business.
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