How to set business objectives at the start of the year

Mihai Cristea 16/03/2021 | 13:48

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of the way entrepreneurs and business owners see their activity as well as the manner in which they organise their everyday work. But, one of the things that should never change is our perception of a new year: it should begin with hope as well as with some strategic planning that will help set the tone for a good, productive year. Plus, it’s the perfect time to assess where your business stands and what type of actions required.  

By Romanita Oprea

 

According to Bernard Marr & Co., the first step in setting the right targets for your business is to establish or review your company’s purpose (mission) and ambition (vision). Even if you already have a purpose and ambition statement, it’s a good idea to review them at least once a year to see whether they are still relevant considering how your company has matured and where you want it to go. If they’re not, it’s time for an update. And if you’ve never developed them in the first place, this is the perfect first step towards setting the right targets. Make sure that these statements are both inspiring and precise. Everyone in your organisation needs to have a clear understanding of where they are headed if you want to have any chance of actually getting there.

“Next, with purpose and ambition in mind, it’s time to create a simple one-pager that captures your company’s top-level plans, objectives, and priorities. This will increase your odds of being one of the 10 percent of companies that actually turn their strategic goals into results, because it will be easy for anyone in the company to read and understand the priorities, focus on what’s important, monitor progress, and manage the team’s is progress toward those objectives.

A crucial part of any company’s target-setting process needs to include external changes that may impact your business in the coming year. Businesses are impacted by legislation such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and new regulatory requirements may shift your strategy,” Bernard Marr & Co specialists added.

Moreover, it’s really important to know when to say no. Reject any strategies that don’t fit. You’ll also have to shelve ideas that you lack the resources to pursue at the moment, regardless of however wonderful they may sound. Understand what you can accomplish and what you cannot and set your limits. Focus on how to grow your business, strengthen your products and services, and improve the way you run your company.

Other steps that are also very important and will make a difference are drafting one-year  plans for individual teams, focusing on personal leadership priorities, analyse consumer behaviour and get feedback from inside and outside your company, plan your investments, keep HR needs in minds, bring your partners closer and ask for their opinions, set up a clear marketing and communication strategy, etc. And always look for ways to improve not just your company, but yourself and your knowledge, too.

“Executive coaching is an efficient, high-impact process that helps high-performing people in leadership roles improve results in ways that can be sustained over time. It is efficient because, unlike traditional consulting assignments, it does not require invasive processes, large outside teams, and lengthy reports and analyses to get results. Unlike other options, executive coaching programmes are laser-focused on achieving ambitious results that have a direct impact on your sales and profits. Testimonials show that coaching brings back control, focus, and peace of mind to your work. Before you start any coaching programme, agree that there is the potential for a five to tenfold return on your fees back to you in specific, measurable value. If the value isn’t there for you, you shouldn’t waste your time, nor the coach’s,” said Daiana Stoicescu, Master Certified Coach Trainer.

Daiana Stoicescu – Master Certified Coach Trainer

At the same time, with high levels of uncertainty expected to continue in 2021, it’s good to have one or several backup plans for your business. “Lay out potential contingencies that you may face in the coming year and use this time to craft strategic responses. These strategic plans can address different scenarios like ongoing health concerns, reopening at a slower pace, continued openings and closings, remote and on-demand environments, and full reopening. Build out each of these plans, using the experience of 2020 to help develop key tactics. Many of these tactics may have already proven effective this year or you may still be testing them out. Do research into tactics that have worked for other businesses, even some you may not have thought of, perhaps because your strategy was focused on returning to a recognisable environment,” said John Boitnott for entrepreneur.com.

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