How To Set Goals and Strategies for Your Business

Goals and strategies are crucial to business success.  A poorly-aligned organization frustrates employees and managers, and decimates an organization’s bottom line through an inefficient use of their resources.  There are many types of goals.  One, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, asks managers to set difficult (and usually long-term) goals, such as putting a computer on every desktop (Microsoft), converting the automotive industry to electric vehicles (Tesla), and colonizing the moon (SpaceX).  Companies can also set shorter-term day-to-day goals to guide their employees’ efforts.  To do so, they need to follow a few simple-yet-crucially important steps.


how to set goals and strategies for your business
Photo Credit: Aleksander Kaczmarek

1.     Establish clear, precise, and difficult goals:
Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario.  The factory manager calls a meeting with his undisciplined employees to address production concerns on the factory floor.  He informs his employees that he expects to see an improvement in widget production for the next quarter.  How will those employees perform?

They probably won’t perform as well as the manager hopes.  As is so often the case, it’s all about motivation.  A simple, easily accomplished goal fails to inspire hard work long-term, because even half-hearted short-term effort may be sufficient.  Additionally, unclear and imprecise goals foster frustration and confusion amongst employees and managers alike.  In our hypothetical scenario, a group of undisciplined employees are challenged to perform even fractionally better.  At the end of the quarter, the results come in and, as you might expect, the employees did just enough to meet a simple, unclear, imprecise goal.  Management is upset the employees failed to produce more, and the employees are upset about management’s reaction.

Let’s imagine that same manager calculating a difficult-yet-feasible goal, and challenging his employees.  Suddenly, those same employees understand the task ahead.  They see a distinct and definite goal in the future, and each successive widget brings them closer.  The desire to accomplish a tangible goal stimulates motivation.  It’s beneficial to everyone.

2.       Work backwards to determine strategies:
Now that you’ve established your clear, precise, and difficult goal, you’ll need to bring it to fruition.  How will you do it?  By working backwards.  Take out a piece of paper.  On one end, write your organization’s ultimate goal (producing 20 widgets per week).  On the other end, write your organization’s current standing in whatever metric you’re measuring (in this case, perhaps you’re producing 10 widgets per week).  What do you need to double your productivity?  A widget manufacturing training program?  More employees?  More machinery?

Write these steps somewhere on the paper between your starting and ending point.  From there, determine what additional steps may be required to meet those steps.  For instance, if you determined you’d need another machine to hit your manufacturing goal, how will you afford the machine?  Break your clear, precise, and difficult long-term goals into clear, precise, and difficult short-term goals.

3.       Communicate:
Once you’ve established these goals, communicate them to all involved parties.  Be certain that all parties understand their role in accomplishing their goals. This is achieved by having your managers personalize each direct-report’s goals such that they are clear to the specific position.


4.       Perform planned actions:

If you are the employee, your goals should be clear enough that you know what to aim for every week. If you are the manager, you’ll want to be analyzing metrics and using your weekly check-in with your direct report to ensure milestones are being met.


5.       Provide Regular Feedback:
Inform employees of their progress toward the goal.  Congratulate them when they perform well, and coach them when they lag behind.  You, the manager, have the power drastically improve their chances of achieving these goals.


6.       Reward:
Reward your employees for a job well done.  Something as simple as a heartfelt thanks and buying a few pizzas can drastically improve employee morale, which can only be beneficial to an organization. In the end, it is recognizing and appreciating the effort and the results that effort achieved.


Clear, precise, and difficult goals (and the strategies required to achieve them) are crucial to an organization’s success.  Align your employees, monitor their performances, and watch your profits soar.


Interested in learning more about goal-setting and strategy?  Visit Hyper Growth Business Strategies.  Stay tuned to our blog for more helpful content!