As a business owner, you likely have several large projects in the works, a new product or service launch right around the corner, a few employee issues that need addressing, payroll due on Friday, and three customers who are past due on their payments-- and that is just a typical Tuesday. Despite your best efforts, juggling all of these tasks never really gets easier and before you know it, six months have passed and your company hasn't made a whole lot of progress on its goals.
Too many businesses have great goals on paper, but when it comes to getting everyone on the same page they fall short. You want to efficiently align your company with your top goals and be as deliberate as possible with your actions, but it's hard to know where to start. Given these challenges, I wanted to share with you some tips to help get your whole company on the same page to accelerate your growth.
Create specific goals.
It seems obvious, but I can't even tell you how many business owners I have met with who when asked what their goals were for their business they simply said, "I want to grow."
The best leaders will have specific goals in mind. They want to, say, grow by 25 percent year over year, or they want to hit a certain sales target by the end of the year. The point is, the clearer you are on where you want to go, the easier it is to get there.
Ask your employees to repeat the goals back to you.
Once you have a good handle on where your business is going, the next thing you want to do is make sure that everyone else understands exactly what the goals are. Make sure that everyone in the team understands and buys in. I also suggest spot-checking with your team often to make sure that they really understand what to focus their time and attention on.
Ask direct questions like, "what do you see as our company's top three goals?" If you discover, as you likely will, that what you thought was simple and clear was neither, use this as an opportunity to coach and redirect.
Break goals down by department.
Once your team knows the goals, help staff make them achievable by breaking down the goals by the department.
Let's take the goal of hitting a certain sales target by the end of the year. For your sales team, this might be an easy one. But what does it mean for your operations manager? Your marketing team? Your customer service department? What can they do to help support or guide your company to help it reach the target sooner?
Have each department break it down into actionable steps that they can tackle the next 60 or 90 days, and have them put it down on paper (or in your project management software) for record-keeping. It needs to be concrete.
At first, it is going to take some effort to really focus on the things that matter most to your business. But over time, it will become easier and easier to block out the things that aren't on your plan for the quarter.