Five examples of business goals and how to set them

Moving forward in business is like planning a great trip: You know where you want to end up, but the road there isn’t always straightforward.

Smart business goals help you navigate the twists and turns along the way. While a business plan and vision statement offer a “big picture” perspective about your company and what you want to accomplish, short-term and long-term goals define the specific strategies you’ll use to get there.

However, not all business goals are created equal. In order to be effective, goals must involve specific, actionable items with a clear time frame and responsible parties.

Specific and visible business goals

Studies show people are more likely to accomplish goals that are specific, challenging, and written down.

When creating the types of business goals detailed above, focus on adding a quantitative measure, where relevant, in terms of percentage of improvement or resource savings, growth or productivity improvements, or a deadline to achieve the goal. Also, keeping goals visible helps employees stay focused on business success. They have a way to benchmark their progress. And seeing what’s been achieved can be a prime motivator to continue working toward achieving your goals and tackling new ones in the future.

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for Inc.com, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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