Strategic Planning in a Capricious World: Part 3 – Setting Goals

Posted on: February 12, 2024

If you’re the one steering the ship, you’d better know where you’re going. Setting goals for your business is essential to success. All goals are future-oriented, but how you think about them can depend on how far into the future we’re talking. So, let’s make it easier with some categories.

Visionary Goals – These are your longest-term goals and should align with your mission, vision, and purpose. For entrepreneurs, also consider succession planning; like selling and retiring!

Strategic Goals – These are what you want to accomplish over the next few years. They are steps that will move you forward towards your visionary goals, but more than what you can do in a year.

Annual Goals – These form your working plans for the upcoming year. They are smaller steps that advance your strategic and visionary goals.

You’ve probably heard the acronym “SMART” regarding goal setting. That stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound, and these factors need to apply to all your goals. Let’s look at some examples.

If your vision is “To be the industry leader in safe winter tires,” then your Visionary Goal might be, “To have the highest market share of winter tire sales and the highest safety rating in the industry, by 2030.”

A related strategic goal would be “To advance our safety rating by two points by 2027.”

This year’s goals could include:

1.       To submit our prototype for safety assessment by August.

2.       To begin production of the SX in November.

3.       To increase year-over-year sales in November, December, and January.

You’ll also likely have operational goals; things like acquiring new dealers, lowering costs, etc. While there’s no limit on how many goals you can have, making too many takes away focus, so add with caution.

A few final notes. Regarding the achievability of your goals, be realistic and make sure you consider the cost in assessing feasibility. Also, be sure to describe how data for performance measures will be acquired and analyzed.

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