As a CEO, president or business owner, have you thought about your business goals lately?
Ever since you started out in business you’ve read over and over and over again how:
- You have to have business goals
- You have to have a business plan
Why do you have to have business goals and business plans? There are many articles and books published about how to create a list of business goals or how to write a business plan.
That’s not what this article is about.
This article is about asking: Why?
- Why have business goals?
- Why have a business plan?
In business, you can never ask the question, Why?, too much. Keep asking, Why?, till you are comfortable with the answers and the information you are seeking.
The last thing you want to do is work through an exercise of business goals and business plans without any real sense of purpose or direction. If you do, you’re just going through the motions which is a waste of time.
The most important thing you have in business – and in life is: Time.
You go to work in the morning at 6, 7, 8, even 9 o’clock. The day starts without a minute to spare when you’re in business. There are things to do and people to talk to throughout the day. Customers and business associates want your time, even if it’s for a moment or two. There’s decisions to make. There are interruptions. Before you know it, the day is over. There’s no more day left. Doesn’t matter if you work 5, 6 or 7 days a week. It’s Monday then it’s Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Then the business week starts over. It’s January then it’s December. It’s a New Year.
Time moves on.
Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to business.
If you’re investing your hard earned money into, for example, a 401K and are relatively young in adult years, time can be your friend in helping you to build monetary wealth. But when you are in business, time does not help you to build wealth in the same way. That’s why you need to have business goals. It’s also why you need to understand exactly what you need so you can set up those goals. You need to understand what you are doing TODAY.
What is my plan TODAY to make the business successful and profitable?
Ask yourself the above question every day. It’s vital to your business success.
Think business goal.
- What is my plan for the day?
- What is my plan for the week?
- What is my plan for the month?
- What is my plan for the year?
As a CEO, president or business owner, you can extend these business goal questions to other areas of your company. For example, sales.
- What are the sales goals?
- What are the sales goals of each individual salesperson?
- How many prospects does it take to make a sale?
- How many contacts does it take identify and qualify a prospect?
- What’s the closing ratio?
To find the right prospects who become the good, long term customers takes time. While the sales process is an ongoing cycle, other aspects of the business are in constant motion. That’s why profitability and growth are important. Without those positive factors, you will run out of time to keep your business operating.
If you had an infinite amount of time you could really build the business of your dreams with an infinite amount of money. But that’s not how it works.
When thinking about business goals, think about them differently. Don’t think of goals as drudgery. Don’t dread the thought of sitting down to think through what your business goals realistically are. Don’t write goals you’ll never reference again.
Think about what you REALLY want from your business.
- Where do you want to go with your business?
- What’s the end game this business year?
- What is the end game ultimately?
- Do you want to sell your business, at some point?
- Is your business organization and products/services set up to be sold in the future?
Nearly every business should be set up to be sold even though you may not have the intention to sell now or in the future.
- You want to make sure all company bookkeeping is in order.
- You want to make sure the company has a good balance sheet.
- You want to make sure profit and loss statements are done well and on a timely basis.
What do I want this year?
It may be:
I’d like to make a $100,000 profit over and above my take home salary.
Or: I’d like to make one million dollars.
That’s where to start.
Now ask yourself:
How much profit do I want the company to make?
Then back it up with questions such as:
- How many customers does the company need to reach these business goals?
- How much needs to be sold?
- How much staffing?
- What office or facility equipment is needed?
That’s how you begin to build business goals.
You don’t just sit down and start writing things down. Instead, you work backwards. You go to the end where you want to be and you make a statement like this:
- I want to do x number of dollars. I’d like x number of profits. Now what do I need to do to make that happen?
As you work backwards, it all becomes more clear what is possible and what isn’t possible; so you adjust accordingly to get as close to what you really want – and what you are willing to do to get there. Whatever your business goals may be, you must be realistic in order to achieve them at optimal levels.
You may want to make two million dollars in profit. But if you only have two salespeople it’s doubtful you’ll do those numbers. The infrastructure needs to be in place to reach your business goals. Otherwise, it won’t happen.
Think of your business goals in a different way. Think of your business goals as your friend. Business goals are your friend tapping on your shoulder saying: This is what you need to do! Goals are essentially telling you what’s necessary to be successful. Understanding business and understanding what you need to do to be successful is all part of your success story.
If you just show up every day and just go through your work day, you’re casting your fate to the wind. It’s saying: Whatever happens, happens. It doesn’t matter.
But it does matter.
When you get to the end of the year and you look at the company’s bottom line or your bank statement or your tax return and say to yourself: I’m putting in all these hours. Putting in all this time to the business. Why didn’t I make any money? Answer: You didn’t make money because you didn’t understand where you needed to go and what you needed to do to get there.
Many people think making money is putting in long hours that are tiring and stressful. Not true. You do put in significant time. But putting significant time in and not doing the right things including making the right goals will not make you the business profit or income you deserve.
Think about what YOU need to make the business work for YOU. Think about what your end game REALLY is. Then back up and see everything there is to see to get you where you want to be. When you get to the end of the year, because you had an understanding of exactly what had to take place to reach your business goals, you will reach them. By doing so, if you’re not reaching your goals today, you’ll know about it. If you’re not reaching your goal for the week or for the month, you’ll know about it. Nothing will be a surprise. You won’t be saying: Well, it’s 10 months into the year and the company is never going to reach it’s goals for the year. And look… we’re losing money! Wow! Didn’t know! – If that happens, ask yourself: Why didn’t I know?!
Business is about numbers, statistics, profit and loss statement, people, and the understanding of what profit means to you and your company. It’s the relationship between the cost of doing business and actually doing business. When you do all those things, you’ll be right on top of your business game, you’ll achieve your business goals, you’ll make money and live the life you want.
May this be the best business year ever!
To your success!
Ready to improve and grow your business? Want to resolve business problems and business issues? Need to discuss strategy regarding a business decision? Talk with Howard! -888-738-1855 – Howard Lewinter guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Get MORE from your business! Talk with Howard: 888-738-1855.