How to Set Realistic Business Goals

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How to Set Realistic Business Goals

Is your organization losing ground to the competition? Don’t panic. Set realistic business goals and keep your progress sustainable.

When you’re a CEO, your team is depending on you to set realistic business goals. One thing you have to keep in mind: as a business owner in today’s environment, particularly if you’re coming into a digital or internet business setting, no one’s waiting for you to arrive.

When you set business goals that are too aggressive or unrealistic in relation to your business history, you’re setting yourself up for a quick fall.

When you’re thinking about your business goals, remember to look at them in relation to your team’s capabilities, what you’re trying to achieve from an overall revenue perspective, and also what you’re capable of in daily operations.

This can be a difficult concept to embrace, especially if you’re watching your competition get the market share of publicity and revenue. But step back for a moment. If you’re going to make progress, you have to know what you’re working with, and where you want to go.

Every company has limitations, but the most successful companies figure out how to work through those limitations and capitalize on their strengths. So when you think about setting realistic business goals, you must have an honest and sometimes sobering look at your current situation.  

When you do sit down to make a plan, these four steps will help guide you.

Plan with your current team

Who are the superstars on your team? These are the people you’ll work with to make real transformation happen. You’ll need to keep your eyes and ears open to find the right people. They might be part of your corporate board or top salespeople, but they could also be the customer service specialist or onboarding coordinator who works with your customers every day.

The people you want on your team are smart, passionate, and natural leaders, even if they aren’t necessarily in leadership positions. But you don’t want to ignore the people on your team with experience and skill. Just be aware that successful ideas can come from unexpected places.

Don’t overdo it

It’s easy to work from a place of panic when your numbers are starting to decline. You need to resist the urge to react. Instead, take a proactive and realistic approach to creating a new growth strategy. Your superstar team will burn out quickly if tied down with meetings and emails. Set up a brainstorming session, then let it go. Meet again next week, and put a cap on your meeting times.

You can also use communication software to help you stay in touch without bringing people in for meetings. Use it as part of your baseline in creating realistic business goals. After all, how much progress can your company make if everybody is in meetings all the time?

Be realistic

You have to be realistic with your business goals. Change takes time. There will be people in your organization that won’t want change. You’ll find obstacles and unexpected challenges, but these can also be possibilities to test your creativity and force you to think in new ways.

Ask for help

It’s okay to ask for help. The world of business has changed dramatically in the last ten years, and it will continue to change as technology and digital mediums become more elaborate. This might mean hiring an outside consultant or a business coach to help you strategize realistic business goals. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to talk to someone who has experience and a track record you can have faith in.

When you determine what realistic business goals look like for your team, make sure that you continue to have a holistic point of view when you’re putting together those business goals on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.

If your Likes and Tweets aren’t converting into digital dollars, ​let’s talk about the big picture items during a 30-minute no-obligation call with me, your future strategic planning consultant.

Mari Anne Snow
Mari Anne Snow
Mari Anne Snow is a highly-skilled change management professional with over 20 years experience utilizing technology to support non-disruptive change. A dynamic strategic planning speaker and thought-provoking writer, she is CEO and co-founder of SophiaThink and SophiaThink’s Blog. Her firm teaches clients the best ways to use the latest technologies to maximize team performance and business collaboration. Mari Anne is also an adjunct professor at Bentley University and Suffolk University; co-host of Positive Business radio with Patricia Raskin (WPRV AM790) and an advisor to several start-ups.
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