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ALL BUSINESSES SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN SETTING SMART BUSINESS GOALS
Every business small and large needs a set of achievable business goals.
In the business planning stage, keep in mind that some goals are explicit and others,
by their true nature, are implicit.
All parts of a business action plan should have goals, both explicit and implicit alike.
In this post, we’ll briefly discuss implicit goals.
Implicit goals unlike explicit plans are normally not written down and are mostly
a figment of top management’s culture.
These goals often reside in the dreams of the individual top managers, it’s often in their
collective motivations, and thoughts about certain desired but currently unachievable goals.
It would behoove them to develop and work from examples of explicit smart goals.
Using a list of smart goal examples can provide a picture of various
personal business goal targets.
DETERMINING A FIRM’S IMPLICIT GOALS
Although not normally expressed the implicit goals are nevertheless still important.
Since they mostly exist and are formulated in the top manager’s thoughts and actions;
it will be very difficult for anyone to surmise any firms implicit goals.
We mentioned them here to acknowledge only that they exist.
It is possible sometimes to maybe determine a firm’s implicit goals by looking at the company’s
operational and overall business plan.
The company’s actions and accomplishments will often provide some inkling as to
a firm’s implicit goals.
Take for example, by analyzing a firm’s product(s), its product(s) line it is possible to
determine a business’s implicit ideas regarding product line, quality of products, and pricing strategy.
A thorough analysis of their advertising, marketing, planning, and sales plan will sometimes provide
information about their implicit distribution channels, sales, and marketing goals.
The major shortcoming to having and operating under implicit goals is that sometimes no-one else, but the top management know what they are, some who may be in key positions to the success of the organization.
Since top management’s implicit goals are not communicated, the firm’s middle management often does not understand them or even know what they are.
Without a consultant pointing the way, most of the time a firm’s operating and middle managers know little about or understand top management’s implicit goals.
For this reason, alone, implicit goals, can sometimes, and often do cause management confusion and misunderstanding throughout an organization.
Too much of a communication gap existing between a firm’s organizational
behavior and its implicit goals can lead to missed production marks,
missed sales, advertising targets, and an underachieving marketing effort.
Any further discussion of any firm’s implicit goals currently is beyond the scope of this post.
MANAGEMENT’S PLACE IN SETTING EXPLICIT ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS
A smooth operating business organization will have set a set of clear, understandable, and consistent explicit goals.
Most of its explicit goals will be covered, for example, in such areas as in comprehensive
employee training, marketing methods, financial goals, organizational goals, all can be written
as part of a written codicil for all the firm’s explicit goals.
For an organization to be effective in setting goals, both the explicit and implicit goals of the organization
somehow must be communicated throughout the organization.
For an organization to be both profitable and successful overall, everyone must know, understand, and sign
on to the goals of the organization, whether they be explicit or implicit.
SET EXPLICIT GOALS FOR AN EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION
It is the responsibility of a firm’s top management and middle management
to collectively establish a set of explicit, implicit, and tentative goals.
The establishment and use of a smart goals setting worksheet would be
helpful in this process.
We’ll discuss tentative goals, but, in reality, all goals are tentative.
In the opinion of the author of this post, no goal can be considered
a real goal until it’s legitimacy is tested later on in the planning process.
In a list of long term explicit goals a business should, at a minimum,
establish goals for;
6. Human Resources;
8. Budgetary; and,
A DISCUSSION OF ESTABLISHED BUSINESS GOALS
The list of the above necessary smart goals that are needed by any
business is now going to be discussed briefly below:
A. Marketing Goal will probably be the steps necessary to produce, sell, distribute and bring the product to the market;
B. Financing Goals could consist of obtaining the needed funds to conduct business, hire staff, meet a payroll, and to finance a sales force;
C. Sales Goals will probably include the method of sales, numbers of sales staff and expenses, desired sales locations and anything else related to sales;
D. Advertising Goals will cover media, methods of advertising, advertising expense, advertising savings
E. Organizational Goals will cover various reporting relationships, performance requirements, anticipated savings and efficiencies as a result of the organization;
F. Human Resource Goals will cover all manpower needs for a certain period of time, such as the number of staff needed
to staff the firm’s administrative and operating functions, employee standards, employees performance, code of conduct,
employee benefits, pay standards, employee evaluations, record keeping, and etc; employee benefits, pay standards,
employee evaluations, record keeping, and etc;
G. Manpower Goals This planning item can be a separate entity but can be combined with Human Resources Goals.
H. Budgetary Goals Probably the most important of all the goals. Roadmap to pay for all the other goals.
I. Profit Goals The bottom line, the whole firm’s dependence is on setting and getting this goal right.
SETTING A COMPANY’S EXPLICIT GOALS
A good tool to have for analyzing a firm’s explicit goals is a goal planning worksheet.
This worksheet should consist of a company’s business objectives and examples of a list of
a firm’s long-term business goals.
Goals can be established for a list longer than the ones discussed above.
Our examples will be limited to four areas to show the importance of setting goals and to reveal some
of the desired understanding needed to bring adhesion and vision to a firm’s goals.
Our focus will concentrate on four (4) areas:
- Financial goals.
- Goals for products and services offered.
- Goals for The marketplace, and;
- Goals for Organizational structure and style.
METHODS FOR MEASURING FINANCIAL SUCCESS
1. A business firm can measure its financial performance in many ways.
Some firm’s use as the first measure of performance,
a firm’s total sales volume.
2. The above performance measurement of sales volume is normally more
appropriate to the small business.
3. Another performance measurement is mostly a simple measure of any decreases or increases
in sales volume versus the absolute amount of sales the firm generated.
4. The underlying thinking behind the adoption of sales volume as a good indicator of earnings is the
assumption that increases in sales volume indicate income profitability; and that decreases in
sales volume point to losses in the income plan and poor profitability.
5. Viewed critically, the view above of the data in an income plan concerning profitability
may be and often is incorrect.
For example, there are studies existing of a number of America’s major corporations
that placed a major emphasis on growth in sales as their main measure to financial profitability.
The majority of these corporations discovered that their growth in sales did not necessarily lead to
enhanced corporate profitability or better financial returns to shareholders.
6. In fact, it has been discovered that using only sales growth volume as a
measure of financial viability and profitability sometimes causes a corporation to experience
real financial trouble.
Many of these corporate giants using this measurement, despite good
sales growth, began to experience unforseen tight cash binds and poor cash flow.
Our suggestion is that for the large and small business corporations to use only sales volume
as a measure of total corporate profitability is extremely shortsighted and should be reviewed.
7. Another popular profitability measurement in small business goal setting is to often measure revenue against
expenses and if revenue exceeds expenses, then the business is successful and profitable.
The emphasis above measures something, but it misses a key point.
8. The point is that the firm must have profitable sales and revenue.
Profitable sales are where sales growth is combined with a corresponding reduction in
business administrative, operating expenses, or some other cost type savings.
Many large corporations use ROI (return-on-investment) as a means of
measuring the achievement of performance goals.
Many times, it would also be wise for the small business to adopt the ROI method.
9. Another measure of financial goal achievement can be set by adding the amount of cash from all sources
generated by the business, versus all the expenses of the firm.
We provide the above-mentioned ways to measure financial goals to emphasize that all businesses’
must have financial goals.
Without financial goals and measurements, a firm may have great sales volume, appear profitable, and be
growing, but without a cash flow goal measure, it may still be running out of cash.
OBTAINING PRODUCTS and SERVICES OFFERED GOALS
The true or main objective of any business is often debated but is thought
to be only to make money.
This concept is a full-speed-ahead and uses whatever means it needs to use to accomplish
it one objective… make money.
Many times this is a shortsighted way of measuring goal achievement.
Most good managers realize that the bottom line is important but set their strategy
to goals much broader than just to make money.
They may and often do have plans and goals for other corporate matters.
SETTING MARKET PLACE GOALS
Management must always be cognizance of its marketplace.
It must consistently ask itself what is it trying to accomplish in this marketplace.
Some marketplace questions which must be answered, by management are;
A. Who are its customers?
B. How is the firm going to market and sell to their ideal customer?
C. How will they distribute the product?
D. Approximate size of their market?
E. Can the market grow, and will the market grow?
F What’s our current market share and do we need a larger share of the market?
SETTING ORGANIZATIONAL AND STRUCTURAL GOALS
Efficient managers often will have established a smart goal setting plan relative
to their organizational structure and style.
Questions that often arise in setting organizational and structural goals are;
A. Will the organization be formally or informally structured?
B. Will decision-making be centralized, decentralized, restrictive, or loose?
C. How much autonomy will each level of management have?
D. Will there be a competitive or cooperative corporate atmosphere?
E. Corporate communication flows and levels.
These goals should be written down in a goal planning worksheet and reviewed often.
They should be provided during the firm’s planning phase.
Include these goals in a list of small business ideas.
They’ll make money making easier in your list of long term goals.
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