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Happy New Year! As tradition dictates that we all select a resolution to improve ourselves for the coming year, why not do the same for your business and its operations? For our first tip of the year, we’re sharing how to come up with resolutions that could help you start off this year on the right footing.
We all have goals for our businesses, whether it is to increase sales, to reduce operating costs, or even to increase our client loyalty. However, just having a goal isn’t enough. The goals that you make for your business should be formulated to be as attainable as possible. This can be achieved by adopting S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are known as such because they are:
Let’s see if we can come up with a S.M.A.R.T. goal together. So, let’s assume that you want to increase your revenue. More specifically, you want to increase your revenue by signing more clients on to a recurring service. In order to measure this goal, you plan to compare your starting number of clients on this service to the number of clients on this service as time passes.
However, you also want to make sure that the goal you set for your business can be realistically attained - so you don’t want to set a goal of a million new subscribers in two weeks. Instead, design your goals to be founded on logic and realism - so, perhaps adding 15 percent more subscribers by the start of next quarter. These goals should also have some relevance to your business and its success. Rather than simply increasing the number of people subscribed to a free, throwaway service, make sure that you are growing a service that offers you some kind of return on investment. Finally, you need to constrain how long you spend on your goal to a timely period. Otherwise, the pressure to accomplish this goal won’t be there - which means it can hardly be considered a goal.
It is important to remember that some growth can’t be measured in percentage points, productivity attained, or revenue generated. Some growth is wholly internal, and while it will still have some positive impact on the more traditional benchmarks that a business will prioritize, the real benefits are much more visible than the numbers the traditional benchmarks rely on. By making your workplace a better place to work for your employees, you can create an environment that promotes a variety of typical business goals, such as engagement, employee loyalty, and of course, productivity.
Don’t be afraid to ask your employees how you can help them feel more excited to come to their particular workplace, and listen to the feedback they provide. Identifying what motivates each member of your team can help you to build a stronger workplace culture for everyone.
While many may want to be the next Jeff Bezos or Sam Walton, there are many opportunities that the existence of large, monolithic companies like Amazon or Walmart offer to small and medium-sized businesses. For instance, both Amazon and Walmart have to be somewhat impersonal, due to their size. Smaller businesses, like yours, can take advantage of this by offering clients a closer, stronger relationship, in which you understand their needs and work with your client to help them meet these needs. Cultivating and maintaining these relationships can create a powerful draw that keeps your clients coming back to you.
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