Setting Business Objectives

Far too frequently I come across established businesses that are simply “drifting” from one day to the next. For many self employed people simply “surviving” is the goal and avoiding going back to being a wage slave.

We are all guilty of spending so much time working in the business that we don’t stop to take stock and think about working on the business. A simple plan can help and the following list of questions might help you take your business to the next level:

  1. Who are your most profitable customers and how did you get them?
  2. What services / products do you currently offer?
  3. What sets you apart from your competitors?
  4. Is your business seasonal (at present)?
  5. Who are your key suppliers / contacts?
  6. What changes are taking place in your current business area?
  7. If you have staff, what happens when they are on holiday / leave?
  8. What are your plans to exit the business?
  9. If you had a fire in your business premises how quickly could you recommence trading?
  10. What tasks that you currently do can you delegate to someone else?
  11. If you work alone, how do you keep yourself motivated?

Now write down the answers – and think about how you would like it to be in 12 / 24 months time.

What do you need to do differently? Which new skills / products and resources do you need and where can you find them?

Set your business some goals.

For example:-

Specific - I want to widen the range of baby products that I sell.
Measurable - I want to increase my turnover by 12%.
Timely - I want the changes to be implemented successfully within 12 months.

Having identified the goals then look at what you can do realistically to achieve each business objective.

Objective
Widen the range of baby products that I sell.

How
  • Look for new ranges?
  • Are there complimentary products?
  • Ask your customers and suppliers!
  • Alternative ways of selling – mail order / internet / home shopping parties etc.
When
Set a realistic date to implement.

Talk the plan through with those that you rely on for your inspiration and amend and refine the plan – revisit it regularly and update where necessary. Keep the plan simple and no more than a couple of sheets of A4 – Ronald Reagan had a “single sheet” approach – after all we a running a business and not writing an MBA dissertation!













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