Mangement For Design

Summer Release

Business Objectives for the Year Ahead

Now is the time to be looking at where you want your business to be in 12 months time and it is important to compile a clear set of objectives and milestones to get you there. The process of setting objectives can be as simple or as difficult as you want it to be. The key thing to remember is that simple, easily understood objectives are more likely to be achieved.

1. Where are we now?
The first aspect of setting objectives is to understand where your business is now. Take the time to carefully review your business and to discover what you are doing well, what needs to be improved, what is holding you back and what needs to be removed completely from your horizon. Once you have gained awareness of where you stand now you can look to where you want to be.

2. Where do we want to go?
Almost all business leaders want their business to be respected and to grow. These are great aims to aspire to but in themselves are far too vague. Get specific or you are doomed to not achieve anything.

Some examples of specific objectives include:

• Expand your revenue by 20%
• Reduce your employee attrition rate
• Expand into the health sector
• Source external advice to help your business develop a new service line
• Upgrade your key business management systems

Take the time to get your wish list down and take even more time to be sure these wishes are as concise as possible.

3. How will we get there?
An objective is just a wish unless you plan an action to achieve it. This is the stage that is easy to over complicate. Start by breaking down your objectives into smaller parts. Talk to stakeholders and ask them to tell you the key elements they believe will help you achieve your objectives — be sure to tell them not to over complicate as well!

The next step is to look at the hard numbers. Are you adequately resourced and can you afford to chase this objective? If not, what do you need to do to free up what is necessary? As you can see, even objectives need planning!

4. Make a commitment
One of the main reasons businesses don’t achieve their objectives is that they don’t commit to them. Placing your objectives under the scrutiny of key people within your business puts them out there in a way that encourages action.

5. Be tenacious and get to work!
Ensure that all stakeholders know their place in the plan and that they talk to each other. There is no room for fiefdoms! Never lose sight of where you want to be. Use situational awareness and mobile technology to keep track of your progress so if necessary you can adjust your planning on the fly. Communicate, communicate, communicate!

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