Article Contributed by Mark James
Objective setting; It can prove a useful tool in the entrepreneur’s armoury, helping to provide greater vision throughout their business. If done correctly, the establishing of goals and regular benchmarking provides managers and employees alike with a greater understanding of where they are, as well as where they need to be.
Equally though, the establishing of unrealistic objectives can prove demotivating. If set incorrectly, they can be equally as destructive as they are beneficial. Setting objectives is a balancing act in many ways and it takes a considerable amount of thought. If you’re in the process of setting objectives or plan to do so, here’s some things to consider…
Firstly, stop and take stock
Stop and examine every aspect of your business before you go about setting your objectives. Bear in mind the external environment too. Undertake a SWOT and PEST analysis, this helping to ensure that your objectives are shaped by sound research.
If done correctly, a SWOT analysis will help you to determine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing your business, whilst a PEST analysis will outline the Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors that can impact on your start up.
Having an idea of your businesses capabilities, as well as the current trading environment, will help in your objective creation.
Keep them SMART
The SMART acronym is something worth bearing in mind when you set your objectives, the respective letters standing for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. Adhering to these five terms, you should be left with solid objectives, capable of acting as both a useful benchmarking and motivational tool.
Of course, the deeming of what’s a realistic objective will vary throughout the business. Therefore it’s important to consider the next tip…
Consult your employees
Objectives should ideally be agreed through consultation with employees, rather than simply set by the Managers and Directors. If employees input isn’t considered, this can lead them believing they work in dictatorial workplace…and as we see time and time again, dictatorships often collapse.
Let the workforce help shape your objectives. This should give them a greater sense of belonging and responsibility, thus leading to higher levels of motivation and job satisfaction.
Seek objective opinion
Consulting employees can go a long way to help you achieving this, their input ensuring your sheer enthusiasm doesn’t get the better of you. They too though, may be a little overzealous, or perhaps equally cautious.
With this mind it may be wise to speak to some sort of business consultancy, their input can bring in a degree of impartiality.
About the Author
Mark James is an in-house Writer for Crunch, an online accountancy firm based in the UK. He specialises in Small Business and Finance, more specifically how start-ups can succeed in what’s a tough economic environment.