You know where your business is right now. But what about where you want to be tomorrow, next quarter, or next year? How do you set goals and objectives for your business strategy that aren’t just a wish list, but something you can actually work towards?
Goal-setting matters to SMBs, but it’s something that is overlooked all too often. When you’re focused on trying to stay afloat - especially true in these uncertain times - it’s understandable that you prioritize getting by on a day to day basis. However, in a dynamic business environment, staying afloat, staying where you are, isn’t enough to guarantee survival in the long-run.
To survive, you need to grow and thrive. And to do that, you need to set and work towards achieving clear, actionable goals in terms of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). Let’s take a look at the reasons why goal-setting is so important for SMBs.
Goal setting turns your business vision into action
Your business’s vision is like the North Star. It gives you a sense of direction and purpose, something to work towards. But how do you translate your day-to-day business activities into action that achieves your vision?
Goal-setting with the OKR model takes your qualitative big picture vision and turns it into quantitative, time-bound, and actionable targets that you can actually work towards day to day, week to week, and quarter to quarter. OKR translates a qualitative objective (what you want to do) into a quantitative, measurable set of key results (how you’ll do that).
It’s important to note here that the key results have to be measurable. As former Google VP and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said, “It’s not a key result unless it has a number.”
If you’re not sold yet, then realize that data shows the average revenue boost from goal setting and management is 15%. Most companies could use an extra 15% in revenue to help your growth.
Goals are so important to the success of your business, but so are your content marketing strategies and tactics. Take advantage of a review of your marketing aspects:
Put a number on it: key results to drive performance
Putting a number on your key results forces you to measurably improve performance. For example, if your objective is “get more leads this month,” one of your key results could be “turn 20 new prospects into qualified leads.” Another key result could be “Increase the landing page conversion rate to 3 percent.”
This gives you a yardstick to measure your progress. At the end of the month, you can take a look at your performance. Did you bring in 20 or more qualified leads? Did your landing page conversion rate increase to 3 percent? With OKRs, you meet objectives only when you deliver tangible results.
Set goals to help achieve your vision
When setting goals, you need to make sure that your quarterly objectives work towards enabling your ultimate vision. This is how you actually make the leap from where you are now to where you want to be.
No matter how small an objective you set, remember to ask yourself “does this help me work towards our ultimate mission and vision?” If an objective isn’t relevant to achieving your big picture targets, achieving it won’t move you forward.
Create a Hierarchy of Success
You should also nest small, specific metrics within the key results and bigger objectives all the way up to your ultimate goals… it becomes a hierarchy of success.
For example, if one of your metrics is to increase the growth rate of new prospects, nest that within a quarterly key result to onboard three new clients and nest that within a quarterly objective to be the number two service provider in your region, which ultimately drives your vision and company mission.
When you first started your business, you probably set yourself a vague target to be the leader in your industry. With clear goal setting, the path is made clear. You’ll understand what it means to achieve that goal, what you have to do, and how long it’ll take. All you have to do next is kick things into high gear and act.
Marketing is constantly evolving, and there are tons of opportunities that SMBs are not taking advantage of in order to boost revenue.
It pays to discuss your strategies.