Goals aren’t just meant to be personal — they should be embedded into your company too. For golf course operators, or anyone operating a business, objectives are an important step toward having success. A goal is a desired result, something you want to achieve. Goal-setting is standard practice in business. Here’s why you should be doing it too.
What are business goals and why are they important?
You’ve heard about goal-setting, but why are goals important in business? Because setting them can be the difference between taking your company to the next level and spinning your wheels. Business goals don’t just set targets for employees, they also increase motivation by providing a benchmark by which to measure one’s work. But there’s a correct way to set goals — if done poorly, goals can do more harm than good.
In order to ensure your goals are working for you rather than against you, take your time designing and developing them. You should have a good understanding of what your company or team is capable of, the corporate landscape in which you’re operating, and the past performance of those involved. Oh, and your goals should be SMART — but more on that later.
Many of the top PGA Tour players set goals prior to a new golf season, and some of them even go as far as to make them public (we’ll explain shortly why this is a good idea). Rickie Fowler, for example, wants to win that elusive major championship and make a second USA Olympic team. Just like Rickie, you should approach your business goals with the past, present, and future in mind. What is that one big thing I haven’t achieved yet? What’s on the calendar this year that I want to be a part of? Plan your business goals the way a pro golfer approaches his or her season, and you’ll be off to a good start.
How to set good business goals?
If you don’t take this first important step, you’ll be doomed later on. Before you start throwing ideas out there, it’s a good idea to survey the scene. When golfing, you don’t step up to the first tee and whack the ball, do you? More likely, you check the yardage, gaze down the fairway, try and find a good landing spot, and then try and hit to that area. Before you set your goals, you should understand where your company stands by conducting a SWOT analysis. Analyze your company’s Strengths and Weaknesses, then take a look at the Opportunities and Threats present outside your business. Take a look at past performance, conduct a market analysis, and know your personnel.
Do you have a company mission? All your goals and objectives should tie back to that. Not only to keep your business on track, but to give your goals meaning. You might decide you want to hire 10 new employees, increase the size of your locker rooms, and cut down a few trees on the back nine. But why? Those decisions should arise from a greater vision for your golf club. So your goal of hiring 10 new employees should directly impact your golf club’s mission to, for example, better serve your members in order to remain the top golf course in the area. If you’re working within a team or company, communicate your goals clearly so that everyone is on the same page about how to reach them. And if your company mission is already clear, then your employees will also understand why they have to reach their assigned goals.
Now, it’s time to create some goals — in particular, SMART goals. What are SMART goals? They are objectives that are:
Specific — That means you’ve defined the desired outcome and created a road map for how to get there. We suggest building in checkpoints and milestones along the way to provide feedback to your progress.
Measureable — How will you track your achievements, calculate your progress, and analyze your results? If you can’t, it’ll be difficult to stick with your goals and even harder to prove your success.
Attainable — While this may sound obvious, your goal should be realistic to reach. If you hit $1,000 in sales for the first last month, don’t shoot for $1 million for next month.
Relevant — How will reaching your goal help your business overall?
Time-based — Don’t leave it open-ended. Determine a deadline and start attacking.
Achieving Your Company Goals
Now that you know how to write business goals, it’s time to take action. The first thing you need to do is commit. Create a goal statement or come up with a way to ensure you remain dedicated to your goal. Now, here are a few tips and tricks to help you achieve your business goals.
Make them public: If you’re working alone, it can be helpful to let someone else in on it. Making your goal known to others within the company— rather than just an idea in your head — gives you a greater chance of staying accountable to your plan and achieving it.
Have a deadline: Without a target date by which to reach your goal, you’ll have too much leeway to procrastinate — or believe it or not, to put too much work into it. Your deadline should be a motivator, but also a deterrent from going too far off-track. Once you pick a date, you’re subconsciously determining the amount of bandwidth you can give to the project. It should be a reasonable but aggressive deadline.
Reward: Be proud of your accomplishments, and not just with a celebration at the end. Keep yourself motivated along the way by celebrating those minor checkpoints you set at the beginning.
What to Remember About Business Goals
There are a few things to keep in mind as you chase down your goals. Before anything, understand that goals can do harm if poorly structured. Ensure your goals work for, not against, you. Prior to setting a goal, conduct a SWOT analysis. This has to do with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Know about SMART goals: objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. And finally: Stay committed. It can help to make your goals public, work with a deadline, and reward yourself and your team along the way!