New Smarter Goals For 2016

Tom Egelhoff

As 2015 winds down it’s time for an assessment of the past year and to think about goals and procedures for 2016. The first order of business is usually to sit down with all the info and set goals for the coming year. Nothing wrong with this thinking other than those goals are rarely reached.

A Smarter Plan
Why don’t goals work? We have a plan, execute the plan, what’s the problem? The problem is that too much of the goal planning process takes place in the future — not the present.

If you want to increase sales by 5 percent in the first quarter then at least 60-70 percent of the process should take place as soon as possible.

Goals vs. Systems
Goals are all well and good and should be set for the benefit of the company but an important advantage of goal setting can be the various systems that might result during the goal process.

For example, suppose you find an ad that works particularly well or ways to speed up order processing. You’re not going to abandon those improvements just because the goal period has ended.

Keep in mind that while goals help to create a measure of success they can also result in improved efficiency. Don’t discard an idea during the goal process just because it might be contrary to current systems. Exploring new ways of doing things can result in increased business income and profit.

The Future vs. The Past
As you review the past year examine when sales were both good and bad. What was happening during those times? Road construction might have hindered customers getting to your location. Or a strong competitor moved into the area, or one left.
You can’t count on those same events to be repeated and none of us have a crystal ball to accurately predict the future.

That’s the reason why the biggest goal percentage is achieved early in the process. That makes the goal planning process very important. What happens in the first six weeks is much easier to control and be adjusted if unforeseen challenges arise.

Some Final Thoughts
The Adkin’s Low Carb Diet almost sunk Krispy-Kreme Doughnuts. The huge popularity of the diet could not have been predicted. Pre-ticket sales for the new Star Wars movie were the highest in history. There was no guarantee that would happen.
Competition for Christmas sales are fierce so the impact of online shopping must be addressed if you are a brick and mortar storefront on Main Street.

System improvements that occur during the hectic holiday shopping season can be implemented into the normal business processes.

As the year comes to a close, think a little smarter about 2016. You can grow your business by looking at it in a whole new way. Happy 2016. 

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