Whether you are planning on starting a business or already run a business, writing down fully developed business goals and objectives is vital to the growth and development of your operation. In the case of a new business, forming lucid goals and objectives is a necessary part of creating a business plan, as it will help you obtain funding from a financial institution or private venture capitalist.
Choose a medium for writing down your business goals and objectives. You should base this decision on how you intend to use your stated goals. You can use a simple piece of paper and a pen if you are creating a rudimentary plan for your own use. If you plan to include your stated goals and objectives as part of a formal business plan, they should be typed in paragraph form under the heading "Goals and Objectives" using word processing software. Additionally, you should create a new paragraph for each goal. Your stated objectives will create the body of each new "Goal" paragraph.
Create a list of goals. Goals differ from objectives in that they encompass a broader vision of what you wish to accomplish, whereas objectives operate as a means to an end. It is best if you define your goals in terms of one year, five-year, 10-year and 20-year goals. For example, if you plan to operate a clothing company, your one-year goal may be to make $50,000 in revenue and establish working relationships with five new domestic retailers. Your five-year goal might be to make $1 million in revenue and start a franchise for your business. You should think in terms of where you want your business to be, regardless of your perceived ability to actually get there.
Create a list of objectives for each goal. Objectives are specific points or details that will allow you to reach your broader goals. For example, if your goal is to make $50,000 in your first year, your objectives would include ideas and details on how you will make that happen such as, "Sell 1,000 t-shirts," "Advertise clothing line in X magazine" or "Host a community fashion show."
Break your objectives down into specific actions with time lines. You can't complete all of your objectives at one time. You will need to prioritize them and decide when you will execute each objective. If you have 12 objectives that are necessary to complete your one-year goals, you will probably need to complete at least one objective each month. You can allow for some overlap here, and some objectives may lend themselves to multitasking. Once a time line is assigned, break each objective down into specific steps. For instance, to break down your objective of hosting a community fashion show, you would list the steps necessary to complete the task such as reserving the location, sending out invites and press releases, choosing clothing items for the show, etc. Pencil each specific action item into your calendar to ensure that all tasks, objectives and goals are completed.
Go back and review your list of goals and objectives every few months to make sure that you are on track. Don't be afraid to add new goals and objectives to your list on a periodic basis. Similarly, if a previously stated goal is not feasible or is no longer desirable, don't be afraid to remove it from your list. After all, businesses evolve in a positive way by consistently creating, evaluating and changing their goals and objectives.
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