According to one Staples Small Business Survey, 80% of small business owners admit they don't give due attention to achieving goals. What's more, about 77% of those surveyed had not reached the level of success they'd hoped for. An excellent lesson in the importance of setting and tracking annual business goals. That begs the question: are you going to follow the crowd or lead the pack? Use the information below for guidance as you set and track goals that will take your business to the level of prosperity you've always wanted.
|Annual Business Goals Template|
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Goal: Business Department/Area - Goal Name
Your annual business goals define the general direction you want to take your business over the next twelve months. Your yearly goals should be general and broad; furthermore, they should support your mission statement and guiding principles. It helps if you categorize your business goals and include that as a prefix to the goals name. For example, the first annual goal listed below is "Branding - Develop Awareness of the
In this template we define the goals as annual goals; however, you can choose any time period which suits your needs. You may choose to define yearly, quarterly or monthly goals. Or you may choose to define two different timeframes for your goals such as five year goals and annual goals, or annual goals and quarterly goals. The key to success is to make sure your goals are realistic and achievable within your defined timeframe.
For each goal give it a number starting with one and give it a name prefixed with the general category for that goal. Several examples of business goals are provided later in this template.
The objective further defines the goal by giving it more detail and clarity. The objective should be written in a few sentences or a short paragraph. Your objective should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time specific. It is assumed that all objectives are to be achieved within the timeframe of this document (annual - end of the specified year; quarterly - end of specified quarter; monthly - end of specified month; etc.) so it's not necessary to include the time frame in the objective. If the timeframe is beyond the amount of time defined in this document then you should redefine your objective so it fits into that timeframe. Examples of business objectives are provided later in this document.
Strategies are how you're actually going to achieve your objective. Strategies aren't measurable, time bound or specific. They actually define the approaches you're going to take in order to achieve your stated objective. For example, if your goal is to develop brand awareness then your strategies may include; press releases, print advertising, tradeshows, product displays or social media - to name a few.
Performance measures is perhaps the most important part of developing your annual business goals. This is where you provide a specific list of actions which need to be accomplished. It is important that these are realistic and measureable because you're going to be held to these. Good practice is to review your annual business goals either quarterly or monthly and check off which performance measures you've achieved. At the end of the year you should have completed all performance measures in this document. Some performance measures may be defined in a static quantity (i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc.), some as a percentage of something else which is measureable (i.e. profitability, overhead costs, etc.) and other may yet be defined in numbers per time period (i.e. xx per month). You should have one performance measure for each of your strategies.
Below are some examples of Annual Goals including Objectives, Strategies and Performance Measures. Use this template as a basis for developing the annual goals for your business. Remember, you can define your goals as annual, quarterly, monthly or any timeframe which best fits your business. You can also have one document for short term goals and another for long term goals.
Goal 1: Branding – Develop Awareness of the
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