As of Monday, December 4, 2017
As we approach the end of 2017, many business owners reflect on the goals they set for their business for the past year. If you achieved or surpassed your goal, it will be a time for celebration for you, your staff, your family and sometimes even your vendors. It is a time to thank everyone involved in your business for helping you be a success. This is when you and your staff share in the excitement of achieving business and, perhaps, personal accomplishments. Celebrate the moment with them!
Even if you did not have any goals for 2017, it’s never too late to make this the best holiday season that your business has ever experienced. Creating a celebratory atmosphere with your workers, vendors, and your customers can help improve morale at the least and will more likely lead to an enhancement in your sales performance and productivity.
If you haven’t established any goals yet, there are five elements needed for a goals to a lead to a successful fruition. Remember to use the SMART acronym. The goal must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. For example, a daycare provider may decide that she would like to take her business to the next level. Will she achieve her goal? Most likely not since this is a fairly vague goal.
Perhaps she may say that she would like to go from having $3,000 net income per month to $3,500 per month in revenues; or maybe she could say that she would like to go from having an average of 6 children under her care per week to 7 children per week within 6 months. In this case, the goal would clearly be within her reach, it has a measure of success and a timeline in place for achievement.
With closely held small businesses, we suggest having a monthly measure of some key areas such as revenues or expense budgets to ensure that things are staying on track. Determine what you want to accomplish towards your goal at end of each month in order to help keep you on schedule.
If monthly does not work for your business, maybe create a quarterly review and consider using an outside set of eyes, like your business counselor at the CGCC Small Business Development Center, a bookkeeper or an accountant. At the minimum, every business should do an end-of-year reflection and set goals for improvement.
Remember your business goal can be anything from increasing your sales, decreasing employee turnover rate, writing a policy/procedure manual, or anything you deem beneficial for your business. Consider including your staff input in determining your goals for 2018 along with how all of you are going to achieve them. Your employees are always your front line to success. It’s never too early to start thinking about what you can celebrate achieving next year.
Rick Leibowitz is director of the Small Business Development Center, Columbia Gorge Community College. Rose Mays is a program specialist at the center. They can be reached at (541) 506-6120.