Goal planning is a fundamental area that successful businesses focus on – not only businesses, but successful people as well. To get clear on how your business is progressing, you need to include realistic business goals when writing your business plan.

As with anything you wish to achieve,it is hard to know if you have reached what you set out do to if you never defined what you wanted to achieve in the first place. The nature of goals is to not set anything in concrete. Goals are targets to aim for. These targets can vary in shape, size, length of time, level of importance, and so on.

After you have set some goals for your business (current or future), then set some goals for yourself. You will be amazed at the difference this can have on both you and your business.

It is important that your goals are:

  1. realistic,
  2. that they stretch you a little, and
  3. give you something to strive for.

If they are not, then you will not grow your business the way you really want to. You need to step out of your comfort zone a little, but not too much that you don’t believe you can get there.

You will need to write down your business goals for the next 12 months. These will help direct you in the initial stages of your new business or your business development. A good idea is to print this workshop exercise and use it to help you get clear on your business goals.

Business Goals for the next 12 Months

These are the goals you may want to achieve in the next 12 months.

  • How much revenue do you want to generate?
  • How much profit do you want to make (% or $)?
  • How many customers do you want to have?
  • How much market share do you want to have (increase of XX%)? In what areas?
  • How many outlets will you have?
  • How many product lines will you offer?
  • What is your brand identity in the marketplace (what are you known for)?

Now that you have written your 12 month/Short term goals, it is time to think bigger. Big enough to ensure you business will expand in the future. After the short-term goals have been prepared, you will need to set you 12-month to 3-year goals. The same questions as previously used are still applicable, with a few extra to stretch your thinking.

You can download the worksheets for these questions also to help you get clear on your medium and long term goals for your business.

To help with this process, you will be able to see what Steve set as his 12-monthly goals.

Top Shelf Groceries – 12 Month Goals

How much revenue do you want to generate?
Last year I made $350 000 in gross sales. This year, I want to make $385 000 (I figure 10% growth is do-able).

How much profit do you want to make (% or $)?
My standard profit margin is 4% of all gross sales. So, I made $14 000 extra profit after paying myself a wage throughout the year. However, I want to increase this to 7% profit, which on a revenue of $385 000, will mean an extra $26 950 as profits.

How many customers do you want to have?
I want to reach the 1000 mark, as a combination of delivery customers and customers that come into our store. This is the minimum amount of loyal customers I want to have on my mailing list.

How much market share do you want to have (increase of XX%)? In what areas?
I am not sure yet of the percentage, but I want to be the number one choice for groceries in an area 20 miles radius from here.

How many outlets will you have?
I will still have the one outlet, but I will begin to research where I might be able to open up another outlet to grow the business.

How many product lines will you offer?
The same at the moment, but I will introduce some of the organic foods that are on the market. I will start with introducing 10 of these – the better selling options.

What is your brand identity in the marketplace (what are you known for)?
I want my brand identity to be that people come to my store because they trust my selection of foods for their health. Also, that I may not be the cheapest but I have the best quality foods around. Also, that my main focus is on my customer.

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You should take as much time as you need to complete these stages. They are very important. These goals will be the driving force behind your business success.

Before moving on, spend a few minutes to review these goals to see if they are:

  • Realistic
  • Achievable,
  • Challenging, and if met will mean that your business has secured its future,

This is probably one of the hardest parts of writing your business plan – figuring out WHY you are in business and what you want to achieve.

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