I have a long and successful career of working with entrepreneurs, businesses, within organizations, departments, and project sponsors. One situation that continuously rears its head is helping leaders get to the heart of why. Why is the business is undertaking a new product line? Why are we investing in new services? Why is this project considered strategic? More often than not, business owners struggle to clearly articulate or justify what we are about to do. The goal appears obvious and most leaders give their teams a general idea of their desires. I hear the following phrases, “Let’s outpace our competition! This is for our future investment. This will create greater customer loyalty.” Many of these senior managers struggle to define why it is a good idea for the business. Answering why is a lot more difficult when asked to state what the business impact will be.
The Business Objective
When faced with the task to innovate or grow the business, very talented business owners know their area of expertise well. They can point in the direction for future successes. However, drawing out the details of what evidence supports this move is another beast. Asking what reasonable measurement will allow them to declare success is met with a quizzical silence. Developing goals and objectives appear to slow the process of innovation or speed to market. Collecting best practices, research on expected growth, or defining successful outcomes is time-consuming. And when you investigate what success will look like, it may point out additional areas of development. This is the part of strategy and planning that makes progress feel like it has come to a halt.
Without defining vision, goals, or objectives business owners will get sidetracked. Business interruptions are a matter of fact. There are market disruptors, internal factors (retention, business processes), or external factors (suppliers, customer reviews) that impact business-as-usual. When interruptions happen, staying on track to meet business goals and objectives becomes increasingly difficult. Organizations, especially small businesses, failing to define and outline their goals and objectives will have their progress disrupted when emergencies descend.
Emergencies, a new idea, added intrigue, or spreading resources too thinly across every new opportunity creates exhaustion. With exhaustion comes poor work performance and burn out. Fast Company noted that the number one stressor is having too much work, and their advice is to, “prioritize individual responsibilities in accordance with your short and longterm goals,” (Tsepko, 2019). As a certified project manager, catching stakeholders trying to add scope creep to projects is routine. There are times where you have to be vigilant about staying the course and then most times a gentle reminder to focus on the goals is sufficient. Returning to goals and objectives will give the project greater success to stay on track.
Goals and Objectives helping the Entrepreneur
Additionally, for any growing business, especially small businesses, burn out makes the business suffer. The Harvard Business Review noted from their survey of 326 respondents from Business Networking International (BNI), that entrepreneurs are, “at more risk of burnout because they tend to be extremely passionate about work and more socially isolated, have limited safety nets, and operate in high uncertainty,” (Mol, Pollack, Ho. 2018). Researching burnout and entrepreneurs results in article upon article identifying ways to combat burnout. Each article identifies methods to organize, prioritize, and identify what is within scope and what should fall away. These tips and tricks are what we stress at the beginning, which is to define goals and objectives. When ideas spark a new path or realizing there is not enough time to get everything done, businesses can fall back on their goals and objectives. Identifying the desired outcomes will pull the business forward and keep the focus on the final destination.
Get clear on your vision, goals, and objectives
Small businesses have a great ability to transition faster than enterprise organizations. There is a saying that it takes longer to turn a battleship than a speed boat. As goals and objectives are met and the business finds its niche, there will be adjustments and strategic developments. Small businesses will expand their offerings in new and innovative ways. These changes will have you sitting down to redefine your vision, resetting your goals and objectives for the coming years.
3 Bossy Bees and Business Strategy
Work with us to clearly identify your company’s vision. We will help you extract short and long-term goals that will move you towards success. At 3 Bossy Bees, we have over 30 years of combined experience in helping craft vision statements for businesses and programs. A key strength of ours is defining goals and objectives with outcomes that increase revenue, customer loyalty, users, innovation, and collaboration. Our goal is to help you define actionable objectives to measure your progress. We strategize with you on how to meet these objectives, while identifying marketing and partnership opportunities.
Taking the small steps and following a more intentional path forward allows you to reach significant milestones.