5 Goal Setting Tips for Business Leaders in 2022

The new year is officially underway, and while some New Year’s resolutions may have come and gone, there’s no better time than right now to focus on setting goals for 2022 and beyond. This is just as true in the hardwood lumber industry as it is in any other industry. The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is clearly identifying these goals and getting to work on achieving them.

The team here at Baillie is committed to continually evaluating where we stand now and the goals we need to set for the future. As you embark on your journey to setting (and achieving) goals that can help move your business forward here are a few tips we found useful to keep in mind: GoalSetting

Be SMART and use SWOT. Individual goal-setting often revolves around SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time), but the same principle holds true for organizational objectives. Without taking these SMART factors into consideration, achieving goals can be more difficult and frustrating along the way.

Another framework that helps propel goal-setting is a comprehensive SWOT analysis of the business. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) helps to identify where the organization is running strong, and where improvements must be made.

This exercise balances the effects of external factors (global and national economic trends, sources of revenue and funding, customer demographics, vendor relationships, industry-related legislation, etc.) with the effects of internal factors (human resources, finance, business operations, etc.).

As new information is gathered from these assessments, they can influence the direction of a business leader’s individual objectives. Alignment with company goals should be part of every team member’s goal-setting agenda.

Focus on specific goals. Generalized goals, such as “enhance revenues in the new year,” are often too vague for concrete action. Instead, says Forbes, “Go into the nitty-gritty details … such as exact dollar amounts or percentages, what it will take to achieve said goal, and how long you think it will take to reach it.” This keeps goal-setting grounded in the real world, rather than serving as an abstract exercise.

Break it down. No ambitious goal is achieved overnight. Tackling a big objective, such as boosting customer loyalty or expanding into a new location, takes time. That’s why it’s a smart idea to “break up progress towards that goal into smaller, more practical steps.” Ask yourself, “What can I do today or tomorrow to move closer to my objective? What type of action can be laid out in concrete steps that move our company forward?” Answering these questions can help identify important steps towards achieving a broader goal.

Leverage resources to achieve your goals. Oftentimes, it can be advantageous to draw upon resources within your organization to achieve specific objectives. Sometimes, this means setting aside or delaying some operations to funnel resources towards your most important goal.

Monitor progress. Tracking progress towards your goal is another way of keeping it “top of mind.” Often, business leaders press the PAUSE button once a week or once a month to assess how much progress has been made towards achieving key objectives. Creating milestones that can be met by pre-established deadlines also helps build momentum towards the completion of goals.

Finally, consider sharing these executive-level goals with others throughout your organization. This demonstrates your personal commitment to improving performance, while also encouraging team members to think more deeply about their own business-related objectives. It’s a way of showing the team that making and achieving workplace goals is expected from everyone in the company because that’s what helps a business to grow.

What new objectives could make the most sense for your organization? Whether you are a sawmill, wholesaler, distributor, manufacturer, or another type of business, setting, and achieving organizational goals will help your business move forward and stay competitive for years to come!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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