Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meaningful Business Goals

By Nicole St-Aubin

Goals have a very strong motivational effect. They provide direction and focus to our work and a means of measuring success. To have a positive impact, the goal must be meaningful to the business owner; they must be continually reviewed and used when making business decisions.

A meaningful goal is one that is set after research and analysis. It involves looking at the product, target market and then determining the potential results. In some cases, this is a difficult process because an owner is eager to start working on their dream and may fear that the dream will not produce the business results they desire. It is important to have a realistic understanding of the business. Once an honest assessment has been completed, meaningful goals can be set and worked towards.

Once the goals has been set, they need to be reviewed and updated based on the company's results and the external environment. As the business matures, it becomes easier to predict future results and therefore easier to set meaningful goals but the external environment constantly changes. Developments in credit availability, supplier relationships and even personal commitments affect the business. A periodic review and update of goals is important to ensure the appropriate focus.

A meaningful goal is a decision making tool. New opportunities will always present themselves and sometimes it can be difficult to determine if these new opportunities will be a valuable addition to the business or a distraction. When you have set goals, you can evaluate the opportunity to determine how they can be exploited to bring the company closer to achieving their goals. If they do not bring a company closer to their goals, then they are a distraction and should not be pursued. The clearer the goals are, the easier it will be to make decisions.

Meaningful goals are goals that are set after careful analysis. Goals need to be updated as the business progresses and with changes in the environment. Once the goals are clearly set, they become a valuable decision making tool. Goal setting is an important, continual process that allows business owners focus their efforts on the areas that contribute to the long-term success of a business.

Statements and opinions expressed in article are those of the author.

Nicole St-Aubin is a Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) and a consultant with Aim Business Consulting. Aim Business Consulting specializes in helping businesses make informed business decisions and offers a variety of solutions to improve business reporting and operations.

Nicole St-Aubin is located in Eastern Ontario and can be reached through

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