Every company has goals for their fiscal and calendar years. Improving processes, getting more clients, and reducing wasteful expenses are goals for every business. SMART or actionable goals are even better: the more direct and simple an action is, the more likely it is to be adopted or put into regular practice. But some goals are just too big to stand alone. Increasing sales by fifteen percent this quarter feels impossible. Finishing the annual audit a month in advance when the deadline is eleven months away doesn’t seem like something you need to start on now. Instead of setting large goals and risking a time crunch and failure near the end of the time frame, create actionable milestones every step of the way.
Milestones allow for more frequent check-ins.
A goal that you and your employees never revisit turns into a frustrating wish. Set time aside every week or two weeks to discuss progress. This keeps the overall goal fresh in everyone’s mind so it’s not set aside by more immediate concerns. Even just regularly remembering a goal helps people start to implicitly consider it during other projects. If your goals are about process improvements, then an employee is more likely to record and bring up suggestions, time-wasting processes, and problems that you can turn into policy changes.
Milestones fail or succeed quicker.
If you want to see a fifteen percent increase in sales in the next quarter, then you need to know what increase in productivity and sales you should see in the first month and every following month. Once you break a large goal into smaller steps, it’s easier to try and meet the goal. It’s also more quickly apparent whether a given strategy is going to work.
That doesn’t mean you have to distribute a percentage-based goal evenly across the timeline. Some marketing efforts and changes in productivity goals and service offerings do take time to manifest. So set the initial milestone around adopting a new sales pitch, offering a new service, or even in focusing on an existing service. Without making a clear plan for the immediate future, it’s even easier to put off changes that can greatly affect your bottom line.
Remember, the Get Off The Wheel team is here to support you in your planning. We are always available to help you find ways to break down financial goals into measurable milestones.
Get off the Wheel Systems and Procedures for Greater Profits & Reduced Stress
By: Diane Gardner
This Book is for you IF…
You are an accountant, bookkeeper, or tax preparer with employees and one of the following describes you: