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June 20, 2014 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By James Drever, WSBDC regional director
“How do I develop and accomplish my business goals?” Jim, Laramie
Most business owners and managers can tell you that some of their overall goals – and, perhaps, a thing or two about their strategy to reach those goals.
There is usually a plan in place, but it doesn’t happen. Why? Too many goals and the “whirlwind” of everyday work take priority, moving strategic goals to the backburner -- out of sight and maybe even forgotten until the next strategy session. The plan is not getting executed and, if it is, maybe it is impractical or doesn’t truly help the business succeed.
Wyoming Entrepreneur, while successful in reaching its own goals, knows there is always room for improvement and, as part of a recent strategic planning meeting, we all attended a Franklin Covey seminar on the “4 Disciplines of Execution.”
While it is far beyond the scope of this business tips article to cover in detail, there are a few points that I think could help any business do better to achieve its goals.
First, it is proven that although having many goals may be noble, once you have more than 10 goals, none will be achieved. If you have one to three goals, you are likely to achieve one to three goals. Find the one or two goals that are critical to your business’s success that you will then focus on.
Second, are you measuring lag measures or lead measures? Lag measures might be your profit for the year; number of sales or other data that you really have no direct influence upon; and once measured, causal effects are not definite. Instead, lead measures are goals/activities that can be measured on a daily or weekly basis that you know most likely will help achieve your lag measures or the one or two important business goals.
Finally, lumping the last two disciplines into one, you must visit progress and make commitments to activities to achieve the lead measures on a weekly basis. If you maintain a visible scoreboard for everyone involved to see how the team is doing in regard to both the lag and lead measures, it won’t be lost in the whirlwind and, this year, you can accomplish those goals that will make your business more successful.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.
The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.