All businesses rely on meeting their targets to achieve commercial success. For smaller firms, in particular, limited resources and a bigger reliance on cash flow means it’s essential to hit your targets. Whether you’re falling short of your sales targets, your productivity is dropping or you’re missing your customer acquisition goals, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
By making sure your business hits its targets every time, you can transform your performance and enjoy greater levels of profitability. To find sure-fire ways to hit your weekly, monthly or annual targets, take a look at these top tips now:
Set realistic targets
The first step to hitting your targets is to make sure that they’re realistic. Setting goals that are unachievable will only demotivate your staff and lead to a reduction in productivity. By making your targets challenging yet realistic, you can ensure that staff remained focused. Crucially, staff will also have benefit from the positive cycle of hard work being rewarded with success.
Identify how to achieve your goals
Targets can be a great way to monitor the evolution of your business, providing you have a concrete plan of how to achieve them. Telling your staff to ‘double sales’ or ‘increase profit margins by 10%’, doesn’t tell them how to do this, which may not be much use, especially if they are inexperienced. Instead of giving your employees arbitrary goals, give them the tools and technology they need to hit their targets and watch them do exactly that.
Introduce capacity planning
Knowing your company’s capacity is essential when you’re devising targets and planning for the future. If you encourage your marketing staff to increase demand for a particular product, for example, you can boost your sales. However, if you don’t have the capacity to increase production, you won’t be able to take advantage of the increased demand. Fortunately, capacity planning tools make it easy to assess your company’s limits. Furthermore, the right tools will enable you to maximize your capacity and grow your business.
Recognize external factors
Your small business success doesn’t only depend on what happens in-house. External factors, like the economy or supply chain disruptions, have a major impact on business operations and performance. In many cases, a missed target can be attributed to something that’s happened outside of your business, rather than something going wrong in-house.
By recognizing how external factors affect your ability to hit your targets, you can introduce effective contingency plans to prevent this from happening. Having back-up suppliers, increasing capacity or securing additional funding can insulate your business and protect it from external factors that could hamper performance. With these measures in place, you retain more control over the success of your business and have a greater chance of consistently hitting your targets.
Keep staff motivated
Virtually all businesses are reliant on their staff, so don’t overlook the important role they play. No matter how many of your processes are automated, your employees are still the driving force behind your profitability, so be sure to keep them loyal and motivated.
When staff know that they’re valued, they naturally work harder and operate more efficiently. In turn, this enhances your business performance further and enables you to reach your goals. From listening to staff feedback to introducing rewards when employees hit their targets, there are numerous ways you can keep staff motivated and increase employee loyalty.
Measure your performance
If you’re missing your targets, it’s important to know why. By monitoring and measuring your business activity, you can identify missing components or wasteful processes that are causing you to underachieve.
Of course, the only way to do this effectively is to ensure that your monitoring processes are entirely accurate. By collecting an array of data, you’ll have the metrics you need to accurately calculate in-house efficiency, sales, consumer demand, customer lifecycle value, profitability and much, much more. With a data-driven approach, you can base your targets, goals and business activity on quantifiable metrics, rather than unverifiable opinions.
Hit the Right Targets
When you’re basing your business success on whether or not you hit your targets, it’s vital to ensure you’re aiming for the right targets. Increasing sales without boosting capacity won’t lead to enhanced profitability, for example. It’s easy to assume that more sales with equate to higher profits, but this isn’t always the case. Before you take steps to ensure you can hit your targets consistently, take the time to review your targets and ensure your goals will have a genuine, meaningful and beneficial impact on your business.