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ROADMAP TO SUCCESS – PART ONE: OVERVIEW

This is the first article of a series of monthly articles that explore in depth the following:

  • Business strategies.
  • Pricing strategies.
  • Marketing strategies.
  • And other related issues.

Some of the information in those articles is from other resources. The views listed in this series are our own and do not necessarily work for all types of businesses.

Should you need further assistance in your business contact us at:

info@interconnbus.com

For any business, understanding its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (S.W.O.T.) is critical. This is a core part of any business strategy. Understanding this helps to define where the organization can win, and areas that must be addressed in the future.

As a leader you should prioritize your business strategy and ensure that you dedicate some time to define your business roadmap and evaluate it.

Creating a business strategy does not automatically mean your business will be successful. It does however enable you to share your organizational vision and goals with your employees. And, if done correctly creates a common thread across a business to strive for success.

A business strategy provides the guiding principles for many organizational decisions, such as hiring new employees, or developing new products. And helps you to define the methods and tactics you need to take within your company.

Think of  a business strategy as an organizational master plan. This plan is what the management of a company develops and implements to achieve their strategic goals.

A strategy’s success hinges on the development and alignment of three propositions:

  • Value Proposition that attracts buyers.
  • Profit proposition that enables the company to make money out of the value proposition.
  • People proposition that motivates those working for or with the company to execute the strategy.

The three strategy propositions correspond to the traditional activity system of an organization: The outputs of an organization’s activities are value for the buyer and revenue for itself, and the inputs are the costs to produce them and the people to deliver them.

Measurement and analysis:

Measurement is an essential management tool, as it helps us determine if our work is making an impact, demonstrate value, manage resources, and focus improvement efforts.

We may consider a business strategy to be successful when it is directly responsible for organizational growth and sales.

However, to really understand whether a strategy is successful we must develop a more granular measurement. It is here that you need to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the critical key quantifiable indicators of progress toward an intended result. KPIs provide a focus for strategic and operational improvement, create an analytical basis for decision making and help focus attention on what matters most.

Managing with the use of KPIs includes setting targets (the desired level of performance) and tracking progress against those targets, to improve performance using leading indicators.

The evaluation phase places emphasis on how a business is performing in relation to the business strategy. Measurement, helps you to stay closely aligned to the strategy, define deadlines and goals and address things such as budget concerns.

KPIs are typically defined by department, with each of these contributing to the overall performance of the business.

Such as financial performance and competitive advantage that include:

  • Revenue
  • Gross profit
  • Net profit
  • Brand recognition
  • Growth vs competition

Setting goals and tracking performance:

Alignment between plan, strategy and delivery is the only way you can achieve your goals, because plans without strategies and goals is simply wishful thinking, and strategies without execution is just another pending file waiting to be noticed. Execution and tracking progress is what makes you achieve your goals.

Setting goals is a crucial step in achieving success and personal growth. Whether your goals are related to your career, education, personal development, health, or any other aspect of your life, the process of setting and achieving goals can provide focus, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment.

When it comes to setting goals, we recommend to start with setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:

  • Specific: What will you achieve? What will you do?
  • Measurable: What data will you use to decide whether you’ve met the goal?
  • Achievable: Are you sure you can do this? Do you have the right skills and resources?
  • Relevant: Does the goal align with those of your team or organization? How will the result matter?
  • Time bound: What is the deadline for accomplishing the goal?

Defining these parameters as they pertain to your goal helps ensure that your objectives are attainable within a certain time frame. This approach eliminates generalities and guesswork, sets a clear timeline, and makes it easier to track progress and identify missed milestones.

Be Specific: Clearly define your goals. When you are being clear and determined you will have a clear vision on what you want and how will you reach that point. When drafting your goal, try to answer the following questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is this goal important?
  • Who is involved?
  • Where is it located?
  • Which resources or limits are involved?
  • What steps need to be taken to achieve it?

Make them Measurable: Establish criteria for measuring your progress. This helps you track your achievements and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to stay focused and meet your deadlines.

A measurable goal should address questions such as:

  • What is the budget required to achieve the goal?
  • What is the time frame that is needed to achieve the goal?
  • How do I acquire the skills and resources necessary to achieve the goal?

Set Achievable Goals: While it’s great to aim high, make sure your goals are realistic and attainable. Setting impossible goals can lead to frustration and demotivation. To make sure your goals are achievable you must know the following:

  • Is this goal doable?
  • If it is doable do I have the skills and means to achieve it?
  • Can it be implemented?
  • What would achieving this goal add to the bigger picture I aim to reach?

Relevant: Here’s where you need to think about the big picture. Why are you setting the goal that you’re setting?

This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals.

  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time?
  • Does this match our other efforts/needs?
  • Do I need to form a team to reach that goal?

Time-Bound: SMART goals should have time-related parameters built in, so everybody knows how to stay on track within a designated time frame.

Every goal needs a target date, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.

To properly measure success, you and your team need to be on the same page about the following:

  • What’s your time horizon?
  • When will the team start creating and implementing the tasks they’ve identified? When will they finish?
  • Steps required to implement the time frame.
  • What needs to be done after achieving that goal.

Think of S.M.A.R.T. goals approach as the general frame for setting your goals and add to them until you reach a clear vision of your goals and how you want to approach them.

Ensure that your goals align with your values and long-term objectives. Be careful not to get involved in something that is against your values and ethics, it will cause you confusion and eventually will hurt your credibility. Also, set a deadline for achieving your goals. This adds a sense of urgency and helps you stay focused.

Break it Down: Divide larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. This makes the overall goal less overwhelming and allows you to celebrate smaller victories along the way.

Write Them Down: Documenting your goals makes them tangible and reinforces your commitment. Write them in a place where you can regularly review and reflect on them. The reviewing part should include revising your approach to achieving those goals.

Prioritize: If you have multiple goals, prioritize them based on importance and urgency. This helps you focus on what truly matters and prevents feeling overwhelmed.

Stay Flexible: Be open to adjusting your approach towards achieving your goals as circumstances change.

Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your successes, no matter how small. This positive reinforcement will keep you motivated to pursue future goals.

Regularly reassess and adjust your approach as needed. Whether short-term or long-term, well-defined goals can provide direction and purpose in your way to success.

 

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