Back to: How to Write a Show-Stopping Business Plan Step-by-Step
What goals do I have for my business?
- Creating a short list of key goals can really help a new business challenge itself to stay on track in the first few years and help build a realistic, achievable vision for your business. They can also motivate you and help keep you focused forward on those days when you’d really rather stay in bed or throw in the towel!
- Love it or hate it, following the SMART acronym really does assist you to create tight, well thought-out goals which will help you track whether or not you are achieving what you set out to do. Each letter of the acronym can stand for a number of different words, so just pick the ones that make most sense to you. The ones we use are:
Specific Measured Action-Oriented, Realistic Timebound.
So what sort of goals do we need for our business plan?
- The goals that should be included here are those
big guiding objectives
- you have for the business. You’ll find them under any category that is important to your business but will no doubt flush the main ones out by thinking about some key topics such as: staffing; your products and services and how you’d like to launch them; what geographic areas you’ll be servicing at launch and later; and the revenue you want/need to make and by when.
Tip: Remember, we are taking a high-level view for this part of the business plan – don’t get too bogged down with the detail. Sensible ball-parking is acceptable!
- Also, don’t feel that you must have a goal around
- of those topics; or indeed, that you must only have 1 goal per topic. Each business plan and business owner will be different, so think about what is relevant to
- business idea and
Let’s see what our Case Study businesses offered in terms of their first-pass business goals:
Geoff’s goals are:
- I will be offering a bespoke restoration service for classic cars, of all vintages, at launch (Sept 2014) servicing clients in Northern Alberta.
- I aim to generate a revenue of $40,000 in year 1, moving to $70,000 in year 2.
Jennifer came up with these:
- My business will initially be staffed by 5 employees (2 full-time and 3 part-time) and for now I will continue to act as Manager.
- My organic produce home-delivery business will be launched 6 months after the purchase of the health food store is complete and will then service the west of Edmonton moving to other areas of Edmonton in year 2
- My combined business totals for year 1 will be $150,000 and will increase by around 15% in years 2 and 3.
Mike decided on one overall goal:
- To generate $300k revenue in year 2 moving to $500k revenue in year 5.
And Cindi and Wayne settled on:
- By end 2015 (end of year 1), our new ready-mix truck will be 50% operational and operated by 2 part-time staff. It will initially operate in Sherwood Park.
- Revenue for the new truck by end of year 3 will be $300,000.
Second pass goals
As always, Jennifer then spent some time finalising her goals by reflecting on her business a little more and on SMART principles. We suggest you also do the same thing. Here’s what she came up with:
- At launch, September 2014, my business will be staffed by 5 employees (2 full-time sales associates and 3 part-time sales associates/van drivers).
- By the end of Year 3 the store will be managed by another staff member and I will focus on managing the home-delivery business.
- The organic produce home-delivery business will be launched in the Spring of 2015 and will then service the west of Edmonton expanding to South Edmonton in year 2
- My combined business totals for year 1 will be $100,000 and will increase by 15% in year 2 and 25% in year 3.
A final word about setting goals in your business plan
- As you continue forward with the remaining components of the business plan, you may decide that some of your goals aren’t so realistic after all. This is great! It’ll give you a heads-up that something is not right. Perhaps your high-level revenue targets here don’t really tally with your forecasted cash-flow or perhaps once you’ve looked into the cost of the staff you need, you realise you can’t afford all of them. At that point you can revisit either the goals themselves (and make them more realistic) or else, amend your business idea.
- Your turn. Using the SMART acronym, think about the key targets you have for your business. Aim for between 1-5 goals.