The start of a new year inspires hope. It reminds us of new beginnings and challenges us to enhance our lives by making goals for future growth. Hence, the popularity and sometimes infamy, of the New Year’s resolution.
Why infamy? Well, the numbers are in, and they are grim. According to US News, roughly 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. Although there are many reasons a resolution may fail, many fail due to poor planning and execution.
While many associate New Year’s resolutions with personal goals, the new year is a great time to set professional and business growth goals as well. To help you have your best shot at being in the 20% of resolutioners that succeed, Salal’s Dealer Direct team has compiled a list of 10 tips on how to set and reach business growth goals.
Know Your SWOT
An important first step in defining business growth goals is to know your organization’s SWOT, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Completing a SWOT analysis will give you a good foundation to identify what business goals your organization should prioritize in the immediate and distant future.
Depending on where your position is in the organizational hierarchy, you may not have a full view of everything going on in each business line. Before business growth goals are determined, solicit input from all business lines and organization hierarchical levels. Doing this will help ensure you have a unified vision and will be working towards the same goal.
Establish a Unified Vision
A corporate-lingo phrase that gets thrown around a lot is “business silos”. It is time to eliminate that phrase from our vocabulary. “Silos” indicate separate entities. If your teams are not aligned, you risk working against yourself in your pursuit of business growth. Successfully achieving your business growth goal hinges on a unified vision amongst product lines. When everyone works together, it makes the job easier.
Don’t Stretch Yourself Thin
It can be tempting to set lofty business goals, but it is important to make sure you don’t stretch your organization too thin. Many businesses with aggressive growth plans find success in narrowing their focus on a few niche markets for growth rather than attacking an entire demographic market. The saying is true: it is better to do a few things great than many things with mediocrity.
Spreadsheet Theory vs Reality
Many organizations develop revenue growth goals in Excel based on linear year over year growth. The problem, according to a Harvard Business Review article titled “How to Set More Realistic Growth Targets” is that these spreadsheets “tend to reduce the world to linear models, when in reality the growth process is nonlinear, sometimes even exponential.”
Just like spreadsheet theory isn’t reality, the perfect world doesn’t exist. If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that despite all your planning, there are some forces that are simply out of your control. Managing stakeholder expectations and building in contingencies from the beginning with the understanding that there may be hiccups along the way is important. If everyone goes in with the mindset that there will be challenges and setbacks, you will be better equipped to overcome them rather than panic and give up at the first signal of ‘failure’.
Use the SMART Goal Methodology
This goal-setting methodology originally gained popularity after a 1981 article in the magazine, Management Review. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. This isn’t just another corporate gimmick either. Research has found that by sticking to the SMART methodology AND writing down your goals, you can increase your likelihood of success by 33%.
Break it Up
So, your business growth goals have been set. That means you now know what the ‘end’ looks like. Before you get overwhelmed taking your business from point A to point Z, work backwards and break up your goal into smaller ‘bite-sized’ pieces over the course of your growth period. Now you won’t be going from A to Z but rather A to B to C … which is much more manageable and less daunting for everyone involved.
As mentioned earlier, aggressive growth goals can feel overwhelming. Don’t hold off on celebration until the very end. When you are breaking up your overarching goal into ‘bite-sized’ pieces, build in milestones and celebrate the achievement of each milestone you reach along the way. This celebration of accomplishment will keep the momentum alive and the end goal within reach.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
It can’t be stressed enough, once business growth goals have been established, it is critical to maintain open lines of two-way communication between business lines and employee hierarchy levels. Open communication ensures everyone stays on the same page from the very beginning.
Ready to grow your business with affordable financing?
No matter what growth goals you set for your business in the new year, Salal Dealer Direct Lending takes the time to get to know each partner’s business and tailor our lending programs to meet their unique needs and goals. We’re serious about helping home improvement and solar contractors grow their businesses.
From roofs, doors, and energy efficient windows to hot tubs, decks, and solar installs, Salal Dealer Direct is able to offer financing with some of the most competitive rates and dealer fees in the market because we’re part of a member-owned credit union. That means our profits go right back to our members—and our business partners—in the form of lower rates and fewer fees.
Our Dealer Direct Financing Programs feature:
- Online loan application with fast credit decisions and a high approval rate.
- Terms and loan amounts available to fit a wide range of budgets and project sizes.
- Partners pay ZERO dealer fees on our standard program.
Click here to learn more about becoming a Salal Dealer Direct Partner.