Setting targets for next 12 months

Putting performance measurement systems into place and setting targets is one way to keep track of your business progress, challenge your business to do better and give your employees something to aim for. This guide looks at how to plot targets for your company strategy over the next 12 months.

Achieving targets

The first step to achieving targets is to identify the key areas that influence your business performance. These can be grouped into certain areas, such as market position, competitive performance, product or service development and customer satisfaction. Set targets that can be accomplished in a certain time frame, that are measurable, specific and realistic. You need to strike a balance between ambition and what is realistically feasible - set the bar too high and you risk failure and demotivating employees. Keep a list of targets visible as this will help to motivate you and others in your business.

  • Targets need to be measurable, specific and realistic
  • Keep a list visible to motivate and inspire employees

How to manage targets

Time management is a crucial part of achieving targets. Take time to set your goals and to communicate these clearly to your team. Assigning responsibility for targets is also vital - consider setting your staff monthly customer targets or targets for volumes of repeat business, for example. Be prepared to invest in target setting and make the necessary resources available when needed. Ensure you discuss all targets with staff before implementation, as this will give them the opportunity to discuss any questions or raise concerns, as well as giving them a sense of ownership.

  • Time management is crucial for organising targets
  • Discuss all targets with staff before implementation to flag up any concerns

Assessing progress

Milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) are a good way to measure target progress. With hindsight, your initial targets may not turn out to be the best ones, so it is important to carry out regular reviews so you can adjust your targets accordingly. Consider carrying out weekly reviews to assess that week's performance against the monthly target, enabling you to add new objectives if there are likely to be any problems.

  • Use milestones and KPIs to monitor progress
  • Carry out weekly reviews if necessary

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