The calendar has reset and it’s time to put together your business goals for 2018 — but you don’t want to just write down a bunch of broad ideas that will never be achieved or will be forgotten in a few months!

Here’s what you need to do to plan for the year ahead with purpose.

Review what you did in 2017

Before getting started, ask yourself these questions:

Did you set business goals or have a business plan in 2017? Did you follow the plan? Did all New Year’s Resolutions or goals that you created get accomplished or did they fall by the wayside? Did you even set goals?

Take a hard look at the goals that you set at the beginning of last year, look at if they were achieved (or even achievable), if they were realistic goals for your team, and if any of them can be re-used or carried into your goal setting for 2018.

Revisit your company mission

Don’t confuse your short-term, 2018 goals with your long-term company-wide business goals, but make sure that you refamiliarize yourself with what the company’s official mission is.

Ask if the goals you are setting for the new year align with your company’s long-term plan, and examine if anything you, or your team, did in 2017 threw you off-track. It’s the perfect opportunity to refocus and realign everyone’s priorities.

Involve your team and customers in the process

Employees need to buy into the goals that they will be responsible for, so before setting your 2018 strategies, talk to your team, your employees, and anyone else in the company to see what they think you need to do to grow in the new year.

Hold a company-wide goal setting brainstorm (Stormboard can help with that!) and even talk directly to your customers to find out what they want more of, and what their goals are. This will give you an opportunity to align some of your goals with those of your customers, making you a more valuable asset to them going forward.

Keep goals simple and specific

Broad sweeping, generic goals are not going to be easy to achieve. Set specific, achievable goals that you can use as milestones for your company and team. Most importantly, set deadlines for these goals.

Consider using the SMART goal framework — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely — while creating and reviewing your goals. 

  • Specific
    Identify the specific area for improvement or change.
  • Measurable
    Indicate how you will measure progress or achievement.
  • Achievable
    Is the goal actually doable by the person assigned to it in the allotted time?
  • Relevant
    The goal must be aligned with the long-term business goals.
  • Timely
    Specify when the goal will be achieved — set a deadline.

Prioritize your goals

Some goals may need to be achieved in a specific order or they will conflict with each other. Make sure your goals are ordered based on importance, and are assigned to people who have the time and skills to execute them so no one is left waiting.

Don’t toss away goals you don’t use

Keep track of the goals that you come up with that DON’T align with your company’s mission.

They may be fantastic ideas, but because they don’t align they might throw your team off in 2018 — you can come back to this list every month, quarter, etc. to make sure you aren’t being distracted by these ideas.

Use Stormboard to set your goals

Stormboard has multiple templates that can be used for goal setting, or we can customize a template for you if you have specific needs in your company.

Storms can be added to anytime, from anywhere, making it easy to hold a company-wide goal setting brainstorm with remote teams or different offices, and to return to those ideas that aren’t used, whenever you want, throughout the year.

Interested in learning more about how Stormboard can help you set your business goals in 2018? Check out our pricing options here.