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January 19, 2015

101: Setting goals

With a new year can often come an urge to revamp — out with the old, in with the new and all that. When it comes to your business, what are you looking to try, improve upon or change in 2015? Here are three ways to make considerations that count when planning ahead:

Set milestones. A year is a long time to stay focused, says Joe Apfelbaum in a article. He suggests giving yourself monthly milestones to be sure you're on track to accomplish what you set out to do. “Last year, my goal was to lose 60 pounds. I would not have been able to accomplish that aggressive goal if I didn't measure my weight each week,” he writes. The same applies to business.

Set employee objectives. This expands on Apfelbaum's sentiment. Your team has to be on board in as specific a way as possible. For instance, if you want to increase revenue, employee objectives might look like this: “Achieve sales quota … increase customer renewal rate” and “launch new product,” says an article at If you want to increase profit, a logical objective is to find ways to reduce production costs.

Look at market potential. Ira Kalb outlines this goal-setting method at “There are factors that will inhibit your company's ability to realize the entire market potential. The three biggest factors are competition, limited resources and government regulations,” he writes. And they could include an inexperienced set of managers or using an unproven technology. The effect of the limiting factors should be subtracted to determine what kind of market penetration is reasonable before you set your goals, he says.

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