Setting Goals for your Business Plans

1. Set measurable objectives
Financial and operational targets allow you to monitor your company’s progress throughout the year. They encourage you and your team to feel responsible for your performance and to do their best to achieve your goals month after month.

2. Plan your investments
Define when, where and how you will invest to achieve your growth and efficiency objectives. An important consideration is the increase in resources devoted to technology. Many Canadian companies are not investing enough in this area.

3. Think about financing
Companies with ambitious objectives often face a barrier when it comes to raising growth capital, says Joncas. Plan now how you will finance projects such as adding technologies, machinery or buildings to avoid depleting your working capital. It is never too early to discuss your plans with your banker.

4. Review your HR needs
Growing companies often have difficulty finding skilled labour. Planning your staffing needs now for the coming year will give you a head start in finding the best candidates. Also look realistically at whether you currently have the right people in the right positions. It’s not easy, but the beginning of the year is a good time to make the necessary staff changes.

5. Monitor your radar
Gather as much information as possible about the external environment: economic prospects, changing consumer needs and tastes, and the strategic direction of your competitors. “You want to protect your market position and be well positioned to seize opportunities as they arise,” says Joncas, who advises companies in eastern Quebec, including the Quebec City area.

6. Seek improvement
What projects to improve your performance and efficiency in areas such as financial management, operations, sales and marketing, HR and customer service could you plan for the coming year? “You have to force yourself to question the way you do things,” says Joncas. As Einstein said, the madness is to believe that by doing the same thing over and over again you can achieve a different result.”

7. Work with your partners
A good way to improve your products, processes and management practices is to seek help from your partners – employees, customers and suppliers. “Growing companies often want to do everything themselves,” says Joncas. But teaming up and collaborating with others can in many cases take you further.”

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