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How do I effectively set goals for my business?

It may be difficult for some New York business owners to envision goals for their company and how to achieve those goals. A crucial aspect, however, of the success of your business or business acquisition may be related to effectively setting goals and articulating how to reach those goals to realize the vision you had for your business.

First, there can be a difference between the long-term goals for the business and the short-term goals for the business. The long-term goals for the company tend to be more visionary in nature and drive the company based on the reason it was formed to begin with. Sometimes overarching in nature, the visionary goals typically fall into four categories related to service, social considerations, profit and growth. Service goals are based on achieving customer satisfaction and retention, while social goals are based on contributing to the community that surrounds the business. Profit goals are based on a specific number for the company to target and meet, while growth goals relate to expanding the company which can be achieved, one way, through company or employee acquisitions or mergers.

Once long-term goals are established, short-term goals and objectives can be used to achieve them. It is important to ensure that objectives are specific and concrete, as opposed to abstract which may be more like your long-term goals. Since objectives and short-term goals should be specific, they should also be measurable so that progress towards long-term goals can be measured. Objectives should also outline actions you should take to achieve your long-term goals. Finally, objectives should be realistic which requires that they are challenging yet manageable and each should also have a specific deadline associated with it.

Once you have translated long-term goals into daily activities aimed at helping achieve your business goals, you should be able to achieve some of the successes you outlined and the overall vision for your company. As you business grows and encounters success, it will face a variety of changing legal needs and challenges which it is important to be both knowledgeable about and prepared for.

Source:, "How to Set Business Goals," Peter Vanden Bos, Accessed March 30, 2015

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