Setting goals and sticking to them is essential for business success. Strategic goals help leaders to stay organized and focused on their target. Goal setting can be complicated, so there are certain aspects to pay attention to when making strategic plans. Here are nine tips business leaders can use to set goals.

Firstly, create a SWOT analysis. This is a model used to identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Using this model, you can quickly analyze where your company can improve and succeed. Next, perform a market analysis. It’s imperative to frequently check on the industry’s current trends and forecasting to ensure your company is consistent with the demand. Along with this, always review your past performance to ensure you are not repeating previous mistakes and that your company is heading in the right direction.

Always be open to soliciting and considering input from your employees. These are the people on the “ground floor” performing the company’s daily operations. Company teams see what is occurring on a day to day basis and likely have reliable advice for beneficial changes. When setting these goals, it is crucial to tie them back to your mission and vision. Company goals should be long term, not just something you are feeling at the moment. Additionally, make these goals very descriptive. The more specific you are with the details of your goals, the more your team will have a complete understanding of how to go about achieving them.

Make sure your goals are realistic. Aiming too high without an adequate plan can be overwhelming for you and your team. It leads to sloppy work and incohesive operating. Keep in mind that most goals should be able to be reached within a 3 to 5-year time-period. Also, consider whether these goals are measurable. When goals can be tracked, it helps teams examine whether they’ve been on the right track to succeeding and what they can do to boost results. Lastly, identify the resources needed to achieve your goals. Consider your budget carefully and secure adequate funding to reach your goals so that there are no surprises and stressors along the way in terms of finances.