Where’s Your Business Headed? Define a Plan and Stay Focused to Reach Your Goals

By Richard Voreis

Let’s talk some more about the best of the “best practices” that can impact you and your business year-after-year—that’s why they’re called the best. Our clients have already implemented them, so they are proven in the glass industry.

PERSONAL AND BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT

Goal-setting can take many different forms. Goals can embrace how a company succeeds or they can address how a person achieves a lifelong dream. Whatever the form, this is the key to success.

I recently read a newspaper article about a young lady who was inspired to climb Mount Everest. She achieved her dream and, in a speaking engagement, said we all have an Everest and we all have to do what it takes to get to the top. How did she make it to the top of Mount Everest and then back home safely? She set goals.

Here’s a brief summary of her process:
• Define your dream and outline a plan;
• Set a timeline in your plan;
• Think of what it takes to make it a reality; and
• Focus and stay positive.

Keep in mind that in business your process should be:
Specific: Generalities don’t get the message across to your employees, so make sure your company goals are easily understood. Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.
Measurable: This means goals are quantified and can be evaluated to determine if progress is being made. What gets measured gets accomplished.
Focused: Establishing too many annual goals detracts from your ability to get them accomplished. Experience has shown three or four is ideal and any more than five most likely cannot be accomplished or will reach less than the desired results.

ONE-PAGE PRIORITY PLAN

I always recommend to glass and glazing contractors their annual goals not exceed one type-written page. We call this the one-page priority plan and it holds everyone in the company accountable for success. The Mount Everest climber set four goals and I’m sure she established some additional subgoals (objectives) that said exactly how she was going to achieve them.

For your company, I’d recommend setting three to five, with employee objectives supporting each one. Remember, you as the owner do not set the goals; it’s a team effort. Many glass and glazing subcontractors have told me they don’t have an annual priority plan. How about your company?

In previous articles for USGlass magazine, I’ve stressed the importance of priority planning and how it improves results. Without a priority plan the owner is the only person accountable for the success of the company. The employees establish what they feel are the company priorities and that means too many priorities are being worked on. Some of these may not be as important as others to achieving success. In other words, the team is not focused.

PLANNING CHECKLIST

Here are a few ideas to help you achieve success:
1. Establish specific and measurable company top priorities for each business year.
2. Establish the top priorities with a team of management and staff so you get buy-in and commitment.
3. Make sure you don’t establish too many because you need focus.
4. Make all employees accountable by establishing employee objectives.
Make sure they are specific, measurable and time-framed.
5. Monitor the results periodically throughout the year.
6. Link your performance appraisals, salary and incentive compensation to the top priorities and employee objectives. This planning process really works.

Richard Voreis is the founder and CEO of Consulting Collaborative in Dallas. His column appears bi-monthly. Email him at rdvoreis@consulting-collaborative.com and read his blog on Wednesdays at dollarsandsense.usglassmag.com.

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