The concept of setting goals aligned with nothing more than a desire for higher sales and profits is a fools errand. Rather, businesses, in particular young businesses, should focus on setting goals in line with their vision. This means that instead of simply assigning your sales team a 50% higher quota than in the prior year based on nothing more than a desire to grow at such a pace, think about your vision and how it should drive opportunities and ultimately sales. Let’s go back to an example I used in a previous post. The example given was one of a restaurant owner visualizing an entirely new approach to take out dining. The owner’s vision was to connect with perspective customers and repeat buyers in close proximity to when they would be leaving for the evening, or would be staying at work for extended time beyond normal hours. By stimulating demand on a location by location basis, she reasoned that the number of deliveries could be reduced dramatically, thus reducing costs and making such a service even more cost-effective to the consumer, in turn stimulating demand even further. As she continued to think through how such a service would work, what was once simply an idea became a hardened business practice in her mind that could be easily communicated to her employees as well as prospective customers. From there, she tested her ideas, made appropriate modifications, and launched what quickly became a highly profitable and rapidly growing business extension. Once she had gathered initial site by site metrics for a handful of early trials, it was simply a mathematical exercise to plot a growth rate based on the resources she had available now and in the future.
This example clearly illustrates the value of first visualizing your idea for a new business or in this case service extension to an existing business, turning the idea around in your mind, and etching its reality virtually rather than physically. Once the vision has sufficiently hardened, implementing, measuring, and goal setting become relatively easy.