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The new year has officially arrived, so it’s time to create a new set of goals to help guide the efforts of every employee at your company. Each of your staffers wants to do their part for the business, but their contributions won’t be effective if they’re all working toward different initiatives.

Get 2018 off to a strong start by creating a solid set of goals for your employees to work toward. The team is waiting for you to lay the groundwork, so give them what they need to succeed.

3 Tips for Planning 2018 Business Goals

Look to the Long Term

Keep your company moving forward by setting goals for the future. Think about where you want your business to be five years from now — in 2023 — and create objectives that align with them. From there, set short-term goals that will help you make progress toward the long-range ones this year. If, after starting work on these initiatives you and find they’re not effective, don’t hesitate to regroup and start fresh with new goals that are better suited to your mission.

Make Them S.M.A.R.T.

The best type of short-term goals are S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Unlike those of an arbitrary nature, it’s much easier to hold yourself — and your team — accountable for completing these goals when they follow a solid framework. For example, a goal to increase sales is nice, but a goal to boost sales by 10 percent in the next six months is much more likely to be accomplished, because it leaves no room for interpretation.

Set Your Priorities

All goals aren’t created equal. Decide which ones are at the top of your list and communicate the order to your team. This gets everyone on the same page, so they know which objectives to focus on first. When there’s no confusion surrounding the goals, people can concentrate on getting work done, instead of wondering where to start.

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