By Glen Calvert CEO at Affectv

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘failing to plan, plan to fail’, yet one of the most common reasons cited for business failure is the lack of a workable business plan. I believe one of the key reasons for this is that businesses focus on the vision for their business, without setting, or tracking the steps it will take to get there. Affectv has seen 900% growth between 2011 and 2013, growing from four to 60+ employees. A huge part of this has been down to our internal goal-setting processes.

So, how do you achieve growth?

Start at the top. What is your big vision? What is the purpose of your company? What are you trying to do? From here you should set about clarifying your mission. This should be more tangible, more time sensitive and set key deliverables, such as “in one year we want to be the UK leader for this product or service”. But, this is not the end.

Setting goals

How will you meet your mission. What roles will each department play in reaching this mission? Be specific, set targets for each department, for each month to achieve these goals. For example what will being the UK leader look like in terms of marketing? Are there ‘hot-lists’ for your industry that your competitors are on? When do these come out? What market share does your sales team need from clients to be considered a UK leader? Set these as goals for your departments and track their progress.

Everyone has a part to play

Give individuals within each team micro steps that contribute towards meeting these goals, so everyone knows the impact they are having on the growth of the business as a whole. This means that throughout the process, if people are underachieving you can recognise this and find out why. Is it internal or external? Is there a skills gap, or does the person need more training or support. If you can easily see areas of weakness, you can easily identify the measures needed to strengthen them.

Be distracted, but only when it matters

If you have a smart, pro-active team you will always have new ideas and opportunities come up. A clear mission, however, will give you the ability to assess these on whether these distractions will contribute towards this. If they are not core to the roadmap put them on a list for later consideration, if they will help your mission you can readjust your goals.

In Summary

Set the Vision, Mission and Objectives for the business and how each person’s objectives help achieve this. Monitor development and mentor people so they improve their output and progress. The micro steps each individual member of the team takes is continuously helping us get that little bit closer to our vision.