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business career entrepreneur success

Understanding Business Goals

People set personal goals for themselves all the time. These goals can be short term, such as finding a new apartment within a month. They can also be long-term, such as learning to speak a new language within two years.

The direction-setting process

Just as a person sets different types of personal goals, managers set business goals for their companies. A business goal is a statement of what the company wishes to achieve. It’s the end result that a company’s efforts are directed toward.

Business goals are an important part of the direction-setting process. A company must follow a certain path to achieve its goals. And managers must set goals to steer their companies toward the right path.

There are three types of business goals: strategic, tactical, and operational. Each type of goal is set by a different level of management and has its own time frame in which to be achieved.

Strategic Goals

Strategic goals relate to many different areas in a company. There are a few key areas.

  • innovation — Establishing strategic goals in the area of innovation can enable a company to develop new products and remain at the cutting edge of its industry.
  • productivity — Productivity-related strategic goals are set by managers to increase a company’s competitive advantage. Even a small increase in productivity can generate enormous savings in the long term as companies try to achieve greater outcomes with fewer inputs.

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business career entrepreneur success

Strategies for Talent Retention

As a manager or supervisor, your relationship with employees is a key factor in whether your organization retains talent. Put simply, people leave managers and supervisors more often than they leave companies or jobs. And anything you do that makes employees feel undervalued is likely to contribute to higher turnover.

So it’s important to be a considerate manager. You need to be interested in and respectful toward your employees, and know how to supervise without micromanaging them.

To keep talent, you also need to know and be supportive of employees’ own priorities and career aspirations. Above all, you can help prevent talented employees from leaving when you ensure their jobs are satisfying.

As a manager, you can improve employees’ job satisfaction — and so retain talented employees — by using four main strategies:

  • communicate the link between employees’ work and your organization’s success,
  • provide employees with constructive feedback,
  • be willing to give talented employees sufficient autonomy, and
  • provide employees with growth and development opportunities.

Communicate the link

For employees to be satisfied in their jobs and happy to stay with an organization, they need to know what role they play in its success. As a manager, you need to communicate this to them. You should ensure they know what the organization’s mission and key objectives are — and understand that it’s these that their work supports.

When to communicate objectives

It’s important to explain what your organization’s mission and objectives are to new employees when they begin their employment. In addition, though, you should communicate any changes in the organization’s mission or objectives to all employees when they occur, and ensure that employees are constantly aware of their roles in attaining organizational objectives.

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business career entrepreneur success

Risk Assessment Techniques

You may deal with many different types of risk at work. For example, risks could be strategic, financial, or relate to day- to-day activities. They may also be knowledge or compliance based.

You can use various techniques to assess risk. Some techniques are specifically suited to assessing opportunities that arise. Other techniques allow you to evaluate potential threats that could undermine your project’s progress. There are also techniques that can be used for both opportunity and threat assessment. Each organization and individual must choose the most suitable technique or techniques to use when assessing risk.

Whichever method of risk assessment you decide on, you must familiarize yourself with some key concepts. First off, a risk can be either a threat or an opportunity. The next risk-related concept is the probability of a risk actually occurring. And finally, the impact of each potential risk must be considered.

Opportunity assessment techniques

You can use a number of opportunity assessment techniques to evaluate potential favorable circumstances for your organization. The most common ones are:

  • opportunity analysis — Opportunity analysis involves asking a set of questions designed to increase the chances of an opportunity occurring. This process allows you to identify where in your organization opportunities exist so you can lower costs and save time or other resources. You can then try to capitalize on these opportunities. You’re probably already aware of many of the opportunities available to your organization but be aware of new ones when they manifest themselves.
  • market surveys — Using market surveys is another means of assessing opportunities. By using consumer questionnaires, focus groups, and online surveys, your organization can gauge from the market where new opportunities lie. A broader analysis of collected data can also reveal long-term trends that may point to opportunities for your business.

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Performing an Opportunity Assessment

In an effective solution selling process, the first step you can take after learning that a customer has expressed an active need for help is to perform an opportunity assessment. The aim is to find out whether the prospective customer represents a legitimate opportunity.

Opportunity assessment benefits

You perform an initial opportunity assessment before offering a prospective customer a product or service. Performing an opportunity assessment has several benefits:

  • you determine whether or not to engage a prospective customer — The information you gather about a prospective customer during an opportunity assessment will indicate whether it’s worth your while to approach the customer with a sales pitch. It will tell you whether you have a reasonable chance of closing a sale.
  • you save resources — You save resources such as money, time, and effort by pursuing customers who are most likely to make buying decisions.
  • you make more objective decisions — Using a standardized process to assess opportunities ensures you can make objective decisions about the best prospects to pursue.
  • you answer key questions — Through an opportunity assessment, you answer key questions such as “Can I identify the customer’s needs?” and “Do my company’s products and services meet those needs?” If you can answer these questions with a “yes,” it can reinforce your reasoning for pursuing and ultimately closing a sale.
  • you find out about competition — By performing an opportunity assessment, you may learn more about the competition you’ll face if you pursue a sale. You may learn what other offers a customer has received and how these compare to yours. You can then take steps to make your offering more competitive.

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