How IT businesses can set clear goals

Setting clear business goals might be obvious, but it's not that easy

In the early days of starting an IT business, it's tempting to accept every potential client and brief in pursuit of revenue. While this is understandable, it makes more sense long-term to have a clear idea of exactly what you will be offering, and how you will deliver it.

Setting clear goals is a big part of getting off to the right start, and carrying on that path. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Be precise

It can sometimes be difficult to keep sight of the overall goals of the business, with everyday distractions and daily tasks you need to complete taking up your time. Where this really hits home is with the goals we set for our business and those that we help set for our clients.

Setting goals might be obvious, but it's really not that easy. Many people have muddled goals, such as we want to make more money'. But the key to achieving goals is to make them precise like we will increase monthly recurring revenue by X amount by a certain date'.

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The most obvious thing about goals like this is that they are clear, and it is something concrete to aim for.

Be detailed

The easiest way to make your goals more precise is to begin giving them details. If you have a goal to increase monthly recurring revenue by a certain amount, then it helps to list specific goals for each type of revenue to break down how that money will be made.

In addition to making the big number look much more attainable, breaking a big goal into smaller goals will help you stay on track within smaller, more targeted deadlines.

Schedule checkpoints

Your goals need deadlines, but don't let that single goal date become more of a hindrance than a help. Many people have a tendency to procrastinate for months, and spend the last month trying to reach a six-month goal.

Scheduling checkpoints holds you and your team accountable for working on the details of the goal. But checkpoints must be more than reminders on a calendar. Make it a time to sit and take stock - how far have you come, are you on target and is the next target reachable?

Once you've set your own goals, you can now apply the principles to your client roadmap meetings. Helping your clients plan the evolution of their technology is a valuable part of being a managed services provider, and gives them the reassurance that you're looking after the big picture when it comes to their technology.

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