By Bob Cooper
When it comes to setting your long-term goals, the best advice I can give you is to make sure that they all align with your core beliefs and that they are challenging enough to inspire you.
As the leader of your company, you are not only responsible for setting the goals, but it’s your job to inspire your entire team as well. I am sure you will agree that you can’t inspire others if you are not inspired yourself.
When setting your short-term goals, don’t make the mistake of making them unrealistic, as so many do. In a business environment, the purpose of short-term goals should be to bring out the best in people and inspire them to think differently at the same time. Accordingly, they should be just out of reach but not out of sight.
Studies carried out at Harvard University have indicated that short-term goals need to be reached only 50 percent of the time for them to effectively change the way we think, and if they are reached more frequently than 80 percent of the time, they are not challenging enough.
Finally, whenever possible, you should break your annual goals down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. When your technicians and service advisors go to work each day, they at least should know precisely what needs to be accomplished by the end of the day in order to view their performance as a success.
This is the perfect time of the year for you to solidify your 2013 goals and to revisit your long-term goals as well. I realize that many of you may not have taken this step yet, so here’s a starter list of some of the categories you may want to consider:
1. Long-term growth goals, which may include diversification, expansion or additional facilities.
2. Long-term real estate goals that may include acquisition or mortgage reduction.
3. An annual sales goal that includes the financial growth of your business.
4. Monthly and quarterly sales goals that are seasonally adjusted.
5. Marketing goals that include the acquisition of both new customers and market share.
6. Average repair order goals that are predicated on complete, ethical vehicle inspections.
7. Car-count goals that are predicated on your annual sales and annual repair order goals.
8. Gross profit goals.
9. Productivity and efficiency goals for your technicians.
10. Closing-ratio goals for your service advisors.
11. Customer satisfaction goals.
12. Customer retention goals.
13. Operating expense goals that are predicated on past performance and projected budgets.
14. Income goals.
15. Debt reduction goals.
16. Goals that are relative to any exit plan or succession strategy.
17. Career development goals.
18. Personal development goals.
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