We recently spent a day visiting a Sage One Accounts and Payroll customer – Garlic Wood Farm. Taking a little inspiration from the Olympics, we wanted to know how they set their business goals and objectives and how these might have changed since the business was first set up.
What was your first business goal?
When we set the business up it came from a genuine passion and interest the family had in keeping our own animals all be it on a small scale. So when we decided to run it as a commercial business the real first objective was “can we do it?”
It all started there and then quite quickly the business grew and has continued to do so ever since.
Now the goals have changed and we have a 5 year business plan in place.
We’ve set goals as to where we’d like to be in 5 years financially but also what we’d like to achieve as a business.
Ultimately we thought about what we want the business to look like in 5 years’ time and we’re working backwards from that to set our shorter term goals. So for example our 1 year plan is to open a retail outlet to complement our online store and the farmers markets we sell through.
Our goals have to be clear and realistic so that it’s easy for us to measure whether we’ve achieved them.
Goals can change often and have done for us due to the fact that we have grown organically, quite quickly. It’s become apparent through this that sometimes we need to re-evaluate the objectives we’ve set and possibly change these to be more in line with the business strategy and current performance.
How do you deal with goals you’re not on target to achieve?
We would re-assess why we’re not on target. We’re quite ambitious with our goals so we’d look at whether it was the right goal to set in the first place and if we haven’t achieved it what were the reasons behind this. Perhaps the objective was too much to expect and we’d simply make this more achievable.
How would you keep motivated if you don’t hit your targets?
For us the important factor is wanting to be in the business and wanting to get to the point we’ve set out to achieve. The main driver for us is our passion as the business was born from this and not simply from wanting to run a business for the sake of running a business. We have a genuine interest in what we’re doing and this reminds us that we’re doing it for the right reason.
If you achieve an objective a lot earlier than planned how do you keep grounded and not run the risk of getting overly confident?
Although it sounds boring you have to take time to stand still and take stock of where you are as a business. There comes a time where you have to assess where you are to make sure you’re not pushing too hard to achieve your goals.
You need to be aware of the business finances to understand what you can afford to move onto next for example if you’re planning on expanding. Being on top of your cash flow really helps with these decisions.