Evaluating Your Goals & Strategies
Regularly evaluating your goals and strategies is a crucial step in making sure your business is meeting its expectations and consistently moving forward…
This post is part of 4 of a 4-part series. For part 1, click here.
Over the past few weeks, we have been learning how to create goals and strategies, as well as how to execute on them. The next phase is to evaluate your goals and strategies and it is unique in that it needs to be built into and implemented throughout your entire business—from beginning to end. It should consist of continual monitoring of performance metrics as well as the more subjective matters in your business, such as leadership and overall effectiveness.
As the previous statement suggests, not all elements of your business can be evaluated through objective measurements. In this regard, it’s also important to note that not all pieces of your business have to make money to be effective, especially if they are adding value to your consumer. For instance, social media takes a lot of time and can cost money; however, it doesn’t always directly affect revenue. It can indirectly affect revenue through lead generation, brand awareness, building trust with your audience, and many more subjective factors.
Alternatively, an element of your business could be pulling in revenue, but taking away from the overall value in the eyes of the consumer, thereby reducing its overall effectiveness. A lot of times, obtrusive advertising on websites can dissuade a potential customer from coming back. When you’re evaluating your business, be sure to take into account the factors that add or detract from your overall value.
Evaluating your goals starts with effective goal setting. Take each goal through the S.M.A.R.T.I.E. Method and ensure that they are in line with your long-term vision. If you have set up your goals properly, you have created an effective feedback loop that will allow for unbiased results. Although human resources are important elements to the growth of your business, we will focus on metric-based evaluation. Each KPI should be able to address the following questions:
- What are we trying to achieve?
- How well are we doing?
- What are our strengths and weaknesses?
- How can we improve on current processes?
- What can we add to future evaluations?
Here are some strategies for effective evaluation:
- Benchmarking: Having baseline measurements allows for accurate performance metrics.
- Regularly Scheduled Evaluation: The biggest key here is the root word regular, as it allows for consistent and continual performance measuring.
- Consistent Measurement: It’s important to make sure that measurements are uniform across all KPIs. If you are comparing performance for one metric by quarter, be sure that all other measurements are quarterly as well.
- Documentation: All metrics should be documented on a regular basis.
- Here are some common errors that may be cause for ineffective evaluation:
- Halo Effect: Rating a metric high in one area may cause you to rate it higher in another. This can also lead to a Spillover Effect, in which you are allowing past performance to inaccurately rate current performance.
- Horn Effect: Opposite of the Halo Effect, rating a metric low in one area may cause a lower rating in subsequent areas. The Horn effect is less likely to lead to Spillover, but is still possible.
- Central Tendency: Giving all metrics an even and average rating won’t allow you to find accurate areas of improvement.
- Recency: Using only current data to make decisions may prevent you from recognizing accurate global trends. This is especially prevalent in seasonal data that doesn’t accurately reflect yearly data.
Once you’ve gone through the evaluation process, go back to your goals and make any necessary adjustments for sustained growth. For example, if there are areas in your business that aren’t working or adding to your overall value proposition, you may need to consider weeding them out. As we’ve alluded to, the process should be continuous and cyclical.
For more on goal and strategy creation, execution, and evaluation, check out our course, Launch Blueprint 2.0 – Online Business Made Easy! Be the first to know about new courses as they launch, by signing up for our email newsletter below.