Does it seem to you that these all convey the same idea? Not so fast. Every dictionary has multiple meanings for each of these, some synonyms, some not. It doesn’t matter.
You decide what they mean and use your definitions in your company.
I use target as a means of organizing your work activities. Targets are not specific quantities. My six favorites targets are the Focus Areas of Singular FocusSM(SM). Each begins with the word Maximize. Each of the targets is a way to maximize a specific contributor to the company’s results.
I advise my clients to think of outcomes as small results that will accumulate to reach the target. We deliberately sequence outcomes to move towards the targets. The outcomes we write down direct their behavior and activity. If an outcome is to write a Cultivate & Nurture (C&N) Plan for best buyers within three weeks, the steps required include: identifying your best buyers (What are their characteristics? What do they value the most? What else would they value?;) identifying what in the C&N Plan will actually make an impression on them; determining the sequence of events within the C&N Plan; deciding who is responsible for completing them; what are the deadlines; what are the costs?
I use the concept of goal setting to direct the owner’s thinking to quantifiable annual results. Financial goals include percent or dollar increases in revenue; percent or dollar increases in profit; increases in owner wealth. Other growth goals involve improvements and innovations to current offerings; new offerings directed towards your higher end buyers; discontinuing unprofitable or outdated offerings.
One goal that has a profound impact on a company is scaling up. There are multiple facets to scaling up, and one has to start with a quantifiable goal that reflects the new scale. This is rare, yet so important when what you’ve been doing to get your company here is not enough to get your company there (however you define ‘there’).
I like using benchmarks to quantify the smallest activities or achievements that help make progress. Benchmarks are the daily activities that you know build towards your outcomes and eventually your targets. Benchmarks include: calls to prospects or clients, steps taken to improve or innovate, meeting people with a good fit for your company, reading industry news, getting a speaking opportunity, visiting a trade show, writing an article or blog post; and many others.
When you set benchmarks for daily living, you help your company accumulate the assets that coalesce into outcomes which leads to targets and eventually helps you achieve your annual goals.
Smart business owners keep company goals at the forefront and work with their teams and employees to create targets, sequence outcomes and track benchmarks.