Tips & Tricks

Setting Objectives – 10 Tips on Planning for Success

Posted by Colin Higton

With  ever-greater pressures on limited resources – planning how to find ways to do things better has never been more important.

What could you and your team do better? What are the things you have been working round? What could be lifting you up and carrying you along, but is actually just dragging you down?

What are the things you really need to get sorted, and how can you make this the year it happens?

1. Think about WHAT you want to achieve, not HOW you’re going to achieve it.

That may sound strange, but remember the first step for any journey is to decide where you want to go. Don’t set an objective of sending out more mailers when you really mean to increase sales by 15%. There is always more than one way to achieve an objective, and the problem may be the mailers themselves, not how often you send them out.

With budgets under pressure you may not be able to just send out more, you may need mailers that are smarter and work harder for your budget.

2. Make sure your objective is clear

If you are not sure where to start, ask yourself what will be different once the objective has been achieved? Then try working backwards. So if your logic is sending out more mailers will achieve more sales, the objective needs to be increase sales by X%.

3. Now plan HOW you will achieve it

Once you and your team are clear on WHAT to achieve, you will need to start planning the steps along the route that will get you there. Remember, you may not know how you will achieve the later steps, so step one on the road to more sales may be to establish how our mailers could be improved.

4. Once you are clear about what you want to achieve, set yourself a realistic timescale

Being realistic is vital to setting objectives you can achieve, but your objectives should also be challenging. Be sure to give yourself enough time to achieve your objective, but do not let the timescales get out of hand. Remember, if you cannot set a timescale for the whole project, set a clear timescale for the initial steps you can plan.

5. Make sure your objective is agreed

Most objectives require input from other members of the team, so make sure they have bought in to why you are aiming for that objective and how you aim to achieve it. Good internal communications are essential for a successful team.

6. Make sure your objective makes sense

Check to make sure there are no contradictions in your objectives. Double check to make sure your sales target of 4 million is not split between your 3 sales regions as 1 million each, and avoid planning to print a regular newsletter encouraging people to reduce the amount of paper they use.

Sounds daft, and most examples will not be so obvious – but we know of people who wish those examples were not real!

7. Decide how your progress will be measured

With some objectives the way to measure success will be clear, like higher sales.

Others may be more difficult, but identifying steps along the way can help, and planning now will be essential.

For example, if your objective is to make sure your team understand and share your company objectives, you may want to establish a monthly internal email newsletter. By using the first issue to invite structured feedback and ideas for the coming year, you can then repeat the exercise again at quarterly, six month or yearly intervals to measure rates of satisfaction.

8. Get advice

There are any number of consultants that can help you plan, set and monitor objectives. One of the best we have found is and this site offers various low-cost resources as well as a full consultancy services if required.

9. Get help

Download our FREE communications checklist and see if Hullabaloo could help with your design and communications requirements.

10. Speak to Hullabaloo.

Call Colin on 01509 22 44 66, or email – we will be more than happy to discuss your requirements without obligation.

Download our communications checklist

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