If you are a startup, you have to keep changing your goals, targets and even your strategy

2nd Jun 2016
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It is commonly seen that sometimes startups tend to succeed on a completely different path than they had initially embarked on. Often, even their products change drastically. Being dynamic lies at the heart of being a successful startup. One needs to adapt to changes and seize opportunities to maximise profit. This means having to constantly review one's goals and objectives. Goals tend to change over time and so do the methods of achieving them. A suitable goal is determined by the stage that the startup is in. Attaining your goals depend on three things: financial resources, human resources and market receptivity.

How-to-set-goals

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Changing goals tests your ideas

A seed-funded startup needs to focus on one simple idea rather than chasing too many. It should have the ability to test the idea and all the associated assumptions. A business plan drawn on this idea should include target users, challenges and revenue sources. While goals can be set based on the business plan, the test results would determine if they need to be altered. Some unpredictable events like new income opportunities, investments or high potential engagement could also call for a revision in set plans. Sometimes acquisition of new talent can also open up more opportunities. The most volatile part might be the changing online and offline landscape. Targeting new markets, including virtual one, need lot of experimentation.

Review your goals periodically

Reviewing goals help in deciding where to spend extra money, the need for extra skills or a new strategy. Quarterly reviews can be useful for early-stage startups as it helps in quickly reacting to changes and cutting out losses and opportunity costs. The dynamism of a startup demands not only medium- and long-term objectives but also focused short-term goals as well. Most organisations tend to ignore writing down short-term objectives that assist in analysing markets and the strengths and weaknesses of the company.

Set challenging, yet achievable goals

Opening up of financial resources completely changes the dynamics of the objectives set. Goals need to be realistic, yet challenging. When the team can hit the realistic goals, it keeps the motivation going and helps in being on track.

Ensure flexibility in team structure

It is tough to set goals when there are lots of constantly changing variables. One is more likely to fail than succeed during the initial days. It is important to be open and flexible, to learn and implement these lessons in the future. This might even mean having a flexible team structure with constantly revised roles and responsibilities. While it's easy to see why new talent is needed, sometimes growth also means letting go. The useful Jack of all trades for early-stage startups may not necessarily help in scaling. Evaluating changes in output can in fact focus on the gaps in available talent and motivate core members to enhance their skills before taking tough decisions of parting ways.

Setting goals too low or too high can both be disadvantageous. A startup usually has innovative minds and high spirits. It is important to keep the culture of innovation alive, being mindful of bankruptcy. Revisiting goals from time-to-time, thus, helps maintain a competitive edge.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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