Don’t Miss Your 2017 Targets

Having a way to assess daily progress on the goals you set now will give you a better shot of making them reality by year’s end
Don’t Miss Your 2017 Targets
Mike Agugliaro

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The start of a new year is a time when business owners think about the goals, targets and objectives for the year to come. You set a target, you get excited about it, and you maybe even share that big target with your employees so that they’ll get excited about it too.

Then you wait for the target to be achieved. And you wait, and wait, and wait. You wonder why you can’t seem to hit the target by the end of the year.

The problem is that most business owners set a target and just leave it at that. If you want to actually achieve those targets, you need to take another step, and this simple extra step will transform the game for you.

Step 1: Set Your Target

First, do what you normally do: set your target. Identify a measurable metric that your company can work toward throughout the year — revenue, profitability, number of customers, etc. Pick one that is lofty, inspiring, stretching and measurable.

Then share this target with your employees. Get them excited about it. Let them know that it’s important to you.

Many stop there but here’s what you need to do next.

Step 2: Build the Target into Your Daily Activities

Here’s where it gets disconnected for most plumbing business owners. They set a target but then don’t drive that target into the daily activities of their business, so their teams don’t see how each person’s activities contribute to the overall target. Let’s say you want to build a business that earns $10 million in 2017. Well, if you don’t make it clear to your employees why they should step up to hit that target, and exactly what it means for each one of them, you’ll never reach that goal.

Your employees are in the trenches, working on your customers’ plumbing projects, so they don’t see how their daily activities will help your company achieve the financial goal. In their minds they’d still be working on the same plumbing projects whether the target is $1 million, $10 million, or $100 million — it means nothing to them.

To drive that target into your daily activities, you need to make the connection for your employees about the following:

  • Why should they work toward the target? (It creates a stronger business; better job security; more advancement opportunities; pay raises, bonuses, and incentives; etc.)
  • How should they work toward the target? (Tell them what their contribution means — for example, how doing the job right the first time, as efficiently as possible, while impressing the customer with amazing service, will minimize callbacks and maximize the customer’s satisfaction, which leads to more business.)

One of the most powerful ways to ensure that your employees are working toward the target daily is to create KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that measure their activity as it relates to the target.

For example, if you have an annual revenue target, your salespeople should have KPIs related to how much they close each day. Or if you have an annual customer satisfaction target, your employees should have KPIs related to how satisfied their customers are based on follow-up phone surveys.

Don’t overcomplicate the KPI — just use one or two numbers per employee, and tie the KPI to their job. A warehouse worker might not be measured on how much revenue is brought in, since they’re not selling, but they can be measured on how quickly and accurately they reload your trucks to get them on the way to serve more customers.

A KPI is a simple way to regularly revisit an employee’s efforts toward the target and see which employees are on track or behind the game. Record their efforts on a daily or weekly basis and then review their KPIs on a weekly or monthly basis. The key is to make it measurable and tied to their specific work with KPI check-ins conducted regularly to assess progress.

When an employee is doing what they should be doing, great. Commend them for their effort and encourage them to continue. When an employee is exceeding their KPIs, reward them in some small, tangible way. And when an employee is not meeting their KPIs, coach and mentor them to provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

Final Word

Many plumbing business owners set a target at the beginning of the year then, by the end of the year, they scratch their head in wonder at why they didn’t reach it. But when you take the extra step to drive your target into the daily activities of your business and measure with KPIs, you’ll be surprised at how you can move your company forward toward achieving your inspiring target for the year.

About the Author
Mike Agugliaro is the co-founder of New Jersey-based home service company, Gold Medal Service, which provides residential plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical services. As a business coach, Agugliaro takes from his own experience to regularly lead national speeches, podcasts, webinars, and seminars on behalf of his other business, CEO Warrior, and has published two business books with a third currently in production. 


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