Friday, 23 February 2018

Information and commentary for the small business banking industry

Helping your customers to set goals

23 Mar

Why goal setting is important

These days, small business customers look to their bank for more than just financial advice. In fact, a small business owner will often turn to their banking manager for guidance on most issues around running a business, and one of the best ways to help them is to show them why it’s important to set goals.

Successful businesses are those with a clear direction. Having definite goals in mind means taking control of a business’s destiny, and being clear on where they want the business to go. What this means is that goals should be an integral part of a business plan, so when customers come to you with their plan, explain to them why their goals should be included.

Outline to your customers the importance of motivation to achieve their objectives, and to celebrate their successes along the way.

Tips for effective goal setting

What you’re looking to do here is show your customers how setting achievable goals doesn’t mean working themselves and their staff into the ground. They need to feel challenged, but at the same time the goals shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve or your customer and their staff will lose confidence.

Some tried-and-true methods for goal setting are:

  • Making sure goals are written down. Encourage customers to keep them where they can see them, as this will help to motivate them.
  • Keeping goals brief and specific. You want to help them avoid being vague, or it’s hard to tell if a goal’s been accomplished or not.
  • Making goals challenging but realistic. There’s no point setting goals that are impossible to achieve, it just de-motivates everyone and they’ll lose faith in the process. Set goals that take them out of their comfort zones, but are still achievable.
  • Setting deadlines. It’s not a goal unless it’s reached by a certain date. Deadlines encourage motivation and prevent procrastination.
  • Tracking performance. It’s important to be able to monitor progress. Short and medium term goals are needed along the way to the long term goal. People will struggle with motivation if they can’t track their progress and celebrate their achievements.

Helping your customers to plan and set challenging, realistic and achievable goals is an important part of the business banking relationship. Not only will the bank realise its own goals of having successful business customers on their books, but your willingness to assist customers with their goals will enhance the bank’s reputation as one that’s committed to seeing businesses succeed.

« »