The Importance of Setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals

Setting goals is effective in business because it funnels energy toward achieving desired results. In the pool industry, greater profitability would be a good result in terms of important goals to set. Without generating sales and properly controlling expenses, profitability cannot exist. Employers expect their teams to set clear and measurable goals for a reason. Goals direct the firm's intellectual resources toward locating viable solutions. One can never underestimate that the human brain is the greatest problem-solver of all time.

A goal without a strategic plan to achieve it is just a wish.

Business goals should be timely, detailed, quantifiable, and attainable whether they are intended to motivate employees or drive the company’s objectives. They should create the basis for strategic planning on how to achieve those goals.

Let’s revisit that first goal — profitability. A pool firm has a vague objective: “Our Pool Company needs to become profitable.” How profitable? Do you have enough customers to make that happen? When will the business become profitable? How can you tell if your business is profitable? This objective can be better expressed as “Our Pool Company will achieve a 10% net profit margin by the end of 2023, based on sales of $8,000,000.” Now, it’s possible to plan the measures to take in order to accomplish that goal and, if necessary, modify the progress made in that direction.

SMART Goals — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Based

Management will occasionally try to alter the direction of a company by inspiring workers to do more. I read a fantastic book “Built to Last,” by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras which discusses the concept of “big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs).”

When my friend and mentor Paul Porter declared his lofty objective of opening 100 franchises in ten years, it became one of my favorite BHAG’s of all time. The fact is he realized that goal, quietly and almost unobtrusively, while at the same time becoming the world’s largest pool builder.

I don’t think anyone at Premier Pools & Spas knew exactly how to make that happen back in 2013, but the objective motivated lots of people to work towards achieving that result. Many people focused their minds on coming up with a solution. I’m proud to have played a small part in helping him achieve that objective.

It gave me the foundation and desire to create my own personal goals that I’m well on the way to achieving. In 2020, I accomplished two major goals of developing the pool & spa industries leading digital marketing agency — Pool Marketing, and the #1 ranked source for Pool News — Pool Magazine.

The accomplishment of goals is a cause for celebration. Setting objectives that support the company’s aim and rewarding staff for a job well done are hallmarks of successful businesses. That’s definitely one thing I learned while at Premier.

Setting goals and acknowledging success can help even a small pool company. What ideal results would you like to obtain? Are you setting goals to achieve those aims? The moment has arrived to set goals that will lead to those results.

Typically the only thing that prevents us from setting goals is that we have to be accountable to ourselves for achieving them. The #1 thing preventing us from being truly successful in our endeavors is fear. Conquering our own fears and insecurities and setting lofty goals is paramount.

The time has come to conquer our fears and set Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

This year, I’m asking all of my employees, friends, and associates to create a vision board. Visualizing those objectives is the best way to make your goals tangible and manifest them into reality.

Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy holiday. Set BHAG’s, shoot for the stars, and reach your goals.

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Joe Trusty - CEO of Pool Marketing

Founder of Pool Marketing. Joe helps Pool Companies experience unimagined growth in their business and excels as a thought leader in pool marketing & strategy.