Setting goals – part 2

Dec 4, 2014 | Business

Over the last few months, we’ve grown our team a bit, and as part of that process, I’ve been thinking a lot about our company values, guiding principles, and goals. The last time we had a clear goal was during the housing crash. You can read about it in part 1 of this article.

grassrootsgroundswell Churchstoke v Builth TownBut lately, we haven’t had a clear goal that we’re striving for beyond “keep doing what we’re doing“. Part of that is because I’m not naturally a goal-setter, but part of it is trying to decide how to set goals.

Should we set a goal that’s unattainable, then fail at a high level? Or is it better to set goals that are reasonable?

Is good to have vague goals? Or, should goals be specific, measurable, and bounded by time?

Plus, as one of the co-owners of Moraware, it’s really hard for me to separate my own goals about finances and happiness from those of the business.

Maybe the solution is having a couple of different layers of goals. So, I think it’s good to define the vague ideas.

The first layer of goals

So, here’s the top level. We’ve got 3 overall goals.

Make existing customers happier. There are lots of dimensions of happy. First, we need to give new customers the tools to succeed with better help, getting started guides, videos. For the last few months, we’ve been working on that, and I think we’ve made some significant progress.

We also need to figure out how to give more help to our long-term customers who keep encountering new situations. Plus, we need to keep making our products better, faster, and more powerful.

Get more customers. Growth enables us to do more things – if we have more customers, it benefits everyone. There’s a bigger community of countertop fabricators who can share with each other. We can hire more folks to make our products, support, sales, and marketing better. Fundamentally, having more customers lets us solve more problems for this industry.

Right now, I’m sure the limitation in Moraware’s growth is marketing. If we can reach more countertop fabricators with our message, we know we can make their businesses (and lives) better.

Make Moraware run more smoothly. Although we want to grow, we don’t want our company to get worse as a result. We’ve spent lots of effort trying to automate more – some things are purely tools we use within our company (like our server infrastructure, or billing system), but others keep making the overall experience better for our customers (like a new help platform, and more guides to help folks get started).

For the last few months, we’ve been spending a really large chunk of our overall company resources on making things run more smoothly. But, every optimization to our company and process feels like it’s slow and expensive, but we’re always happy we did it.

“I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now.” —Field Notes tagline

Balancing the goals

I use some blog posts to think through business issues, and as I write it all down sometimes it becomes clear. I can give lots of examples of the work we’ve done recently to improve our existing customer’s happiness, and how we’re working on making things run more smoothly.

But, it’s pretty clear to me that one of our goals has been on cruise control. We keep getting more customers, but we haven’t tried anything new to make that goal a priority in a while.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series as I think more about how we can get more customers faster.