We are all looking for a competitive edge, especially during this pandemic. It all boils down to two things: goal setting and execution.

Effective goal setting is the most important component of your strategy across every business function. Without well-defined goals and objectives, you will never know if and when you hit your target. More importantly, effective goal-setting creates the roadmap to help you achieve your objectives. It will provide you with the blueprint for success.

A well-defined strategy includes guard rails to help keep you laser-focused on goals and outcomes, which keep you from the many distractions that derail most businesses.

Scorecarding is advanced goal-setting on steroids. You should use scorecards in every area of your business. This can be incorporated into your SMART goals:Specific,Measurable,Actionable, Relevant/realistic, andTimely. We’ll use category management to illustrate how this works.

You should have a scorecard for every category. A category scorecard is organized and broken down into smaller “micro goals,” all designed to grow the category, segment, brand, and itemize sales. This includes all of your merchandising, promotional, pricing, and growth goals and objectives. For example, if you want to grow sales by 5%, then you need to answer these questions and place them in your scorecard:
  • What distribution gaps do you need to fix?
  • How can you improve your merchandising?
  • What does your everyday price need to be?
  • How often do you need to promote?
  • What should your promoted price be?
Place each one of those questions into your scorecard with your SMART objectives. For example, distribution:
  • Specific: We want to increase distribution on item “A”
  • Measurable: Who is responsible for filling distribution voids?
  • Actionable: What is the estimated sales increase for closing/filling the distribution gaps?
  • Reasonable: What is an achievable distribution goal?
  • Timely: When should the voids be filled by—what date?
Each of these objectives should also be focused on increasing shopper satisfaction—meeting their wants and needs.

The more specific the objectives and goals, the easier they are to target, assess, and measure.

Work closely with brands to help you reach and exceed your goals. Hold your brand partners accountable for sustainable growth. Leverage their insights to give you a competitive edge and to keep shoppers coming back!