Tips for Setting Small Business Goals
We’re heading into another year, which is the perfect time to start setting goals for your small business. Whether you’re a retailer, restaurateur, or salon owner, having solid and reasonable goals in place is a no-brainer. And the process can be fun! Without goals in place, it’s really difficult to track the success of your business. What are you driving toward? What are your employees supposed to focus on? How do you hold yourself accountable? Let dive into some tips on goal setting so you can start the new year off on the right track.
Outline Your Goals
This is the fun part—step one in your journey to professional success (at least for this year)! Some people find it easier to think in terms of the “big picture,” while others are more comfortable breaking goals down into smaller chunks—bite-size accomplishments, if you will. There is no right way to do it. Key questions to ask yourself as you outline your goals include:
- Will this goal help my business grow?
- Is this goal worth the time and effort I’ll need to put into it?
- Where are the top areas in which my business could improve?
- What are we doing great right now that could be expanded upon?
You’ll want to strike the balance between creating goals that are attainable but also not too easy. Working toward a goal is supposed to be a rewarding challenge, not necessarily a cakewalk.
After outlining your goals, specificity is key. The clearer you are with your goals, the greater the likelihood that you’ll be able to achieve them. If your goals are financially related, spell out specific dollar amounts and the dates by which you want to hit certain milestones. And don’t be shy about outlining what exact steps it will take to get you to each milestone. Think of your goals as a journey, and draw out a roadmap if a visual helps you better stay on track.
Progress reporting should be a huge focus as you’re working on your goals. Otherwise, how are you going to be able to measure if you’re on track or not? You can use any number of fancy tools, or perhaps a standard spreadsheet is more your style. Whatever method you choose, make sure you’re meeting with your staff on a regular basis to ensure you’re tracking in the right direction and everyone is doing their part to help your business achieve its goals.
We might all detest deadlines by nature, but they’re necessary when it comes to goal setting. It’s likely easier to break the year up into pieces, perhaps quarters, so you have a smaller window of time to focus on a goal. Sometimes saying your goal “due date” is on the last day of the calendar just gives an excuse to push it off until the last minute (we’ve all been there). Giving yourself a quarterly deadline may help you stay on track and stay accountable.
As you’re working through your business goals for the upcoming year, consider if an unsecured small business loan could help reach them faster. From updating equipment or investing in new technology, to revamping your marketing strategy or hiring new employees, having cash on hand is an easy, smart way to get things done. Check out ARF Financial to learn why thousands of small businesses nationwide have turned to us for all their financial needs. We ready to help you fund your success, too.