‘Tis the season for holiday planning, promotional sales and thinking about your small business goals for the coming year!
In the ever-moving small-business bustle, it can sometimes feel daunting to look too far ahead. Even forecasting beyond the end of the week can seem unnerving when you’re caught up in the daily operations and tasks your small business requires.
However, properly developing your small biz goals far enough in advance is a necessary component to moving forward and ultimately, achieving success for your business and its vision. We’ve outlined a few steps to help develop your goals for 2016.
Step One — Set (SMART) Goals
S-pecific: The more specific a goal, the more likely it will be achieved.
Goals need to be more concrete and less abstract, with as many details as possible!
M-easurable: Attach a figure or value to your objectives.
- Want to increase sales? — By how much?
- Hiring new employees? — How many?
- Aiming to increase social? — On what platforms?
A-ttainable: Make sure your goals are achievable and manageable.
Assign certain tasks to certain people and break the larger goals down into smaller parts to make steady progress and build momentum
R-ealistic: Overshooting on a goal won’t get anything done.
- What are you capable of?
- What were you able to complete in the past?
- How big of a team do you have to get it done?
T-imely: Without a clear timeline, goals take much longer to get done.
With no end date in sight, there is no urgency or pressure to encourage progress. A timeline with small targets throughout will allow you to track your success at each milestone.
Step Two — Focus
Setting too many goals in too many areas is counterproductive.
- New hires
- New product
Instead of tackling everything at once, focus on one area at a time to achieve your goals and to move business forward in the most productive way.
Step Three — Keep Track
In a survey of 300 small business owners, more than 80% said they don’t keep track of their business goals, and 77% had yet to achieve their vision for their company.2
Tracking your progress on business goals is important to make sure you’re moving in the right direction and to help keep yourself motivated.
Give yourself a schedule and monthly milestones that will let you know if you’re hitting the goals you want to accomplish.