How to Set Goals for Your Small Business

How to set goals for your small business

For some people, setting goals can be daunting. For others, goal setting is a piece of cake. These people know, for example, that they want to launch their blog in January, they want to book three clients in the first month, they want to reach 25,000 page views within the year, and write their first eBook in year two.

Or you could be somewhere in-between.  You just want to get your physical product or service, blog or social media account off the ground, and THEN you’ll work out the details of what you want to achieve.

Let’s face it.  There is never enough time each day to do everything we need to do.  So we need to set goals.  We need to know where to focus our attention and we need to be able to measure our success.  As Zig Ziglar stated:

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

To make goal-setting easier, think about your goals in terms of long-term, short-term and immediate goals.

1. Long-term goals

Typically, long-term goals are generally more strategic and related to the mission of your business.  They cover a period between two and three years.

When you are ready to jot down your goals ask yourself: what do I want to do (and likewise, what do I not want to do), what sets me apart from my competition, and what does success look like to me?  Don’t write too many goals – one to three is sufficient. Also, try and be ambitious with your goals.  You want to grow as a business and challenge yourself so try and reach for that Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)!

Some examples of long-term goals are:

  • To introduce existing products to a new market (e.g. you could be selling your Instagram marketing e-Course to female entrepreneurs but you realise that male entrepreneurs could also benefit from this training).
  • To introduce new products to new and existing markets (e.g. you currently sell cushions and other soft furnishings to your market but you would like to introduce a range of clothing products to complement your existing range). 
  • To expand sales to the global marketplace (e.g. you may be selling your products just in the Melbourne or Australian market but you realise there is growth potential by selling your products globally).
  • To employ two to three professionals to help grow the business from a freelance operation to a small business.
  • To increase revenue by 10% annually.

2. Short-term goals

Short-term girls are more tactical in nature and generally relating to the current financial year. These goals should link back to your overall long-term goals.

Short-term goals should also follow the S.M.A.R.T principle more closely.  That is, the goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Some examples of short-term goals include:

  • To add an eCommerce platform to my web site to allow for global selling by June 2017.
  • To develop a fashion product range to launch to our existing market by Feb 2017.
  • To write eight blog posts each month.
  • To create and launch two eCourses by December 2016.

Remember to tie in your short-term goals to your long-term goals. So if you’re long-term goal is to introduce existing products to a new market then you need to ask yourself “how am I going to do that?”  “What needs to be done to achieve this goal?”

3. Immediate goals

Immediate goals are the ones you are working on this week.  They are essentially the daily goals you need to achieve in order to sustain your business.

Your immediate goals could be about writing one blog post each week, responding to feedback on your Facebook business page, sending out a newsletter to your email distribution list, or creating an advertisement for your next sale.

For me, it’s important to have a to-do list that I check off each day.  It helps me stay focused and not waste time on activities that will not add value to my business or help me achieve my short-term and long-term goals.

Have you set long-term and short-term goals for your small business?  How do you keep track of your goals? Let me know in the comments field below. 

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