How to Set Better Business Goals for the New Year
Business growth starts with goals—learn how to set better, more achievable goals to help launch your new year.
Successful small businesses turn each new year into a fresh start by setting smart goals. While everyone is promising to follow personal New Year's resolutions, you should also be outlining the goal(s) you want to achieve for your business during the coming year.
Consider these tips for setting better (more achievable) goals:
Brainstorm Better Goals
- Grab a huge whiteboard or chalkboard and spend time writing out all the ideas, dreams, wants, and needs that you have for your small business.
- Talk to your customers, and add their feedback to your brainstorming. Specifically, ask them what their needs are, and come up with better ways to serve them.
- Ask your employees to contribute, too. What ideas do they have for new opportunities or problem solving?
- Also, think about how technology can help your business. What new products and services are your suppliers and service providers offering that can help you get more customers, provide better service and increase efficiency?
Choose Better Goals
The biggest mistake that goal-setters make is setting broad, vague, or "pie-in-the-sky" goals that seem too lofty. That's not to say that you shouldn't have those goals, but lofty goals can seem impossible and could be detrimental to your motivation over the year.
- Using all those ideas you wrote down earlier, reorder everything into a list from the easiest one to the hardest one.
- Then, independently rate each one in terms of impact.
- Finally, pick the items that have the greatest impact and are realistic to implement, up to your time and budget limit.
Refine Your Goals
Improving your goal statement can be as easy as simply re-wording your chosen goal to make it more specific and actionable. It's the difference between a goal that says "generate more leads to bring in more customers" and one that says "rebuild website to generate 20% more leads in six months."
- Using the three goals you selected from your brainstorm list, rewrite them to be more "actionable" like the example above. You can do this by looking at your question and asking yourself, "How can I make this goal a reality?"
- Add more details to each goal, like a proposed timeframe or the things you might need to make it happen. When written this way, your goal will point you in the right direction and feel much more achievable.
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