The Importance of Setting Goals for Your Business
The start of a new year isn't just a time for reflection and goal setting in our personal lives — it's also an ideal opportunity to do the same for our businesses!
Now that we're officially in the final quarter of 2018, take a look back on this past year as an entrepreneur or small business owner. Did you have some successes that surprised you? Have there been unexpected challenges that made it harder to land as many clients, sell as many services or generate as much revenue as you wanted?
Here are a few great reasons to start setting goals for your business for 2019 before the new year even begins.
Eyes on the Prize
If you didn't meet your business expectations this past year, setting a goal to meet (or surpass!) them this year can make for a motivational tool. Goals help us stay on track, especially when combined with specific steps that will move us closer to hitting those achievements.
There's no shame in needing a little inspiration to keep you going. On days when you are either feeling less like yourself or questioning whether you're on the right path, your goals can help remind you why you started in the first place.
Progress Over Perfection
Another handy benefit of goal setting is witnessing and recording progress over time. No business is ever "perfect" — even if we like to think they are — but we can all strive for improvement over the span of the year.
Goals and Action Plans
Without establishing the achievements we want to make and putting them down in writing, our daily actions and habits are far less likely to get our businesses to where we want them to be. And ultimately, that affects our lifestyles.
For example, if you dream of establishing enough recurring revenue to allow you to travel more often or spend more quality time with family, setting goals within your business can help you live that kind of life. Having benchmarks in mind from the beginning is a smarter way to grow a company tailored to the big picture, also known as your big why.
How to Set Your Business Goals for 2019
1. Start by reviewing this past year. It may be easiest to begin with quantifiable data: revenue, profit, number of clients, amount of products sold, etc. Work on establishing an idea of how you'd like to improve with specific percentage or quantity increases in mind. Be sure to make these challenging enough that you aren't 100% sure you'll hit, but not so difficult that it will seem unachievable.
2. You may also want to consider setting qualitative or project-based goals, ones that aren't measured by a number but by how effective a strategy is or whether or not a major project is completed. Some sample ideas? Hiring a business coach, designing (or redesigning) your website, launching a new program . . . the opportunities are endless!
3. Now, work your way backwards. What tasks or milestones can you set in your action plan that will help you reach those goals? Are there quarterly, monthly or even weekly steps you and/or your team can take that will ensure you reach your annual goals? Write them down.
4. Schedule deadlines and delegate as needed. Prioritize your daily work around the actions that will see the greatest impact. As due dates approach, reorganize your to-do list in order to make sure you're on track. And if you can't tackle a project on your own but are still fully committed to those goals, start delegating to others who can help you.
5. Make adjustments. If you end up reaching your goals far earlier than expected (say, halfway through the year), don't be afraid to update them! Revisions are also a key part of the process. Re-work your goals throughout the year, and if you've set too many, you can always scale back and keep a few of them in mind for the future.