How to Set and Achieve Your Business Goals

Charlette Beasley

Charlette is a writer and content strategist in Florida. She writes payroll content for Fit Small Business and helps her own clients create industry-specific copy for their business. In addition, she loves “beaching” with her two kids.

Setting goals for yourself and your business is a process; you have to determine and prioritize the goals you want to reach, create a plan, and take action towards them. It’s important to figure out which of your aspirations are most important to you because resources are limited. Goals are much easier to accomplish if you make them specific and realistic.

Head manager of new modern restaurant explaining to her its business goals

The steps you should follow when setting your goals are:

Step 1: Determine what goals you want to accomplish

It’s hard to work on a goal if you don’t know what it is. Take time to list each goal, no matter how big or small it may be. And get specific: Instead of saying you want to increase your company’s revenue, say, “I want to grow my company’s revenue by 30% in the next 12 months.” 

Once you have a list of goals on your radar, start narrowing them down. Your time, money, and other resources are limited, so it’s vital that you’re honest with yourself on what you have the bandwidth to work on. Be prepared to postpone goals that don’t make the cut so you avoid spreading yourself too thin.

Step 2: Plan how you will reach your goals

After determining which goals you plan to work on, you have to set a plan. Each goal will require a different plan. For instance, the strategies you’d use to double your customer retention rate would be different than what you’d use to decrease inventory costs by 10%.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when setting a business or personal goal:

  • When do you want to accomplish your goal? In six months? The next five years? At the end of the month?
  • How will you accomplish your goal? Will you need additional tools and resources to help you achieve it?
  • How will you measure your success? Do you have a way to collect and analyze data? 

Set intermittent achievements that lead to your main goal. A goal that takes 5 years to accomplish may seem daunting, but setting smaller achievements keeps you on the right path without feeling overwhelmed. If your 5-year goal is to open a second location, a stepping-stone achievement towards that goal would be to find the new location.

There are numerous questions you can ask yourself to help you develop a foolproof plan on how to reach your goals. The purpose of a plan is to help you stay on track. Distractions happen, and you’re more likely to pick up where you left off if you have a blueprint to follow. And remember, even if all doesn’t go as planned, you can always revise the plan in the future. The most important piece of advice is just to have one.

Step 3: Take action towards your goals

Once the plan is complete, you can begin taking action. Action might be more subtle like implementing a new daily meeting with your employees to improve communication within the company or it could be drastic such as terminating all of your “problem” employees in order to build a more cohesive team. Remember, to reach your goals, you will have to take action. You can have the best plan in the business and still fail without action. 

Step 4: Assess your results

Although creating a plan and taking action requires a lot of focused effort, you’ll need to find time to assess the results afterward. This may require some data collection. If your goal is to boost sales by $100,000 in a year, you’ll need access to the previous year’s sales total along with that of the current year so you can compare the two. 

Reviewing your results will confirm whether or not you were able to accomplish the goals you set out for yourself and your business. It can also show the areas that will require more work so you can be successful in the future.

The way in which you set goals matters. You increase your chances of reaching them by making them SMART: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely. Crafting an efficient plan and taking actionable steps is what gets you closer to accomplishing your goals. It’s essential to follow a standard process that gives you room to assess your progress and make changes when necessary.

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