Businesses tend to progress more consistently if the owner sets financial goals and makes a plan to achieve them. The new year is a natural time to decide what you want to achieve and how. With that in mind, read on to learn the steps for setting financial goals for your business for the new year.
1. Review and evaluate your last year goals
You’ve got to see where you’re coming from to know where you can realistically go. At year’s end, review the goals you set last year and use your numbers to see how your business measured up.
Whether or not you met your goals, that information is valuable. What circumstances enabled you to meet your goals or prevented you from doing so? If you didn’t make a formal list last year, try to think of where you were a year ago and see if you progressed as much as you thought you would.
2. Use that information to set this year goals
Now that you know how far you came in previous year, jot down what you’d like to accomplish in current year. Don’t worry about getting specific here – it’s just a jumping-off point. Try to be ambitious without being unreasonable. Setting unreachable goals only sets you up for disappointment and a feeling of failure, which is completely counterproductive.
3. Get specific
Flesh out your ideas by paying attention to the details. Use real numbers in your goals. Are you going to make more sales? Raise prices? Find new clients? Outline exactly how you’re going to get to these numbers. The more specific you can be here, the better. It will help you to make your dreams a reality.
4. Sort your goals into categories
Once your goals are outlined and detailed, look at them as a whole. Some goals are small and quickly achievable. These are fantastic ones to tackle early in the new year to boost your business and get you on the right track. Plan to get to these as soon as possible so you can reap the rewards.
There should be some items on your goal list that will take more time, effort, and planning. Break these bigger goals down into smaller steps, and create a timeline for when you will achieve each milestone.
You will likely have a handful of goals that fall somewhere in between. Distribute these evenly throughout the year in a way that makes sense for your business.
5. Break down the steps in each goal
With your short, medium, and long-term goals laid out, go over them with a critical eye. You need to make sure that each one has a clear set of steps that will help you achieve it, especially if it is a bigger or more complicated goal.
Create milestones for each one of your goals, with what you need to accomplish broken down into manageable chunks. A complex goal may even require weekly targets to help you get to the finish line.
After finishing this step, you’ll have a detailed picture of what the year looks like for your business. If you’ve balanced things out well, you’re likely to gain a feeling of accomplishment when you look at this goal map and will be keen to get things underway. What was once daunting becomes exciting!
6. Check that each goal is SMART
Most of us are familiar with the concept of SMART goals, but we don’t always take the time to make sure they pass this check. Go over your goals to ensure that each one is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant (or realistic), and timely. If each goal meets these requirements, you’re good to go!
7. Set reminders to check in each quarter
Accountability is key. Set up dedicated time at least once per quarter to review your progress. If you find that you’re falling behind, make a plan at that time to get things back on track.
Most business owners have an idea of what they want to achieve each new year, but the only way to make those dreams a reality is to plan, plan, plan. After that, check in on your plan regularly. It’s the best way to make sure your ambitions come to pass.