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Goal Setting Strategies for Small Businesses

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, then it means that you are probably a goal-oriented person. People who are willing to step out of the typical career paths are looking to create a different lifestyle and new opportunities. It can be both exciting and scary to step into new territory and try something different. The upside potential is incredible if you set the right goals. Consider these goal setting strategies if you are looking for ways to improve your business results.

Manageable Growth for Future Success

While everyone wants to be an overnight success, uncontrolled growth could be the factor that brings your company down. You need to be sure that you have the inventory, customer support, and business resources available to manage all of the orders that come in. So, it is important that you aim for manageable growth to ensure that you can sustain it in the future.

For example, instead of setting a goal to double your clients, consider setting incremental goals that can be achieved over a period of time. You might start by aiming to increase your client list by 10% at a time. These incremental steps can move you in the right direction over time, until you reach the ultimate goal in the future.

Don’t sink your company by moving too fast. Instead, be realistic about the services that can be provided for your customers, and aim to move that incrementally so that you can achieve the results that are desired.

Lean on the Experience and Recommendations of Others

It is easy to be narrow-focused on the problems at hand. But, don’t make the mistake of overlooking resources that might be available to help with your business growth. Tapping into outside knowledge and resources can help you avoid some of the roadblocks that come up along the way. You can skip the problems that were encountered by your mentors, putting you on the fast track to achieving higher levels of success.

There are a few key areas of your business where you might consider services and support from others. For example, it can be helpful to bring in an accounting team to assist with the finance strategy. These services will allow you to focus on the daily responsibilities so that you don’t have to spend your time crunching numbers every day. Talk to your accounting team about the goals that should be in place, helping you identify goals that are realistic and manageable.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Your Business

One common acronym used in reference to goal setting is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Using this strategy can help you stay focused on the things that matter. Here are the things that you should be considering when you are setting goals:

  • Specific: Setting a general goal can make it hard to identify when the goal has been achieved. Instead of setting a goal to “boost company profits” include detailed numbers that you would like to hit. For example, you might set a goal to increase monthly sales by 10% by the end of the year. When you are specific about your goal, there is a greater chance that it will be achieved compared to a general goal. Answer six important questions to get specific: Who, What, When, Where, Which, Why?
  • Measurable: It is important that you have detailed criteria in place to measure your progress. How do you know if you are going to hit your goal if you can’t track the progress that you are making along the way? A few easy questions can help you identify the measurement of your goal, such as: How many, How much, or how do I know when the goal has been met?
  • Achievable: Find the goals that are most important to your success, but make sure that there are ways to make those goals become a reality. You can achieve almost anything that you set your mind to. But, it can be helpful to focus on incremental goals if the bigger goals seem too far away. Setting goals beyond your reach could be setting you up for failure. Dream big, but also do a reality check to make sure that you can eventually reach the level you are striving to achieve.
  • Relevant: Make sure that your goal aligns with your company mission. Not only do you need to consider your current progress, but you should also evaluate the current business climate and conditions you are facing. Set goals that will have an impact on the way the company will grow, while being in touch with the realities of the market that you are experiencing.
  • Timely: Finally, you need to have a deadline that you are aiming for. These goals won’t be accomplished if you don’t tie a timeframe to the process of setting the goal. For best results, it is a good idea to keep the timeframe within a few months, giving you time to see progress. When that goal is achieved, then you can set the next goal to help you make the incremental steps that are needed in the future.

It is incredible to see the possibilities that are available when you are deliberate with the way you are setting goals. Instead of randomly choosing goals for your company, take the time that is needed to identify the steps that will work in your favor in the future.

Trusting Your Knowledge and Experience

While it is important to be deliberate in the way you are setting your goals based on data and achievable results in the future, there is also a time when you should trust your instinct in the way you are growing your company. You’ve already come a long way to take the steps needed to build a business. Recognize the progress that has been made and look for ways that you can trust yourself and the possibilities that are available for the future.

For example, you might have a feel for the way the business flows throughout the year. During slow season, it might make sense to work on system improvements, such as improving the accounting and bookkeeping system or working on business development. On the other hand, it could be good to set sales goals when you are in the busy seasons of the year.

Examples of Business Goals

Do you need help identifying goals that might be helpful for your business success? Here are a few options that you might consider:

  • More Revenue: Increasing revenue is often the first goal that business owners think about when they are looking to improve their results. You can set revenue goals, or look at other numbers that affect revenue, such as sales, prices, and more. Talk to your accounting team to identify the areas of potential for boosting your revenue.
  • Reduce Costs: While you are increasing your income, it is also helpful to decrease expenses at the same time. If you don’t control your costs, then you will have a hard time maintaining profitability. Review your expenses and find ways that you can cut the recurring expenses to improve profit margins.
  • Manage Debt Load: When you are carrying large amounts of debt, then it means that your cash flow is likely being taken up in monthly payments and interest costs. Set goals to reduce your debt or pay it off completely. These goals will have a lasting impact on your business success since your cash will be freed up for other investments and business development options.
  • Improve Cash Flow: It can be stressful if you are checking the bank account throughout the month to make sure that you have enough money to pay the bills that are coming through. If you are always coming up short with the money that is needed to pay your bills, then it means that you should set goals to improve your cash flow. Create a goal to have an emergency reserve of cash so that you don’t come up short every month.

These are just a few examples of goals that can be used to improve your business success. But, the best goals are those that will have the greatest impact on your results. It is important that you evaluate your company. Look at the historical trends and possibilities for the future. Then, find the areas where you can change your habits and results to create better opportunities to help your company grow.

Talk to an Experienced Accounting Team

Do you have questions about goal setting strategies or other methods that can be used to improve your business finances? Right now is a great time to talk to an industry expert to learn more about the way accounting services can support your goals. If you are interested in learning more, then we invite you to call our experienced team at Easier Accounting. We offer services for small businesses and entrepreneurs. This focus gives us the experience and applied knowledge that ensures optimal results for your company. Call today to learn more about the services that are available We’re here to help: (888) 620-0770