Your to-do list as a small business owner is a mile long. Although day-to-day operations can take up most of your time, you shouldn't lose sight of the bigger picture for your business. You should still be making goals.
Business goals allow you to move forward with building and growing your business. In this article, we'll discuss small business goals you should have for this year.
Why Should Small Businesses Set Goals?
Small businesses need to set goals because goals keep you moving forward and prevent your business from stagnating. In addition, having business objectives helps you stay focused.
No matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, goal setting is one of the most important activities you can do to grow your business. Hence, whether you have a new business or an established and profitable one, you should have short-term goals and long-term goals. Similarly, your business goals should be SMART.
- Specific: Having clearly defined goals makes it easier for you to focus on what steps you need to take. For instance, simply saying your goal is "to increase sales this year" is vague. But a plan "to increase sales by $1,000 a month" gives you more clarity on what needs to be accomplished.
- Measurable: Your business goals should be measurable. Using the same example above, you can check your books at the end of the month and see if you did increase your sales by $1,000.
- Achievable: Your goals should be realistic and practical. Is it attainable for your small business to increase sales by $1,000 per month? If the answer is no, scale back and set a more realistic goal.
- Relevant: Set goals relevant to your current business situation. If you're a new business, you might want to gain new customers. However, if you have an established company, you might aim to lower business expenses.
- Time-bound: Lastly, your goals should have a set time frame. A timeline makes the goal specific and measurable.
7 small business goals for this year
Below are small business goal examples you may include in your list for this year. For each goal, you want to tackle, use SMART.
Invest in Your Employees
There's no greater asset than a high-performing employee. Therefore, you should make it part of your yearly goals to invest in your employees. The benefits you'll reap from your efforts include an improved employee retention rate, increased customer satisfaction, and increased employee satisfaction and productivity - all of which can improve your business's bottom line.
Here are a few ways you can invest in your employees:
- Ongoing training: Training shouldn't stop after onboarding. Continuous training helps your employees retain and absorb information they may have missed during the onboarding process.
- Setting performance goals: It will be easier for employees to help meet organizational goals if you set expectations tied to their role in the company. This means you have to invest time and energy to sit with your employees to discuss goals and make sure they're comfortable with the responsibilities of their positions.
- Team-building activities: Consider hosting an event where your team members can have fun outside of day-to-day work. Even simple things like scavenger hunts or playing sports can build camaraderie among employees. It also gives them something to look forward to every year.
Similarly, if you're at the point where you need to hire an employee, make sure your business can afford to do so. You also need to ensure you have the time and energy for the onboarding process. Additionally, before you start the hiring process, make sure you have a clearly defined job description and expectations for the role you're hiring for.
Revamp Your Marketing Efforts
To grow your business, you need to get out in front of your target market. To help you decide if this year's goal should include revamping your marketing efforts, start by listing all the marketing strategies you're currently using. Then, examine each item on the list and ask yourself if it provides a high possibility for your ideal customer to find you.
If some of the methods you're using don't align with your target market, it's time for new marketing strategies. Some of the ways you can improve your marketing efforts may include starting a new marketing campaign, rebranding your company, or looking for new ways to connect with your existing and potential customers.
Open a New Location
Expanding to a new location can be one of the best ways to grow a business. It's exciting, and it might be tempting to jump at the opportunity at once. However, you'll need to consider a lot of things if you've decided to expand your business through a second location.
Setting clear objectives for taking on this project is a good starting point. Here are a few questions to prompt your goal setting:
- What is your goal for the expansion? Is it to serve existing customer demand or enter a new market?
- Have you done your research? Is the market there? How much will it cost? And what are the legal implications of opening a second location?
- Is this an achievable and practical goal for your business right now? Do you have the capital for the expansion? What are other ways you can expand?
- What's a realistic timeline for this project?
Take a Break to Come Back Refreshed
Productivity only happens after adequate rest. You can't be working for months on end and expect the same level of productivity day in and day out. You have to take a break so that you can return with a fresh perspective and renewed energy to improve your business.
For your goal-setting process, examine your business cycles. Find pockets of time where demand for your time is low. If there are no downtimes, create one and delegate your work to a trusted partner or employee so that you can take time off. Note that rest doesn't always mean a month-long vacation on a beach. It could be as simple as taking time to do something you love, like gardening or a weekly hike in the woods.
Introduce a New Product
One common goal for small businesses is coming up with a new product or service. Introducing a new product helps keep your business competitive. In addition, it changes your offerings and entices customers who are always on the lookout for new ideas and innovations.
To get started with this goal, check on the feedback you've received regarding your existing products or services. Your customers might have suggestions that you could use to improve them. You can also look at your popular and best-selling products or services and create accessories for those.
Improve Your Online Presence
The digital world offers small business owners many effective free marketing strategies. However, you'll do your business a disservice by not taking advantage of these available resources. If you've been slacking on your online presence, this year is the best time to start improving your online visibility.
For your goal setting, start small. It could be as simple as setting up a Google My Business profile - this helps your company show up on Google Maps and other Google products. You should also include developing a website in your goal if you don't have one yet. Further, make sure you can be found on at least one or two social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
Reduce Business Expenses
One way to increase your profitability without increasing revenue is to reduce spending. To get started with this goal, examine your business expenses and see where you can lower costs. For example, you may resolve to save on rent by office sharing or moving your operations to a home office if you have space.
As you set this goal, try to be specific about how you can reduce your operating costs. For example, will it save you money by embracing going paperless and using more digital-based document storage services? Or maybe you can design and implement a new way of packaging your products to lower shipping and packaging costs.
Keep Your Financial Goals on Track With Skynova
Whether your goal for your small business is to reduce business expenses, introduce a new product, or expand to a second location, remember to make SMART goals and plan accordingly.
To help you manage your business finances, use Skynova's all-in-one invoicing and accounting software. It keeps accurate records of your income and expenses, and you can use it to generate reports like income statements and cash flow. With this information at your fingertips, you can set goals and make better-informed decisions for your business.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional to ensure you're getting the proper advice.