My tough love approach (heavy on the love) focuses on bringing order to chaos, and creating solid (and straightforward) strategic plans. I take surveys for fun, never met a process I didn’t like, and am a big believer in personal growth as a keystone to business growth.
Psst… Do you know why goal setting for small businesses is so important?
Seriously. Goal setting is the secret sauce for any small business. Taking the time to craft goals, both short-term and long-term, can give you the concrete direction you need to grow and thrive. It’s one of the fundamental steps to setting yourself up on the path to success.
There are many benefits to goal setting and there’s no better time to get started than right now, with the New Year upon us.
Goal setting doesn’t have to be difficult. With these 6 actionable steps, you can set goals for your business and start on the path to achieving them!
The most important step in the goal setting is actually a bit of a pre-step. You should start by analyzing where your business is at right now. You need to understand the health of your business as it is today before you can determine where it should go next. That includes financial health, strengths, weaknesses, resources, and gaps. Take an in-depth look at what you’re currently doing, what’s working, what’s not, and what big dreams you have for your business.
By analyzing the current status of your business, you’ll be able to accurately pinpoint specific goals. Understanding exactly where you are now will help you determine where specifically you should focus next to help you achieve success in the long run.
Pro Tip: In addition to looking at where you are right now, make sure to look at your history over the last few years too.
Use the findings from your business analysis to decide what direction you want your business to take. Do you want more sales? More followers? More clients? More recognition? More money? Those goals may seem one in the same within the big bubble of “success” but they’re actually very different.
The steps you’ll need to take to get more recognition as an expert in your field, for instance, are very different from the steps you would take to ramp up your social media following.
Regardless what your goals are make sure they are very specific. Personally I like using Michael Hyatt’s SMARTER goals system to help make my goals as specific and fleshed out as possible.
You understand where your business is today, and you’ve set specific goals. Great! Next, you need to create a game plan for achieving your goals. Let’s be realistic: Most people can’t tackle a task that’s as big and vague as “INCREASE SALES” so to set yourself up for success, you need to break down your big goals into smaller, actionable steps.
Create a list for each of your goals with tasks you and your team will take that will ultimately work toward your bigger goal. If you want to increase sales, you could start by asking existing clients for referrals. If you want to increase your subscriber base, you could start by creating a new lead magnet. If you want to sign on more clients, you could attend a local networking event to meet movers and shakers right in your area. Breaking down bigger goals into specific, smaller steps makes it easier to start working on your goals right now.
Pro Tip: Organize all of your smaller, actionable steps into a project management system so you and your team are on the same page with tasks, details, and deadlines.
Now that you have your goals broken down into smaller chunks and have a game plan to execute, you need to keep moving forward. Your goals aren’t going to come to fruition without your hard work and expertise. Keep your eyes on the prize—your big picture goals—even as you work on your smaller, actionable steps.
Check in with yourself and your team about those goals. For example, you might set monthly and quarterly meetings to hold yourself and others accountable, or you might include regular reminders to yourself in your calendar. Take steps that will help you stay continually motivated and focused.
The daily grind can be exhausting sometimes and when you’re a busy entrepreneur who is constantly wearing many hats, it can be hard to stay on track. A support system can be a great way to help you keep up your motivation and keep you accountable.
Consider joining a Mastermind Group, engage a business coach, confide in a fellow team member, or tell a friend or a family member about your business goals and make it a point to check in with them on a regular basis. Building a support system can help you achieve your goals. (Hint: an Online Business Manager like our pros here at Any Old Task make a great support system and can help you stay on track!)
Pro Tip: Online groups and forums for small business owners can be a great way to build your support system. Other small business owners might be in the same situation as you and you can motivate and support each other.
It’s important to also remember to celebrate your successes with your team when you achieve your goals. Take a moment to step back and reflect on all the good work you’ve done, your persistence, and your commitment. It can help motivate you to complete the next goal and also give you insight on how to take your business to the next level.
Goal setting for your small business is crucial to your success, and it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. When you take the time to create a game plan for your business, we’re sure you’ll reap the rewards soon enough. If you need help examining your business, setting goals, or creating a game plan to achieve those goals, we can help.
Get in touch and let’s have a chat about your business; in our many years of experience as a high-level Virtual Assistants/Online Business Managers, we’ve helped countless entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level and we’d love to help you as well!
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