As you prepare for the new year you may find yourself in the process of setting goals for your business. While this is a common practice of many, you must be vigilant in setting realistic and specific goals. It is not enough to simply say, “I want to improve my sales this coming year”, you must take it a step further and outline a specific goal. For example, you might state that you are going to improve your business’s sales for the coming year by increasing your marketing budget to afford the expense of creating a mobile app for your business, with the end goal of increasing your sales by 20%. Far too many people get into the trap of setting lazy business goals. A goal is valuable when it is specific and when it is achievable. This does not mean that you should not aim high, it means that you should set goals that are specific to your individual business. Find out how you can begin setting realistic business goals for the coming year.

1.) Analyze How Your Business is Performing Currently

You must first spend time doing a thorough analysis of your business before you begin doing any real goal setting. Look for areas that you improved upon throughout the last year. Did you invest in a new website that accelerated your businesses growth or did you choose to improve your marketing tactics? Whatever you improved upon this past year, determine what led you to these improvements. Consider areas where your business was hurting the past year as well. What factors might have contributed to these downfalls? After determining these factors you will want to analyze which factors are in your control and which are simply out of control. The factors that are within your control are the perfect place to begin setting your goals from.

2.) Reevaluate Where You Want Your Business to be in the Future

Part of being a small business owner is continually reviewing your business and determining the direction you want to head. As you likely know, the business world is ever changing, and so is your business. Part of being a successful business is adapting to the climate and the markets in which you are in. One way you can do this is by taking the time to determine where you want your business to be down the line. Every vision is unique, but you must have an idea of where you want to be in order to to get there. 

3.) Create Pragmatic and Achievable Goals

After you have analyzed your business and determined the direction you want to head, now is the time to make your goals. It is wise and often beneficial to involve your staff in this process. After all, the more people you have the more ideas you will have flowing. Your employees may have great innovative ideas, so take the time to listen to them. In addition, they may have a clearer idea about specific aspects of your business. Be sure to write your business’s goals out and send them to all employees. Goals are far more powerful when you have everyone on board. Do not neglect your employees during this crucial planning process for your business.

The new year is nearly here and with it comes the opportunity for change and growth. While the future is never certain, you can get your business on the right track this year by sitting down and creating realistic goals. Through this process you may be led to see a whole new perspective of your business, not to mention it can also increase employee moral and engagement. Never underestimate the power of goal setting and what it can do for your small business.