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Why Set Goals for Your Small Business?

I often find myself being so busy working in the business (the doing part), that I forget I need to also work on the business (the direction I want the business to take).  So, one of first tasks I did this year when I returned from my Summer break was to set my business goals for 2024. I've defined what I want to accomplish and where I want my business to go in the next 12 months.

Whether you're just starting out, or looking to take your business to the next level, setting goals provides your small business with a clear direction and focus. Without clear goals, it's easy to become unfocused and lose sight of what you're working towards. Small business resources aren't unlimited so by defining what you want to achieve and where you want your business to go, your fair more likely to make the best use of your time, your team and money.

Try these next actions to help you get started:

  1. Identify Your Objectives: Determine what you want to achieve with your business. Whether it's increasing revenue, expanding your customer base, or launching a new product or service, clearly define your objectives. What will your business look like when you achieve this objective?

  2. Set SMART Goals: Once you've identified your objectives, set SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, if your objective is to increase revenue, a SMART goal could be to increase sales by 20% within the next 12 months.

  3. Create an Action Plan: Break down your goals into smaller, actionable steps. Identify the specific actions you need to take to achieve each goal, and assign responsibilities to team members if necessary. 

  4. Establish Milestones: Set milestones or checkpoints to track your progress towards your goals. This will allow you to measure your success along the way and make any necessary adjustments to your action plan.

  5. Regularly Review and Update: Review your goals and progress regularly, and make any necessary adjustments based on changes in the business environment or unexpected challenges. Stay flexible and adapt your goals and action plan as needed.

For further help with refining and recording your goals, there is a handy quick focus plan  you can download from the Business Planning section of  Business NZ website.

And don’t forget to celebrate your achievements, big and small, throughout the year. Recognising and rewarding both individual and team accomplishments boosts morale and fuels motivation to tackle the next set of goals.

Goals provide direction, motivation, and accountability, and they help you measure progress, make informed decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances. By setting clear and achievable goals, you’ll be better equipped to drive your business toward a prosperous future.