Having dealt with curve after curve, I’m ready to see what 2021 has in store for us. And one of my favorite things when preparing for a New Year is to review and set business goals.
With many years of experience under my belt (and many mistakes along the way), I’ve learned to set achievable goals for myself. Do you also want to become a pro at setting goals for your business? I have just the right advice for you …
Why is setting goals important?
Before we get into how you can set successful goals for the coming year, let’s break down Why goals are so important in the first place.
If you want your business to be the best it can be, you need to be prepared to set and follow goals. Without goals, you have no way of monitoring your business progress or holding yourself or your team accountable. Goals help you chart a clear course for your business and point you in the right direction.
All goals are important, no matter how small. Achieving small goals can help you work toward bigger goals. Your goals help you develop your business. And, they can be what makes or breaks the success of your business.
6 tips for setting goals in 2021 and beyond
According to a study, people with goals are 10 times more likely to succeed. The same goes for businesses. If you want long-term success, learn to set goals and achieve them.
The last thing you want to do is put off setting your business goals for the coming year. Instead of procrastinating, get ahead of the curve and learn how to set (and achieve) goals for 2021 and beyond. Check out these six tips to improve your goal setting process.
1. Determine what you want your goals to be
Don’t know where to start to set goals? Congratulations, you are not alone! Many business owners struggle with where to start when it comes to determining their business goals (especially newbies). But, this is totally OK. We’re here to help each other, aren’t we? To the right.
So where to start ? Instead of just thinking “What goals do I want to set for my business?” Think of it this way: what do I want accomplish?
When determining your goals, make sure they’re worth your time and effort. Think about the goals that can really move your business forward over the next year. And, don’t just think about the big picture. Also determine the small goals you want to achieve, they are just as important.
To determine your priorities, consider taking advantage of a SWOT analysis. Your analysis will tell you where your business is falling flat and what areas need improvement. Once you’ve determined the areas that need help, start defining goals that you think you can achieve (or be close to) over the next few months or years.
2. Be as specific as possible
The more time you spend describing and visualizing your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. So, when setting your goals, be as descriptive and clear as possible.
Go into great detail when setting a goal, such as the exact dollar amounts or percentages, what it will take to reach that goal, and how long you think it will take to reach it.
Define where you want your goal to be every step of the way. Think of this as the roadmap to your goal. Be specific with what you want to accomplish at each step.
Are you a visual learner? If so, here’s an example of what your roadmap might look like:
- Increase the number of clients to 10,000 by the end of the first quarter
- Have 15,000 customers by the second quarter
- Have 20,000 customers by the third quarter
- Have 25,000 customers in Q4
Your roadmap may also detail longer-term goals, such as increasing overall income or reducing certain expenses. As you can see, the opportunities are endless.
3. Commit to your goals
As with everything in life, if you want to achieve a goal, you have to make a commitment to it. If you are determined to lose weight, what do you do? You set goals and commit to following your diet and exercise program to reach your goal weight.
Once you’ve set your goals, make the commitment and stick to it. Don’t doubt your goals and don’t give up on them right away. Enjoy the ride, track your results, and do whatever it takes to stay motivated throughout the process.
4. Meet regularly to measure progress
There is no better feeling than reaching a goal you have set for yourself. But, you can’t achieve your goals if you don’t have a system to track and analyze your efforts.
Find a way to keep track of your goals that works for you and your team. For example, you might use a spreadsheet to track metrics monthly. By tracking your goals, you can find out what works and what doesn’t and make changes along the way to make sure you reach your goal in the end.
It is also a good practice to meet with your team to discuss your goals. This way you keep everyone in the know and can brainstorm ideas to help you reach your goals.
Let’s take a look at an example, would you like? Has my accounting software and the payroll company, Patriot Software, we monitor our metrics to track our progress over time. For example, our marketing team meets at least once a month to set and discuss the status of goals and to determine what is working and not working in our favor before making any changes.
5. Hold yourself accountable for deadlines
If you really want to motivate yourself to achieve a business goal, try setting deadlines to hold yourself accountable.
Setting time-based goals helps you set a specific date by which you want to achieve your goals. Deadlines help you stay online and give you the boost you need to reach your goals.
From the start of setting your goal, set a deadline by which you want to achieve your goal. I’m not talking about saying “by next summer” or “by the end of the third quarter”. I’m saying give a specific date when you want your goal to be achieved. That way, you can hold yourself accountable when that date arrives.
6. Celebrate milestones and accomplishments
Last but not least, don’t forget to celebrate the milestones you reach and the goals you achieve, no matter how big or small they seem.
You’ve invested so much time and energy in reaching your goal, so take a moment to figure it all out and celebrate your accomplishment.
Smaller achievements can be simple rewards, like lunch at your favorite restaurant or a cake. As the milestones are met, you could splurge a bit more with your celebrations to match the goal you have achieved.