Setting Business Goals: 5 Steps to Success

Setting goals is an important part of self-improvement for anyone—business owner or not. And while you might make a few New Year’s resolutions for yourself every January, there are a few methods you can use to make sure you actually achieve your ambitions. Keep reading to learn how to set business goals and set yourself up for success. 

Why Should You Set Small Business Goals?

If your business is consistently profitable and has been for a while, you might be wondering if you need to set business goals. And the short answer is yes, you do. Goals help you stay focused and keep your business moving forward.  

How to Set Business Goals

1. Be Specific

When it comes to setting any kind of goal, being specific is key. For example, a business objective of “posting more on social media” doesn’t provide clear direction or parameters. Instead, set a goal for yourself to post once a day, twice a week, or whatever realistically works for you. Take a few minutes to write down your specific plan so you have a roadmap to look back on.   

2. Set Reachable Goals

We’re guessing that, like most small business owners, you like to dream big. And while it’s wonderful to reach for the stars, you’ll have an easier time achieving your goals by setting yourself up for success…and an easy way to do this is to break long term business goals into smaller milestones. So, instead of setting a goal to open five new locations within the next five years, focus on making your current location financially stable enough to lease a second location. Using a mix of long and short term goals for your business is a great way to stay on pace without losing sight of your end goal. (And don’t forget to celebrate every time you reach a new milestone!) 

3. Be Realistic About Your Timeline

Speaking of five-year plans…when you’re setting business goals, you should be realistic about timing. Big things take time—and that’s okay! We’re not saying that you should settle for “someday” as a timeline, but don’t expect to achieve your goals overnight. It’s also valuable to reevaluate your objectives after a certain amount of time, so keep timelines flexible enough to account for adjustments.  

4. Measure Your Progress

Regularly checking in on your progress is an effective way to hold yourself accountable. So, when you’re setting goals for your business, decide what your Key Performance Indicators (or, KPIs) will be. If your goal is to post more on social media, a measurable KPI could be the number of posts you shared each month.  

5. Keep Dreaming!

Like we said, it’s natural for small business owners to dream big. You probably first started your business *because* of a dream! So, keep thinking big…it’s what you do best.   

13 Examples of Small Business Goals

Not sure where to start? Here are some broad examples of business goals to inspire you—if you see one you like, add your own specifics and parameters to keep yourself accountable!  

  • Post more frequently on your go-to social media channel
  • Regularly ask for customer feedback
  • Launch a rewards program
  • Boost traffic to your website
  • Find one way to reduce your operating costs
  • Attend industry networking events
  • Join a professional organization
  • Acquire more customers
  • Add new team members
  • Launch a new product or service
  • Market your brand with promotional items
  • Show appreciation to your employees
  • Build brand awareness
Allison Russo

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