Setting Goals – Small Business Development 1 of 6

Today is the first post in a set of six for the month of January. They will all be focused on small business development. The next five are going to be about goals you may want to set for your business in 2017. But before we start that, I wanted to take a closer look at setting goals effectively. It is easy to dream up improvements for your small business, but how the goal is set can play a big part in whether or not it is accomplished!

Be Specific – Setting Goals

There is a pretty big difference between “I want to become a better person” and “I am going to begin doing two random acts of kindness each week.” One of these goals seems lofty and is hard to measure. The other one would be easy to accomplish because it is well defined. This same principle applies to your small business. Instead of saying “grow this year” we are going to say “grow retail sales of canoes by 5% and boating class registrations by 10%.”

Determine The Timeline – Setting Goals

After you make a list of your goals, you need to decide the timeline. It is easy to start out motivated and then let go of your new plans as the excitement wanes. Some goals can be accomplished in one quarter. This may be upgrading your computer system or reorganizing something. Growth-type goals will go throughout a whole year. I recommend breaking down your goals and assigning deadlines throughout the year. This part will depend on your business type. Sometimes it is necessary to look at things monthly, and in other cases or with other goals, you may want to take a look each week.

Track – Setting Goals

Finally, we are at an accountant’s favorite part! You can not expect or see a performance increase, unless it is measured and reported. Once you write down your goals and determine the timeline, make sure you also set up a way to track them. You will also need a person in charge of tracking and reporting each one. As a leader you will always know who to talk to about a specific goal and how it is going. You will also be able to pull a report or look at a poster board to see how it is going.

Now that we have established some guidelines, we can move on to discuss some goals and achievements for the new year. We hope you find our blog helpful, and if so, please share it with others you know!

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