Helpful Goal Setting Strategies for Small Businesses
Explore the best ways to set goals, rally a team, and lean on other small business experts to scale your company.
Mar 30, 2021
4 min read
Mar 30, 2021
4 min read
For a small business owner, goals tend to be centered around scaling their company.
But take a moment to break it down further and ask yourself, “what are my business goals specifically?” Perhaps you’d like to gain a certain amount of new clients by the end of the year, hire your first employee, or open up a second location.
Regardless of what your goals are, it’s important to set goals that are challenging but also attainable to best fuel your business growth and development.
Benefits of Goal Setting Strategies
By setting smart, ambitious, and achievable goals, you’re able to:
Gain focus and direction.
Manage your expectations.
Strive for something specific everyday.
Measure your progress.
Set a timeline with metrics along the way.
Small business owners are no strangers to the concept of goal setting. That doesn’t mean you’ll never struggle to come up with your next target or want to seek out specific goal setting strategies.
Here are some specific strategies we’ve come up with to help get you started.
Set SMART Goals
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Ensuring your small business goals have these characteristics will help make them clear and trackable. Here’s a breakdown.
Specific: Your goal should be specific. Narrow it down and align its focus with the outcome you’d like to achieve.
Measurable: Include numbers! Rather than saying, “I’m going to gain more customers” say something like, “I’m going to gain 10 new customers by the end of the quarter.” Attaching a metric and timeframe to your goal lays out a specific path for what it will take to get you there.
Attainable: Your goal shouldn’t be something you can achieve in your sleep, but it shouldn’t be too lofty either. Having an attainable goal is key to maintaining motivation and reaching your desired end result.
Relevant: If your top goal is to increase your website views, then your pricing strategy may not be your first priority. Instead, pursue tactics that drive traffic to your website—like optimizing your Google My Business profile, keeping your online directory listings up-to-date, staying on top of reviews, and overseeing your website management strategy. Make sure your goal is relevant to your specific target metric as well as your business as a whole.
Time-Based: Assigning a deadline or time-based metric to your goal will do wonders for achieving it. It provides a sense of urgency and helps you track your progress.
An example here may be “I’d like to have the appropriate paperwork submitted for my second location opening by June 10.” Phrases like “by the end of the year,” “on Month, Day” and “in X amount days” all work to make your goal time-oriented.
Discover What’s Doable for Your Business
This strategy is all about being attainable and relevant. Depending on the current size and capabilities of your business, achieving 1,500 new clients in one month may simply be unmanageable and unrealistic.
While it’d be nice to gain that many new customers overnight, making it your goal may actually hurt your company or discourage your team if it’s not ultimately achievable. When it comes to setting goals, you want to land on outcomes and numbers that are realistic for your business’s size, internal structure, and trajectory.
Rely on the Experts
There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, which means there are millions who have gone before you. As you start to set goals for your business, don’t be afraid to turn to these experienced people, or other trusted small business resources to find out how to avoid common mistakes, set realistic goals, and improve your overall business strategy.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, try asking a fellow business owner where they got theirs.
Keep Your Team Encouraged
Nothing will help you achieve your goals faster than rallying your team behind you. Once your goal is set with an appropriate end date, try some of the following tactics to motivate and excite your team:
Give daily progress updates.
Offer incentives for reaching the goal.
Explain why this goal is important to your team and the company as a whole.
Give shoutouts to team members as they positively contribute to the goal.
As they say, it takes a village, so set your goals and position your team to help you achieve them.
Outline a Plan of Action
Rather than thinking of a goal and attempting to execute, try speaking or writing it into existence. Studies show that doing so makes someone 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve their desired outcome.
In addition to commanding accountability, writing down your goal(s) with your imagined timeline will help you stay on track to meet them. Some other benefits that stem from having clear goals written down include reduced stress, improved focus, and increased motivation.
Examples of Small Business Goals
Having trouble strategizing your next goal? Consider centering your goals around one of of the following ideas:
Remember, your goals should be specific to your small business, challenging, and achievable. Your goals may also involve relying on the right systems to help you gain more clients, increase revenue, improve website traffic, etc.
That’s where we come in. GoSite wants to help you achieve your goals and ultimately grow your business. Take the first step and sign up today for free.