As a small business owner, there are many goals that you could set. However, not all these goals will help your business grow. For example, you might set the goal of having all your emails start with the phrase “I hate my job.” This goal is attainable, but it won’t help you grow your business. Alternatively, you could set the goal of getting 3 billion clients in three weeks. While that is a growth goal, it’s not attainable.
How can you choose goals that are both attainable and will grow your business? How do you know which goals will keep paying off in the future? Let’s look at how you can set attainable growth goals that will keep improving your business.
The first step in setting goals is knowing what you need to achieve with your business. You can’t improve your business if you don’t know what needs improvement. Researching your company’s strengths and weaknesses as compared to other companies is an excellent way to find out what you’re doing well and what you need to refine. For example, a company that specializes in organic food might compare their recent sales to sales of other organic food companies to see if they’re meeting the industry average.
You can also research what’s changed in your market recently. If you find that things have changed significantly, you may want to set goals that bring your company in line with those changes. For instance, that same organic food company may find that their market now prefers prepacked foods and decide to set goals to expand that branch of their business.
Your employees may be aware of aspects of your business that need to be changed to benefit the company. Asking employees about what they think needs changing could point out what your goals need to focus on. Our organic food company might put out a questionnaire for their employees and discover that members of the help desk receive many calls from clients that don’t understand how to use the company’s website. The company may decide to redo their website to fix the problem.
Following the SMART goals methodology will help you ensure that your goals are attainable. SMART stands for:
Following smart guidelines will help you choose growth goals for your business that are attainable.
When creating goals, you may worry that some are too big to achieve. One way to solve this is by breaking large goals into a set of smaller goals.
For example, you may want to grow your business by redoing your entire marketing strategy, but you don’t have the resources or time to do it all at once. If you divide the main goal into smaller goals, like redoing parts of your marketing one at a time until you’ve replaced everything, you can achieve your central goal.
There are many ways to reach your small business goals. But, not all of them will fit your situation or needs. To know what will help you accomplish your goals, you’ll need to try multiple approaches.
Not everything you do will work and that’s OK. Keep testing different methods until you find what actually works. This takes time and effort, but the lessons you learn will make you a better business owner.
You may not have time to implement your goals or maybe the goals you need to reach are out of your wheelhouse. If that’s the situation you’re in, then you may need to delegate a goal to an employee. This can free up your time and put the right person in charge of specific tasks.
If you know the goals you’re setting are mainly going to be overseen by someone else, take that person’s opinion into account. Make sure your employee knows why meeting the goal is a priority and how they can ensure its success. Schedule regular check-ins to see if they’re making progress or running into issues.
You’ve learned how to set attainable growth goals by doing research, following SMART guidelines, breaking up large goals, and trying multiple ways to reach your goals, but what do you do with all that growth? You’ll probably need to hire some new employees to keep up with the heavier workload.
To help make the hiring process easier, download our free small business hiring checklist. This ebook has tips and tricks to help you improve your hiring process, so you can continue growing your small business.