The Profacc team has experienced business accountants that understand the complexities of running a business. We also know that no matter whether you're a sole trader, a small business owner with a couple of employees, or the head of a large corporation, it's important to have a business plan with clear business goals.
Why set business goals?
Trying to build a successful business without goals is like setting out on a road trip without a map - the destination may be clear, but the directions are vague and uncertain.
Strategic business goals will help your business grow. Goals identify where you intend to go as a business and when you want to get there. Having clear and actionable goals will help motivate you and anyone you employee, increase efficiency, and build a successful and profitable business.
7 practical tips for setting financial goals for your business
1. Make time to set your goals
Some of your business goals may seem so obvious that you don't feel the need to plan them. "I want to build a solid client base and make lots of money" is straightforward and clear, but if you want to achieve that goal in any lasting and real way, you need to take the time to break down the steps you'll take to get there. Schedule a block of time to sit down and construct a written set of business goals for the next month, quarter, financial year, and overall. This gives you a base to work from and a clear set objectives to guide you and your business.
2. Use the S.M.A.R.T criteria to set your goals
One way to get the most out of your goal-setting exercise is to use the S.M.A.R.T criteria:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic/Relevant
T - Time-based
Using S.M.A.R.T as a guideline can take the vague idea of "Build a solid client base" to "Have 50 regular lawn-mowing clients on rotation within the first year of business by offering a discount for return customers" - a more specific goal within a clear time period that you can work towards.
3. Break your bigger goals down into smaller goals
Think of it this way: reaching your goals feels great, no matter how small the goal. It's great to have big, overarching goals for your business, but when the timeframe for the goal you're trying to reach is a long way off it's easy to feel disheartened and become complacent.
Breaking your larger goals down into smaller goals with shorter deadlines can provide the forward momentum you need to stay motivated and committed. For example, "Have 50 regular lawn-mowing clients within a year" may seem like a large feat. How do you get there? Well, you break that down into smaller parts, such as "Bring on 5 regular clients per month". By narrowing your goals down into smaller, bite-sized pieces you'll see the benefits of regular progress and be motivated to continue towards your larger goal.
4. Link your goals to your mission statement
Another way to help you keep your goals focused on the growth and success of your business is to always link your goals back to your mission statement. Of course you want your business to be profitable, and so you'll have goals that are focused on generation of income and financial success. However, building a successful business isn't just about bringing in the big money, it's about flexibility, quality, reliability, and generating customer loyalty.
If your mission statement is, for example, "to build a reputation amongst local residents as a provider of quality, reliable lawn-mowing services" then your goals would be geared towards enhancing expertise and efficiency, increasing awareness of your brand and building that regular client base.
5. Commit to your goals and set deadlines
Speaking of commitment - it's not enough to just sit down and write a list of your goals at the beginning of every financial year and never follow through. These are no mere New Year's resolutions to be discarded as a lost cause three weeks after setting them. These goals are the stepping stones to building a solid, prosperous business.
Deadlines can sometimes seem daunting, but it's important to hold yourself accountable, and having clear dates set for when you want to reach your goals is an effective way to achieve that. Set realistic deadlines on your goals to help motivate your progress.
6. Track and review your progress regularly
It's also important to keep track of your goals to assess your progress and evaluate whether any adjustments need to be made. Establish a way to measure your progress - spreadsheets or charts or programs, whatever works for your business - and then review it on a regular basis. By tracking the progress you're making towards your business goals you can see what's working, and just as importantly, what isn't working. Scheduling a regular time to review your progress gives you the opportunity to make changes where necessary to keep you on the path to success.
7. Celebrate your achievements
Don't forget to acknowledge your wins and celebrate your achievements! Quite often we get bogged down in the obstacles and the failures and lose sight of the progress we've already made. It's important to recognise the amount of time, effort, and perseverance you've put into your business and take note of how far you've come.
Looking for help setting and achieving your business goals?
At Profacc accountants we help businesses set our clear business goals. We also help manage everything from tax, budgets, business set up, financial management – and more!
Manage, grow, or scale your business by Speaking to our team of experienced accountants