It’s no secret that the rate of failure is high for small business owners. With over 2 million small businesses in Australia, it’s not surprising that some flourish while others fail. And keeping a small business afloat is often less than smooth sailing. Fortunately, there are proven ways to grow your own business, and this usually starts with goal setting. Here you’ll find some simple strategies for setting (and achieving) your small business goals.
Do some pre-planning
As a business owner, it’s important that you take time to set goals and review your objectives – and the new year is a great time to begin. But before you jump into goal setting, you might want to step back, review what was working last year, and identify areas for improvement and focus this year.
Some great strategies to adopt include:
- SWOT analysis – identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
- Benchmarking – compare industry averages for income and expenses, and research what similar businesses are doing in your area
- Market research – research your industry and focus on customer needs, trends and changes.
Pick a method to evaluate your goals
So, now you’ve done some research, you may have plenty of goals you’d like to explore. But first, you’ll want to sort the realistic goals from the pie-in-the-sky goals. To do this, you’ll need a method. Here’s where the acronym S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) comes in handy.
S.M.A.R.T. takes your goals from the general idea stage and puts them into action. Let’s say you want to start a blog for your business. You’ll need to sort out what valuable information you want to share, how you’re going to build it, and what are the best ways to get people to visit it.
To put the S.M.A.R.T. goals in action for starting a blog, let’s take a closer look.
Be clear about what you want to achieve. If you want to create a blog, articulate what kind of blog and how many posts a month you’d like to publish.
Create a way to measure your progress and end result. A metric you could use is number of visits to your blog – you could set a goal of 100 new visits per month.
Creating a blog for your website needs to be achievable. Think about how you can make this happen, if you have time to do it yourself or if you might save time by outsourcing this work to begin with. You can always scale up in-house expertise once traffic starts coming in.
Ensure that your goal of creating a blog is heading in the same direction as your business. It shouldn’t be something you do “just because”. Perhaps you could link this to your long-term revenue targets, by increasing click-through-rates by 25% to your website.
So you don’t set out with good intentions and then forget about your goal, set a realistic deadline, like publishing 10 blogs by mid-February.
Achieve your business goals
You’ll need to put a plan in action if you’re going to achieve your goals. It can be helpful to break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
- Timelines – consider how long a task will usually take you and set deadlines
- Actions – describe the actions you’re going to take, like creating a new system in order to achieve the goal
- Roles – ensure everybody is on the same page and knows their responsibilities
- Resources – have enough time to complete the tasks, detail any budgets you’ve set, and work out your staff numbers
- Progress – describe what you expect from your actions, and how you’ll know when you’ve achieved the goal. For example, you might rely on a checklist or create a rewards system.
Be prepared for change
Sometimes you’ll need to adjust or realign your goals – things do change. Maybe your expectations fall short or you race through your goals faster than you thought possible. That’s okay! With a ready system in place, you can go back and tweak those goals to ensure that you’re on track and meeting your business targets.
Have you set yourself business goals for 2019? Whether it’s the creation of blog posts or new copy for your website, our team of experienced copywriters can help put your business on the path to success. Explore Shuttle Rocket’s packages to suit every budget today.