7 Goal-Setting Strategies for Small Businesses

We’re halfway through 2019’s fourth quarter! Can you believe it? It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks we will be heading into 2020. 

I personally have had a blast this year. In addition to running my husband’s business, I have started my own! I launched two courses and have helped dozens of creative small business owners figure out their marketing strategies and finances. As much as I have accomplished, it’s time to think about what the next year holds. 

When we talk about new goals that coincide with January 1st, people often call them “New Year’s Resolutions.” New Year’s Resolutions also have a reputation for falling through. So as you create your list, make sure to call them something else, so you don’t trick your brain into failing. I like to call them my Level-Up Goals!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what goal to set, I want to share some tips on how to create good goals. First, I recommend that you create one goal for each month, one for each quarter, and two for the year. That’s 18 goals total; they should build on each other. For example, your 3 monthly goals for January-March should help you reach your Q1 goal. Also, your goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

Here’s a great example: Reach 300,000 new, unique site visitors each month

S – Specific: The goal defines what needs to be attained.

M – Measurable: The goal is measurable within Google Analytics.

A – Attainable: The goal is a 20% increase of their current site visits, and the three-month time frame is realistic while still being ambitious.

R – Relevant: The goal is to get new eyeballs to the site. We could falsely be measuring sessions or overall site visitors, but we would be measuring how many old visitors come back to the site like that as well. Therefore, we want to choose new unique site visitors to single out every new single visitor.

T – Time-bound: We set a period of three months to attain this goal.

(Example from https://fitsmallbusiness.com/smart-goals-examples/)

Here are my top suggestions for leveling up in 2020:

  • Create a new product, especially if you’re starting to feel burnt out. Get excited about your work again.
  • Reduce costs with automation. Time is money! The less time you have to spend on day-to-day operations, the more time you have to progress your business.
  • Invest - set aside money to put back in your business. Use the money you’ve saved by automating. You can invest in a coach, custom marketing tools, new equipment, or an accountant.
  • Refine your brand. The more clear your messaging is surrounding your products, the more customers will want to buy from you! Also, stay consistent with your fonts and colors. This will help make you recognizable and become familiar.
  • Share your goals with another small business owner! This accountability can help you stay motivated when things get overwhelming. And let’s be honest - our friends and family often don’t understand all that it takes to run a business. It helps to have someone who can empathize.
  • Take a break. You can’t pour more than you have in your cup. Make sure you set aside time for your other passions, for your loved ones, and for yourself. It’s important to have this time to recharge.
  • Create a pivot plan. We should always strive to achieve our goals, and then some. But sometimes life happens, and we need a contingency plan. Follow this plan! DO NOT GIVE UP. If you don’t hit a goal, take a hard look at what got in the way. Pivot, and find a way to reach it next month.

Happy goal setting! If you have any questions about writing effective goals, please comment below.


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