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How to Set and Slay Your Business Goals This Year

Find out how to set business goals effectively and achieve them this year. If you struggle with staying focused throughout the year and knowing how to measure your results, use these 5 tips to get started. 

Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

What’s the secret to achieving massive success in your business goals?

You started this business because you simply love what you do! You’re a passionate, heart-centered entrepreneur who was born for this. And you’re ready to have a thriving business that doesn’t just kinda, sorta pay the bills, but empowers you to live your dreams. To expand your business, to give back, to host events, to launch more products, to have a storefront, and everything else you dream of for your empire.

So, how do you make this year the year you level up your business?

Goal setting for your business

Step 1: Decide what your #1 goal is

When you think about your business one year from now, what do you envision? How has it grown? Ask yourself these goal-setting questions and more.

Now, take a step back and determine what’s the #1 business goal that has made this all possible?

As entrepreneurs, we’re part dreamers—and with each year—it’s easy to set way too many goals and objectives. You want to achieve all the things.

But realistically, you have only so much time, money, and energy. Reflect upon what’s produced the best results for you last year and what hasn’t. For example, using a client management software for small businesses can help you streamline your business and achieve more than you thought possible. You need to focus on what’s working! And stop doing what isn’t.

Speaking of results, you need to be crystal clear on what outcomes you want. Not just more customers, more sales, more money, but also how much, how you’ll reach it, and why your business needs this.

Stay focused, figure out what your non-negotiable and long-term goal is, include a quantitative amount, put a number on it, and add in a deadline too.

For example, “This year, I will double my income from wedding photography to $60,000 by September.” Or “This year I will sell 100 custom invitations.”

Write down the one goal you will achieve, no matter what! You can even create a goal map to see how your goal relates to individual business initiatives.

Got it? Okay good, write it down.

Step 2: Divide your business goal into strategies

With your main goal clearly outlined, you’re going to break it down into specific strategies. You’re basically figuring out the how.

This is the most important part! Don’t just set big, long-term goals and walk away, you need to make them achievable and manageable by outlining a strategic plan.

Here’s the thing, you want to outline strategies that have either worked for you in the past or you’ve learned from fellow entrepreneurs and business owners, reputable sources like Rising Tide, or your business coach. Creating measurable goals and objectives and a clear business strategy will help you achieve success.

Stop doing anything that isn’t producing results. Yes, I know that’s hard to stop, but you need to focus and double down on what’s working.

For example, instead of being on every social media platform, focus on the one that provides the most leads or sales.

If hosting booths at local fairs are not leading to any sales, stop signing up for them.

Your next step is to outline three or four strategies. To help you break it down, think about the four seasons or quarters of the year and choose a business strategy for each.

Here’s an example. “This year, I will increase my online course sales to $100,000, by running Facebook ads, hosting bi-weekly joint venture Masterclasses, creating a free course, and writing weekly blog posts.”

Now it’s your turn.

Step 3: Determine your actions

Now we need to break it down even more by outlining the actions for each business strategy.

It’s not enough to know the strategies for growing your business, you need the exact steps. Oftentimes, our brain freaks out when a goal is still too big. To avoid overwhelm and procrastination, let’s make it even easier to get started.

What are the step-by-step actions required for each strategy? Think about to-dos (one-time tasks) and habits (repetitive tasks that you do daily, weekly, or even monthly) when determining your steps. Creating short-term goals is the best way to achieve your long-term goal.

For example, to collaborate with other entrepreneurs for webinars, you’d need to:

  • make a list of those you’d like to work with,
  • reach out via email or on social media,
  • invite them to collaborate, set a date,
  • Schedule a call using an online meeting scheduler to discuss details, and so on.

Suddenly you realize that a lot goes into one seemingly simple business strategy. And this all takes up so much time! (But more on this in our next step).

And that’s not all! Some of your strategies will be best implemented by forming new habits or repetitive actions.

Continuing with my example above, your habits could be:

  • Reaching out to a new collaborator every week, or
  • Promoting your upcoming webinar on social media daily.

Now, brainstorm all the action steps for each of your strategies.

Step 4: Designate your time

You need to master your time! And that starts by creating a schedule and booking it into your daily planner or digital calendar.

Don’t just say you’ll work on X, Y, and Z in February and A, B, and C in March, determine exactly when you’ll do the steps and complete them by. Then schedule it.

Time management is a struggle for many independent business owners, but you cannot afford to waste time when you are on the clock. You need to deliver your service in a timely manner and have the ability to solve problems that arise as they come up. When you have a planned schedule, you also have extra time to deal with unforeseen issues that might come up.

Setting measurable goals is one of the best ways to ensure that you are designating your time correctly. Determining your success based on the metrics you set for yourself ensures that you prioritize the tasks that are most important and set aside the time you need to get them done.

By designating your time and having a set plan, you’ll reach your goal that much quicker!

It’s your turn, look at your list of steps and strategies from above and pull out your yearly planner or calendar.

Get started with your first quarter business strategy, and set a date and time to work on each action step.

For example, you could schedule weekly outreach every Tuesday from 10 am – to 11 am. Or posting on social media from Monday to Friday from 2 pm – 2:30 pm.

Here’s a pro tip: Don’t just create this schedule and forget about it. Set reminders, as well as mark yourself as unavailable during these task times. Use tools like HoneyBook meeting scheduler, Trello, Asana, iCal, or Google Calendar.

Get in the habit of writing out what you need to do each day of the week. Put it on your desk so you know and there’s no overwhelm or confusion any day!

Step 5: Dedicate yourself daily

Listen, it’s so important you commit right now to doing something that brings you closer to your goal every single day. No matter how small, even if it’s just for five minutes, do it!

Staying committed and building momentum is what’s going to enable you to slay your goals no matter how you feel.

That’s where building a habit of taking action comes in. Train yourself to get it done, right away, with no excuses. Don’t give yourself the chance to get distracted or procrastinate.

For your final step, I want you to get started on this year’s business goals right now! You’re feeling motivated, so take action today! You’ll be sending more online invoices than ever before.

I’d love to tell you that this is all it takes. That in just one year, you’ll set business goals and achieve all of them.

But here’s the really good news, you don’t need to!

Even if you don’t achieve your goal in its entirety, take the win! Goal setting is a process and you need to continually review and adjust throughout the year.

As Bill Gates famously said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

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