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How To Set Goals For Your Small Business

A closer look at how to set goals for a small business.

How To Set Goals For Your Small Business

Setting goals plays a fundamental role in a small business achieving short and long-term success.

Without setting goals, you have no way to measure and monitor your progress as a business, which also has a big impact on accountability.

If you own a small business, it can be challenging to know how to set goals when you’re first starting out.

When setting goals for your small business, good tips to follow include:

  1. Start by mapping out your dreams
  2. Make sure your goals are SMART
  3. Measure your progress 
  4. Celebrate the wins
  5. Hold you and your team accountable


1. Start By Mapping Out Your Dreams


Firstly, you’ll want to start by mapping out your dreams, big and small.

Ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish in the short and long term and how this aligns with your dreams and ambitions.

mapping out dreams to set goals

Aside from your work-specific dreams as a small business owner, you likely have personal dreams you’d like to accomplish, too. 

Whether that’s travelling more or starting a family one day, it’s just as important to establish your personal dreams to incorporate them into the timeline.


2. Make Sure Your Goals Are SMART 


The next tip is to ensure your goals are SMART. In short, SMART is an acronym for the specific criteria to use when setting goals.

Statistics show that ‘only 3% of adults have specific, measurable, time-bound goals and they achieve 10 times as much as people without goals’ emphasising how important this step is for small businesses.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific - Your goals need to be as specific as possible. For instance, increasing conversions isn’t a specific goal, but increasing the conversion rate from 2 to 5% is. 


  • Measurable - Ensuring your goals are measurable helps to keep you on track and provides you with a way of knowing when you’ve reached your goal.


  • Achievable - Whatever your goals are, make sure they’re realistic and achievable in a set period of time. While you might have goals to be a millionaire one day, is that truly achievable in 12 months?


  • Relevant - Each goal needs to be relevant to what you’re hoping to achieve as a small business. Perhaps you’d like to increase your social media presence and following, but this might turn out to be irrelevant if you’re not turning those followers into customers.


  • Time-bound - Lastly, your goals need to be time-bound, because if you don’t have strict deadlines to meet, then the deadline could be never-ending. With time-bound goals, you have a helpful dose of pressure to see the goals through to completion.

By making sure your goals are SMART, then, you’re much more likely to incorporate actionable goals that can be accomplished into your strategy.


3. Measure Your Progress 


Another tip is to continuously measure your progress on a month-by-month basis.

A remarkable ‘80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals’, which can lead to an array of issues, from inefficiencies to wasted budgets, which can be detrimental to small businesses.

When measuring your progress, it’s important to do what works for you and your team. For instance, you could draw up a spreadsheet to keep track of all of the important metrics on a monthly basis.

measuring progress of goals

Additionally, every member of your team should be aware of your goals as a small business, as it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and is working towards the same end.

By regularly measuring your progress, then, you have the ability to determine what’s working and what isn’t so that you can implement the necessary changes to achieve your goals.


4. Celebrate The Wins


It might sound small, but taking time to celebrate your achievements is essential to keep the momentum going as a small business. 

You and your team have invested a lot of time and effort into achieving the goals you’ve set out, so it’s important to reflect, look back, and celebrate how far you’ve come.

Achieving goals as a small business is a team effort and should be celebrated as such, so celebrate the wins no matter how big or small they may be.


5. Hold You & Your Team Accountable


Setting goals is fundamental to the success of your company, but without accountability, you’re nowhere.

Making sure that you hold yourself and your team accountable for specific tasks and deadlines not only promotes productivity but also boosts efficiency.

setting goals with team

Deadlines help you stay on track and provide the motivation that’s required to get the work done by a certain date.

By encouraging accountability, then, you not only foster a culture of trust but also encourage employees to take ownership of their work to help the business achieve its goals.


Hopefully, this article has given you a wider perspective on how to set goals for your small business.


We are Tramshed Tech: a startup ecosystem home to 50+ companies ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to scaling businesses with 600+ registered members from the digital, creative and tech communities. We’re currently based in Grangetown, Cardiff Central & Newport, and are soon expanding to other sites across South Wales to Barry and Swansea

If you’re interested in joining us at any of our locations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Written by Jemima Thomas for Tramshed Tech.


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