Creating Financial Goals
The best way to ensure success for your business is to plan. If you want to grow and bring in profits, you need a strategy. Outline your goals and what steps you’ll take to achieve them. Have a plan to track your finances throughout the year and a method of evaluating your success.
And what better time to plan your business goals than the start of a new year? Are you ready to set your business up for success?
1. Evaluate the current year’s financial goals
Take a look at last year’s financial goals. What did you achieve? From your evaluation, you’ll be able to determine which goals you accomplished faster than others. Which goals were attainable and which needed to be revised? From here, you can build new goals.
This way, you’ll get an overview of how your business is doing financially. Are you hitting targets every quarter? Which percentage are you hitting easily, and which are a bit behind? From these records, you can tweak your financial goals and accomplish more in the new year.
2. Detail your goals
Outline each of your financial goals. Start with what you want to achieve and outline steps and plans to meet these goals. Get specific about the numbers you want to see at the end of the year. Decide what you can do to make your goals a reality. To save money, will you increase products to bring in more revenue or decrease expenses?
Don’t forget to plan your business expenses. By setting goals for your spending, you can ensure you’re prioritizing expenses that grow your business while keeping your profits where they belong.
3. Break down your goals
Break down your goals into measurable parts to make them easier to achieve. A large goal can feel daunting. But even the big ones are possible when you take them one step at a time. The important part is to make each step measurable so you can see what you’ve accomplished.
For example, suppose you’ve set a goal of $100,000 in revenue next year. By breaking this number down to quarterly, monthly, or even weekly goals, you can gauge your success throughout the year. Plus, it will be easier to match your actions to your desired outcomes. What do you need to do to achieve your revenue goals this month? That’s what you need to work on now!
4. Sort your goals
Goals can be short- or long-term. Some goals will be easier to achieve and give you a quick win. Others will be bigger, require more time, and need to be broken down into smaller steps, as we discussed in Step Three.
Take your list of goals and sort them into these two categories. These lists will help you picture where you need to place your priorities. Short-term goals may need quick and immediate action, whereas long-term goals might require a strategy of small but steady action.
Planning how to work toward your goals is as crucial as creating the goals themselves. Setting up your financial strategy is a form of investment in your business; you’re making the plan that will help your business thrive.
5. Make your goals SMART
The best way to ensure you’re able to check off your goals next year is to set SMART goals. Create goals that are:
- Specific. You can’t win with vague and idealistic goals. Put numbers into your goals and specify exactly what you want to achieve.
- Measurable. Your goals should be measurable. You need to know if you have, or haven’t, reached your goals.
- Attainable. If your goals are too difficult to achieve - or nearly impossible - then they aren’t goals, but dreams. You want to be able to succeed, so your goals should be realistic and attainable.
- Relevant. Your goals have to relate to your business and be proportionate to the scale of your business.
- Time-based. Your goals should be attained promptly. Whether that’s a month, a quarter, or a year, give it a deadline.
Setting goals, and a plan to accomplish them, will propel your business forward. What will you achieve? Plan your financial business goals today to start the year off on the right foot.
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.