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    Should You Be Setting New Year Goals For Your Business?

    Should You Be Setting New Year Goals For Your Business?

    Goals are a powerful way to set focus and intention, keep you motivated, and push you towards success. With a new year already underway, you may already have set one or two personal goals or resolutions for the year ahead. But should you be doing the same for your business?

    New year goals, key objectives, resolutions - whatever label you give them, they are an essential ingredient in any style or size of business. 

    But when is the best time to set business goals? Should you use that fresh burst of energy the new year provides or wait until a different time in the year? 

    There is no bad time to set aspirations for your business. While the new year is as good a time as any, there is no reason to force or rush it if you are not ready to give the process the time, energy and attention to do it well.

    So, why do you need to set business goals, what can they do for your business, and how can you set them effectively to propel your business to the next level? Regardless of what time of year you start, here are some tips…

    Should You Be Setting New Year Goals For Your Business?

    Why Set Business Goals?

    Goals are a great way to prevent your business from getting stuck in a rut and to push you forward to an ideal level of success. A well chosen set of intentions can transform your business into an innovative, streamlined force in the following ways.

    Provide Motivation

    Without a clear sense of direction, it can be hard to feel inspired about the day to day tasks. It can start to feel like showing up for the same old daily grind. Goals give you something to aim for, encouraging pride and ownership in even the most mundane of tasks. It helps you tackle those tiresome tasks with ease when there is an obvious end goal.

    Hone Your Focus

    Goals help you to prioritise tasks. Once you know where you are headed, even minor daily decisions and tasks can be organised in relation to your objectives.

    Measure Success

    Without milestones and targets, how will you know if your business is heading in the direction you want? Regularly reviewing your progress towards goals helps you know if you are on the right track to success.

    What Kind Of Business Goals Should You Set?

    Goals don't have to be all about profit. In fact, you may find that goals based on other aspects of your business are more powerful and motivating than those with a mere dollar value. Set milestones related to growth, service, or social conscious - whatever drives you to go the extra mile.

    Choose objectives that you are excited about. Things that motivate you and keep you working hard even when you are tired and overwhelmed. Tie them into your mission and vision to make them even more effective.

    If there is a meaningful purpose behind your goal, such as spending more time with family or contributing to society, you will find the ability to dig deep and achieve them.

    How To Set Great Business Goals

    Understand your business first

    Before you sit down to create your list of things to work towards, you need to understand the current state of your business. It is important to know the unique strengths and challenges your business faces before you push it in (possibly) the wrong direction.

    A SWOT analysis is a great strategic model to use. This is a tool that helps you identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Spend time breaking these four aspects down into categories such as financial, customer, internal, learning and growth. Once you have a solid overview of your business, you can identify the areas you want to move forward with. You can then...

    Create A Selection Of Goals

    Come up with a mixture of achievable and “stretch” goals. Stretch goals are those that you are not sure are possible. They will push you further than simply setting easily achievable goals. Plus, if you don’t quite manage to achieve a stretch goal, you will have gotten much further than if you hadn’t tried in the first place. And if you do make it, what a boost for motivation and your business!

    On the flipside, make sure there are some nicely achievable (but not TOO easy) objectives mixed in so you can celebrate smaller successes on the way.

    Break Down Goals

    Once you have selected your long-term goals, it is time to break them down into manageable, bite-sized pieces. Get specific by creating monthly, weekly and even daily tasks that all work towards the bigger future goal. 

    Set SMART Goals

    The most popular method for goal setting is the SMART framework. It is designed to help you set goals that increase your chances of success. SMART is an acronym that stands for...

    Specific: goals need to be concrete and detailed, so that you understand the exact thing you are trying to achieve.

    Measurable: always put a figure or value on the objective so you can measure your progress.

    Achievable: make goals challenging enough to be interesting, but realistic enough that they aren’t overwhelming.

    Relevant:tie your business goals into your mission and vision.

    Timely:never fail to put a deadline on your goals! Deadlines are highly motivating and can help dictate what you need to do in the short term to reach them.

    How To Manage Your Goals

    Regardless of when you set your goals, you need to ensure you are working on and reviewing them all year long. Because the business environment can change rapidly, your goals should be adaptable. You can set goals at different times of the year, refining your strategy as you go.

    Use the SMART method above, break the goals down into chunks, calculate the resources you will need, and surround yourself with the support you need. Support can come in many forms and one of the best forums to gain valuable advice from those that understand is an online business networking group.

    Network NZ is just the place to gain expert insight, advice and support from fellow business owners and industry experts. Join us in the free Facebook group now if you have not yet done so!