Why is goal setting important to small business owners?

As a small business owner, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve when you’re spinning multiple plates. Yet taking the time to sit down and set goals is one of the most powerful actions you can take in your business (as well as in your personal life) to see growth and success.

So you might be wondering, what do we mean by goals?

A goal is something that you commit to achieve. They pinpoint specific areas for development or improvement to help you get to where you want to be. 

It could be about increasing revenue, improving customer service, developing client relationships or raising your profile as a business leader. Think about what you want to be doing in five or 10 years time. Are you clear about what your goals are in your personal life? Your personal and professional goals can often inform one another.

Why are goals important for my business? 

  1. They give you guidance and direction
    Goals keep you focused on where you want to be. They make decision-making a lot easier so you can sweat less about the small stuff and focus on taking actions that move you closer to your dreams.
  2. They provide a way to measure your progress
    Setting goals is good practice to help you track where you’re succeeding and where you need extra work in your business. Goals can be micro or macro and measured in a way that works for you.
  3. They keep you accountable
    Working for yourself can sometimes feel isolating, but having clear goals can keep you accountable for your actions, so you can drive the change you want to achieve.
  4. They help you stay motivated
    Without clear goals, blockages like procrastination and perfectionism can get in your way. Setting achievable goals can banish self-sabotage and keep you motivated.
  5. They allow you to reflect on what you really want
    Goals can help you assess your priorities and bring clarity to your business. Looking at goals that you are achieving and ones that you aren’t can be very enlightening.

How do I set and achieve my goals?

  1. Make them SMART
    When defining your goals, it’s important to make them SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-constrained. Using this framework will make your goals feel action-focused and tangible.
  2. Create an action plan
    After writing out your goals, it is important to outline the steps you need to get there. Breaking each goal down into shorter-term goals can help turn your vision into a reality.
  3. Regularly review progress
    Set a reminder to check in with your goals regularly, this could be at the end of each day or week, to help you refine the steps and improvements you need to take.
  4. Get an accountability buddy
    Running a small business takes a lot of motivation. Building a supportive network and identifying an accountability buddy, mentor or partner can help you stay on track.
  5. Accept setbacks and celebrate success
    Running your own business comes with a lot of pressure. Be kind to yourself and accept bumps in the road. Progress is better than perfection, so make sure you regularly acknowledge your hard work and celebrate your wins, however big or small.