Setting Small Business goals

5 Steps to Setting Small Business Goals

Setting small business goals provides the opportunity to identify the right path for your small business and make achieving your ultimate objectives far more possible.

STEP 1: Re-evaluate your USP

Your business may well have changed since you first started, so is your USP still the same? Are you offering customers something unique that they can't get elsewhere? If you've let this slip, now is the same to refocus on what you have to offer.

STEP 2: Look at the Possibilities

Once you have your USP worked out, analyse your business and take a look at what opportunities are out there as well as the threats from your competitors.

It may be a good idea to jot down all your ideas on a piece of paper or start mind mapping and making lists to draw out all those hidden gems that are going to be so helpful along the way. Make a list of all the items that you need to have in place to attain your goals, whether it be sufficient funds, the right people to help, office space or IT equipment and software.

STEP 3: One Step at a Time

Take one idea at a time and start to make them more tangible.

Use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) objectives to flesh out your ideas and give them more shape. Evaluate each idea on its own and as part of the larger picture.

STEP 4: Create the Plan

Identify the order in which you want to achieve each objective and set a timeframe for success.

STEP 5: Track everything

Keep track of each goal, and constantly measure your performance.

You might not achieve all of your objectives or you might miss the deadline for some. Learn from your mistakes so that you are constantly improving and learning.

Focus on what you have to do today, always keeping in mind the bigger picture. Stay flexible too - no plan is hewn in stone. Opportunities change, goals change, businesses evolve. Those who are willing to embrace change often have an easier ride, so learn to adapt and constantly reassess your small business goals.