I love all of my clients, but I really love my small business owners! Most of us either are or have once been small business owners. Small business owners know how to get the business, they know how to fulfill orders or a service and keep their clients happy, all while running the behind the scenes show as well.
As a bookkeeper and small business owner, one of the things I do for my clients that they don’t often think about, is setting goals. I really love to help my clients push themselves throughout the year, which eventually leads to making more money.
The best way to set a goal is to divide the year into four quarters and try to attain a goal once a quarter or every two quarters. Here is the best way to do that:
- DEFINE YOUR GOALS – So you’re running your day-to-day operations as smoothly as ever in your company’s history. Now could be a good time to think bigger and define what’s next for your business? Do you want to grow your business? Are you looking to work less, by turning over some responsibilities? The only way to achieve your goals is to define them by writing them down. If you want to reach a specific revenue next year, then pick that number and divide it by four or spread it over four quarters depending on seasonal demand. You’ve just made one goal, more easily attainable by splitting it up.
- SET MILESTONES TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS – Dividing your big goal into four is a good way to achieve it. Don’t forget to track the progress of your milestones. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t meet a goal during a certain quarter. Analyze why, and then push yourself harder next time.
- DON’T DO IT ALL YOURSELF – If you’re a small business owner with no employees, then you probably do everything yourself. But in order to grow your business, consider outsourcing things you don’t like to do or are not good at, like your bookkeeping or accounting. This will free you up to set new goals and attain them. If you do have employees, then remember to include your entire team on your company goals. Share your plan with your employees and set bi-weekly or monthly meetings to communicate about your progress. If your goal involves reaching a new sales quota, then you may want to consider profit sharing or a year-end bonus. Employees are more likely to work harder if they know and support company goals.
- BE FLEXIBLE AND RE-ASSESS – So the big order this month fell through because of a missed shipment or the property sale fell through at the last minute? Sometimes unforeseen circumstances happen and when they do, try to be flexible. If you encounter multiple problems along the way to attaining a goal, you may need to re-assess and re-set that goal.
- KEEP SIGHT OF THE BIG PICTURE – If your overall goal is increasing revenue, don’t lose sight of that by focusing on the small stuff. Your goals will help you get there, but remember, in order to achieve success, you have to follow through with the action plan, like taking on 3 new clients a quarter or increasing a product’s volume by 20%. Keep the big picture in focus, and you will get there.
Setting goals and then trying to achieve them is an important part of business. We all know what it feels like to struggle to make ends meet, so now that you’ve got an established business, why settle with that? Now could be the time to go bigger or try something different. Set a goal this year, my fellow small business owner; come on, I dare you!