Setting Goals For A Small Business Is Easier Than You Think
If you are a small business owner thinking big. Then set your sights on the best small business goals and how to set them.
That’s today’s topic. Let’s get to work so you can take your company to the next level. And do it sooner rather than later…
Examples Of Small Business Goals
Here are 15 small business goals examples every owner must achieve…
- Fine tune your strategy
- Improve your company and brand reputation
- Increase sales to existing customers
- Identify and onboard new customers
- Improve upon customer service deliverables
- Improve product or service quality
- Optimize product and service pricing
- Increase productivity
- Decrease expenses
- Make smart investments
- Forecast cash flows
- Secure financing
- Prepare a business plan
- Determine how to sustain momentum
- Take care of your best employees
Next, I would like to cover each of these in a bit more detail. Then provide some related tips and information about these small business goals and objectives examples.
Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
1. Fine Tune Your Strategy
There is no need to hire a high-priced consultant to set a strategy. For now, keep it simple and decide whether your company should:
- Be the low-cost provider
- Innovate and differentiate
- Dominate a specific niche
To a large degree, your strategy will dictate which of today’s 15 examples of small business goals you will choose to set and achieve.
Most importantly, don’t try to be all things to all customers. And by all means, learn more about these business strategies to better define your value proposition.
2. Improve Your Company And Brand Reputation
Every company has a brand. Some companies produce and sell products under one or more brand names.
While other companies operate without branded products. However, every company has a brand image within their industry and with their customers.
As a result, each action. Every day, by every representative of your company. Face to face, or through social media and technology impacts your brand. So, set a goal to improve it.
Okay. With your strategy in place. And your brand image at its best. Next up…
Setting goals for a small business should emphasize increasing revenues. And taking more market share.
So your little company can become a big one! Here’s how…
3. Increase Sales To Existing Customers
The most efficient and cost-effective sale you can make is one to an existing customer. So, look at every customer you are selling to right now. And decide what else you can sell them to solve their problems.
Here are some ways to go about it…
- Offering purchase volume discounts
- Pitching a product line extension
- Promoting a different product
- Suggesting a service and support contract
…just to give you a few ideas.
Because generating more revenue goes a long way toward achieving the financial goals of a business.
4. Identify And Onboard New Customers
Once you have maximized your existing customer base. Increase the top line by prospecting for new customers.
However, it’s more challenging to identify potential targets. And convince them to buy for the first time.
But it’s a good practice. To ensure the long-term sustainability of your company.
5. Improve Upon Customer Service Deliverables
Make a promise to deliver to your customers. Then deliver on your promise.
Because satisfied customers are the cornerstone of successfully setting goals for a small business.
Some possible objectives in this area include:
- Achieving higher on-time delivery
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Increasing customer retention rates
Consider each of these possible goals. As excellent non-financial metrics, to benefit your company’s performance.
6. Improve Product Or Service Quality
It should go without saying. However, I will say it anyway.
Set the appropriate quality targets.
Because not delivering on your customer’s quality expectations can destroy your brand. And your company’s reputation right along with it.
But be smart about it.
Because a 100% first-pass quality acceptance rate may not be necessary. Unless, of course, you run a manufacturing company producing expensive luxury products.
Furthermore, 100% first-pass quality may cost too much to achieve.
So, set the right long-term expectations with your customers regarding quality. And achieve that level.
Furthermore, by consistently meeting your customer expectations. You are in a position to address this next possible small business goal example…
7. Optimize Product And Service Pricing
Your pricing strategy should fit with your overall business strategy.
For example, low-cost producers typically offer value pricing. Whereas companies that deliver innovative products and services command premium prices.
Of course, the goal is to sell for as high a price as possible. Without destroying demand. For whatever it is you sell.
So, do some savvy business analysis. Thus, take a hard look at your pricing and optimize it when setting goals for a small business.
Okay. We have talked about setting a strategy. Also, increasing revenues and meeting customer expectations.
Next, it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror. Turning your sights inward rather than outward.
Let’s do it…
8. Increase Productivity
Every company is built on a foundation of processes. So, set a goal to identify your most important ones.
Then improve them one at a time.
Make the process better. By getting it done with fewer resources.
Or, make the process faster. Thus, accomplishing more with the resources that are in place.
Finally, look for unnecessary processes that will crop up in every business over time. That’s an easy fix. Eliminate them.
Because making your company more productive will save money. But don’t stop there…
9. Decrease Expenses
Because reducing costs is always an excellent part of business goal setting.
First of all, run a report of all your expenses for the last year. Sort them from largest to smallest.
First, hit the “low hanging fruit”. Because if you are incurring unnecessary costs, eliminate them.
Then set accounting goals to reduce required expenses by a target percentage.
Next, higher revenues, productivity, and cost reductions can come from making investments.
Let’s talk about it…
10. Make Smart Investments
Realize that you can’t cost cut your way to long-term success. Because sometimes it takes money to make money.
So, look at ways to invest in your business. To save money and operate better in the long run. Whether it be from investments in:
- Real estate
11. Forecast Cash Flows
As a small business owner, the most important resource is cash.
So, be sure to have a good handle on how much cash is coming in. And when and where it’s coming from.
Also, the amount of cash going out. And when and where it’s going.
Prepare your cash forecast monthly. Or, if cash is tight. More frequently.
Because when setting goals for a small business. You never want to run out of cash.
And your cash flow forecast will tell you this…
12. Secure Financing
If and when you need to go outside the organization to obtain funding. Be sure to get out in front of this activity early.
Because to get money from a third party. Whether it is in the form of a loan. Or, equity in your company. It is not something you can rush into.
Fortunately, one of the biggest benefits of a cash forecast is this: Knowing how much financing you will need. And when you will need it.
13. Prepare A Business Plan
By now you should have a good idea of the business goals for a small business that you need and want to set. As part of that, make sure they support your business plan.
More importantly, if you need to go to the outside for financing. A business plan is a critical piece of small business administration.
It should spell out where your business is at today. And where you expect it to be in the next 3-5 years.
Get your finance department involved, and include these important elements in your company’s plan:
- Products and services to be sold
- Marketing strategy
- Sales plan
- Operations plan
- Organization structure
- Financial forecast
Okay. So far we have covered strategy and brand image. Also, increasing revenues and decreasing costs through a variety of means. And planning for your cash and financing needs.
Last but certainly not least, be sure to set goals around and for people.
Starting with the most important person. That being you.
14. Determine How To Sustain Momentum
Because most small companies and startup businesses are heavily reliant on their owner. To sustain the positive momentum of the business on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
But what happens when you need a vacation? Or, a family emergency arises?
Whatever the case may be. It’s critical to set and achieve goals to allow your business to keep moving forward. Even when you aren’t available.
That may mean having one or more high-performing managers or a select and small number of employees to continue your mission.
15. Take Care Of Your Best Employees
Identify the people that are critical to making your business go. Set goals to pay what they deserve. And help your employees develop their careers.
Do this right. And they will become your business’s most important asset. More important, than even you!
Tips For Selecting And Setting Small Business Goals
Okay. That concludes my review of 15 examples of small business goals.
Are you looking for additional ideas to stimulate your thoughts? Then check out an even more comprehensive list of business objectives. For businesses big and small.
Otherwise, I would like to cover a few related but important topics. To assist you with setting small business goals and objectives.
Understand The Types Of Small Business Goals
Each of your goals will be one of five different types as follows:
- Performance-based (sales and operations)
- Employee development
Furthermore, today’s list of small business goals includes some of each of these types. So, as you set your goals, take a balanced approach. And select one or two from each category.
Use A Goal Setting System For Small Businesses
Goals increase your odds of success when using a proven goal-setting system.
The most well know are SMART small business goals. Meaning each of your goals should have the following attributes:
A lesser know process is referred to as setting HARD small business goals. Its characteristics are:
When setting goals for a small business either one of these approaches is fine. Also, they can be combined in unique and effective ways. To increase the odds for success.
If you are interested. Then be sure to dive deeper into the nature of SMART goals and HARD goals. The post will explain exactly how to set small business goals using these systems.
Be Balanced Across Goal Setting Time Frames
One aspect of SMART goals examples is to make each one time-bound. Doing so builds a sense of urgency.
As you look at setting small business goals, select some from each time spectrum. Specifically,
Short Term. These goals are to be accomplished within one year.
Medium Term. Goals to be achieved in more than one but less than five years.
Long Term. Goals completed at least 5 years out.
Be Selective And Realistic About What You Can Accomplish
Finally, don’t overload yourself. Or, your organization.
Stay true to your business strategy. Set aggressive, but realistic goals for small business owners.
Also, set enough goals. But not too many. Where the weight of it all undermines the process of moving your small business forward.
Finally, get your employees involved in goal setting. Because you can’t do it all yourself.
Okay. That’s all I have for today.
So, allow me to wrap up with a few parting thoughts…
Wrap Up: Examples Of Small Business Goals
There are very few things in life more important to small business owners like you. Other than the success of your business.
And one way to ensure sustainable success evidenced by profitable growth is effective goal setting.
So, choose from these examples of small business goals that I highlighted today. Make them balanced between type and time frame. And use a proven goal-setting system.
Soon, you will take your business to the next level!
Finally, whether it’s business or personal. Improve your money situation with our other posts about…
Author Bio, Disclosure, & Disclaimer: Please join me (Tom) as I try to achieve my goals, find my next place to live, and make the most of my money. However, I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial counselor, real estate agent, or tax professional. Instead, I’m a 50-something-year-old, early retired CPA, finance professional, and business school teacher with 40+ years of DIY dividend investing experience. I’m here only to share my thoughts about essential topics for success. As a result, nothing published on this site should be considered individual investment, financial, tax, or real estate advice. This site’s only purpose is general information & entertainment. Thus, neither I nor Dividends Diversify can be held liable for losses suffered by any party because of the information published on this website. Finally, all written content is the property of Dividends Diversify LLC. Unauthorized publication elsewhere is strictly prohibited.