The new year brings in a fresh business quarter . . . which means new targets to set and strive for
It may seem like something of a cliché but there’s no doubt that the new year is a time for many organisations to set targets and plot a course for success in the year ahead. For those business owners who are good at forward planning, it may be that goals for 2023 have already been established and ready to execute. For others, January is a time to reflect on the year behind and then refocus on the opportunities that lie ahead.
To kick off this fresh business quarter, we’re going to take you through our top tips for setting early year goals and sticking to them, helping your business grow and evolve over the course of 2023. Let’s take a look.
Begin at the end
You can’t set quarterly goals without having an idea of what they will bring to the business in terms of measurable impact. Understanding the Big Picture of your business can help you determine what your holistic business goals are, and where you want your business to be. Ask yourself what your definition of success is, whether that means increased revenue, improved profitability, growth in market share or – and this is particularly relevant to lifestyle businesses – a better balance.
The next step is to get specific (even if better balance is the goal). By what percentage do you want to increase sales by this time next year? How much do you want to grow your customer base? How many working hours do you want to dedicate to your business endeavours? These questions can inform your overall business model.
Break it down into quarters
Once you’ve got the Big Picture in place, you can start breaking down your overall goals into smaller targets – namely four quarterly goals. Take each year-long target and break it down into four steps that will help you achieve the desired level of success by the end of the year. This will present with far more manageable tasks to tackle that feel more achievable.
Set monthly and weekly targets
With four sets of quarterly goals to aim for, you can start to create shorter term goals that are less overwhelming, and can keep you and your team motivated. Take apart your quarterly goals and break them down into the three months that make up each quarter. From here, break up each month’s goals into four smaller increments to equate to mini goals. For example, a £10,000 quarterly sales target becomes a £3,333 monthly goal, which then becomes a weekly aim of £834.
You’ll need to determine what behaviours and actions are necessary in order to achieve this goal. What kind of push will you need to make in terms of sales pitches, customer care and marketing to reach your numbers? Making sure your targets are realistic will help you keep momentum and motivation high.
Benchmarks will help you keep track of how your progress is going, so make sure to pencil in regular meetings and updates with the team. Is everyone on track to meeting their personal goals? If anyone is struggling, what can be done to support them in their efforts?
Leave room for flexibility
Remember that even the best laid plans can go by the wayside if something unexpected comes up, so your business needs to be able to handle change. Flexibility is key in any business plan, as personal, national or industry-wide circumstances can cause your goals to change on the flip of a coin. Think of your quarterly goals as a framework that can be altered or reviewed as your business continues to evolve.
Want to talk your goals through with someone who’s been round the block?
You’ll find that all of our business advisors have done this stuff for years. They know how to begin at the end and how to move towards those goals effectively. Get in touch and ask to be matched with a business advisor in your area.