The Ultimate Guide to Setting Better Business Goals

by | Feb 28, 2024 | Organization & Operations | 0 comments

When having an online business, setting goals is the cornerstone for driving growth and success. Do you struggle to set achievable goals or take action on them? If so, book a free consultation to discover how we can create an effective business strategy together.  

Regardless of what you want to achieve in business, it needs to be anchored to a purpose that will propel you to keep going. We understand the frustration & annoyance of going into a new month, quarter, or year being in the same positions.

By taking effective action in your business, you can achieve goals faster than you think. 

Why Setting Business Goals is Essential

Setting business goals sounds like a “no sh*t” thing to do. However, we have seen time and time again clients having no idea what they’re working towards. Saying “you want to reach 7 figures” with no clear plan is a dream. The way to turn your dreams into reality is to have clear-cut goals.

It provides a sense of direction and purpose that keeps you going no matter what challenges you face. It helps in defining the intentions you want to set and the steps needed to get there. Without goals, it feels like you’re going nowhere, in turn causing your business to plateau.

The act of setting goals causes you to shift how you show up in business, the decisions you make, manage your time, and overall strategic planning.

Benefits of Setting SMART and Achievable Goals

Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) is the golden standard to ensure that your objectives are clearly defined and attainable. Any successful business owner will talk at length about this topic.

The reason is SMART goals help you turn your “dreams” into reality, as we spoke about before.  Going back to our example of making 7 figures, a SMART goal can look like this:

  • Specific: I want to make 7 figures in revenue.
  • Measurable: I will review my launch analytics and lead conversions each month.
  • Achievable: I have already hit six figures & have a solid understanding of converting my audience.
  • Relevant: Achieving this goal will allow me to expand my team & gain more time back.
  • Time-Bound: I will achieve this by the end of 2024.

This outline may seem too simple. However, it allows you to increase accountability, track progress, and stay motivated. 

However, if SMART goals aren’t your thing, you can create “What, How, Who” goals. What this looks like is:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • How will you achieve it?
  • Who do you have to be in order to reach your goals?

What we love about this is it incorporates that fact you will need to show up differently in order to break your next glass ceiling. Business growth isn’t just strategic. It is also consistent with personal development.

How Setting the Right Goals Affects Business Success

Before we dive in, we want to know if there are really no right business goals or wrong business goals.

Goal setting to us isn’t just through big ideas & hoping we can achieve it. It is about what you want to accomplish from an intentional place. Having a clear reason for “why” can help you understand the goals that will be effective. The worst thing to do is to create a goal just because you “feel like you should”.

When we were growing our health coaching businesses, a lot of our “goals” were based on what others were doing in our industry. It wasn’t rooted in what we want to achieve & do. However, it can be beneficial to see what different businesses are doing. It can create inspiration & highlight desires you may not even know you had. 

The biggest thing to remember is you want your business goals to be driven by a sense of purpose to work towards long-term prosperity.

Types of Business Goals to Consider

The benefit of goals is you can have them be targets to many different areas of business. You can set business goals that are targeted to specific facets of your infrastructure.

This can look at financial and operational efficiency, email list growth, website views, sales goals, improved customer satisfaction, and individual goals.

It is important to set diverse goals, so you are able to support your overall business growth. If you continuously focus on only financial targets, it can lead to imbalances throughout your business structure. Your business wants action taken through all different operations in order for there to be holistic growth and sustainability.

Tips for Setting Better Goal-Setting Processes

When setting business goals, it’s essential to consider factors such as

  • Your business plan
  • SWOT analysis

Each of these aspects in business will help you take steps to understand your goals as the year progresses. Many set goals at the beginning of January to only lose sight of it by July. This is sustainable for achieving your business goals. By taking the time to break down your SMART or What-How-Who, you can set attainable goals

Setting Long-Term and Short-Term Business Goals

This section will help reduce overwhelm with your stretch goals. These are goals that are bigger than life (& maybe not even achievable). However, by breaking that down into smaller, measurable goals, that anxiety goes away.

The difference between long-term & short-term goals is often the deadline attached to them. A long-term goal has no clear set deadline. It is more of a vision of where you want your business to be & go. This can look like the number of people want to serve, the amount of revenue you make, and so on.

Short-term goals, on the other hand, have a clear deadline. We often recommend setting a deadline, whether on a monthly or quarterly basis. This is where you take action towards your business objectives.

This balanced approach reinforces the ability to have a work-life balance that can still grow your business. 

Businesses should set both long-term and short-term goals to ensure a balanced approach to goal attainment. Long-term goals provide a vision for the future, while short-term goals create actionable steps to progress towards the larger objectives. This combination fosters stability and innovation within the organization.

The Role of SWOT Analysis in Setting Business Goals

Many business owners forget to conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) when setting business goals and objectives. This can be done on internal & external factors that can impact your ability to achieve your targets for your business.

 

Each quadrant allows you to investigate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats by answering the following questions:

  • Strengths
    • What are you doing well? 
    • What sets you apart from your competition?
    •  What are your good qualities?
  • Weaknesses
    • Where do you need to improve both personally & professionally?
    • Are resources adequate for you & your business to grow? 
    • What do others do better than you?
  • Opportunities
    • What are your goals? 
    • Are demands on your time, energy, finances, etc shifting? 
    • How can it be improved?
  • Threats
    • What are the blockers you’re facing? 
    • What are factors outside of your control?

This allows your business to work towards progressing rather than becoming stagnant throughout the year. If you want to set effective business goals, this is the step you don’t want to skip! 

Implementing Processes to Achieve Business Goals

One of the biggest mistakes we see our clients make is not having a business process to ensure your success. We are big believers in having Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for every facet of your business. This can help you reach success faster because it is very clearly mapped on what steps you need to take.

We have written a whole blog on SOPs (with an included template) so you can start systemizing your business. This is something we urge you to bookmark because behind every business leader is an SOP.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Goal Setting

Dealing with Uncertainty in Setting Your Business Goals

Uncertainty is a common challenge that every entrepreneur faces. There can be too many unknown factors that could influence your ability to reach your business targets. It is important to remember that life isn’t meant to be predictable. You can have very good objectives & key results that can make business easier. However, it is better to go in with an open mind. 

Being open & unattached to your goals allows you to receive unexpected opportunities. When we try to force ourselves to succeed rapidly, we start to resent our work.  The key here is to accept what isn’t controllable & know no matter what happens; you are equipped with the tools to overcome it. 

Ensuring Flexibility in Goal Setting and Implementation

Being able to go with the flow is key to scaling your business. Many gurus out there (especially in the spiritual space) will mention running a “feminine business.” Essentially, what this means is having fun, joy, and excitement in what you do. This doesn’t mean you should never feel stressed or anxious. That is something we can never escape.

However, what is important, beyond enjoying what you do, is to be flexible.  This is how it can appear in your business in having to:

  • Move deadlines.
  • Put projects on pause.
  • Hiring support (or letting them go).
  • Saying “No” to more things

As you can see, it is very nuanced but is an important tip for setting better business objectives. It gives you the freedom to pivot, optimize what is currently working, and embrace strategies for growth.

Final Thoughts

Phew, this was a long one, but it is a conversation we wanted to have with you. No matter what stage of business you’re at, setting goals for your business will never go away. It will push you to grow & be more resilient in business and in your everyday life. 

We are so thankful that you stuck around to read this whole damn thing. You’re truly an MVP.

P.S. If you’re the type to skip to the P.S., here’s the gist:

  • Utilizing SMART or What-How-Who strategies when setting specific goals
  • Incorporate long & short-term goals for better productivity.
  • Do a SWOT analysis to ensure business growth.
  • There will always be uncertainty, so it is best to accept that now.
    Remember, things can be flexible, so make sure you factor that in when setting deadlines.

Book a free consultation to learn how we can help you achieve your big goals, so you don’t have to do it alone.

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Heey, it's Katie & Sara!

We are the founders of Indigo Elephant Co, where we specialize in helping overwhelmed business owners move from chaos to clarity with our proven systems and dedicated support.

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