3 min read
A new financial year brings with it fresh opportunities for small businesses. Set achievable business goals for the year to come while reflecting on your past trials and successes. There’s no better time to engage in some SMART goal setting, so here’s how to get started.
What is a business goal?
Let’s begin with a basic definition: what is a business goal? It’s a clearly defined target or accomplishment that your organization wishes to complete. Business goals can be short or long-term in scope, but they should have a defined endpoint.
Goal setting is beneficial because it gives you and your employees a clear focus, with criteria to measure how well you’re succeeding. With a series of small goals, you’ll be able to make results-driven business decisions to achieve loftiertargets for growth.
One type of business goal that many businesses use is the SMART system. With SMART goal setting, your goals should be:
Business goal example
One typical business goal example is to grow your market share in the financial year to come. To transform this into a SMART goal, you’d need to be more specific. You could say that your goal is to increase market share by 2% before the financial year’s fourth quarter. This is now a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based goal for your business to work toward.
Business goals to close out the financial year
As you end the current financial year, why not set some housekeeping goals to get your financial house in order? Examples of end-of-year tasks include things like:
Make sure you’ve met all tax reporting obligations and submitted GST returns
Read through the past 12 months of financial reports for accuracy and completion
Analyse how well you’ve met last year’s goals with tools like a SWOT analysis
Perform a financial health check by analysing your cash flows, profits, and losses
Business goal ideas for a new financial year
With the past year’s goals behind you, it’s now time to look ahead. The best goals will depend on your business’s size, age, ambitions, and industry. Here are a few ideas to help you create your own gameplan.
Goal 1: Improve productivity
Set a goal to boost your team’s productivity during the new year. This could involve a series of smaller goals such as adopting automated software, trying new productivity apps, or cutting distractions during the working week. It can be measured in improved output.
Goal 2: Increase traffic to your ecommerce site
If you run an online business, you’ll want to continue growing your customer base by attracting new site visitors. This long-term goal could involve smaller steps like formulating a new content strategy, using new SEO best practices, and creating an online advertising campaign. You can also start using social media marketing tools or expanding on your existing platforms.
Goal 3: Go paperless in the office
If your business is still filing financial documents manually, a good goal is to do away with your manual systems this year. A paperless office is not only better for the environment, but it can save time and money by using digital tools. Start with accounting software to keep your records safe in the cloud.
Goal 4: Expand into a new market
Grow your market share by expanding your business’s demographic. This could be as simple as marketing an existing product to a new customer base, or it could be as complex as going global. It’s easier than ever to facilitate cross-border transactions using technology. For example, GoCardless allows businesses to take international payments from over 30 countries, using the local currency.
How to achieve your business goals
Whether you wish to grow your social media profile or transition paperwork into the cloud, you’ll be better placed to achieve each business goal with these tips.
Break bigger goals down into smaller actions.
Set a definitive timeline to complete each smaller task.
Create a budget to help you achieve each goal, along with any supplies and staff needed.
Be realistic with your timelines and goals to avoid disappointment and burnout.
Finally, don’t be rigid with your goal setting. Consider this year’s small business goals a work in progress. Adjust your goals and budgets as you progress throughout the year, revising your strategy as needed to stay on track.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.