7 Tips for Reaching Your Small Business Goals

Keep it real. Don’t make your goal pie-in-the-sky difficult, or too big. Instead, choose an area to focus on, whether it’s converting more sales leads or gaining expertise in new productivity software. But don’t be too easy on yourself, either. Simplistic goals may let you check a box on your list, but do they really help you grow your business?

Stop doing something. While resolutions often read like lofty to-do lists, you might help your business more by identifying a few things not to do anymore. Examine your processes: Are you doing something because you need to or just because you always have? Look at your products and services: Are they all pulling their weight? Prune ruthlessly.

Be specific. One reason resolutions fall by the wayside is that they may too general. Instead of saying, “I want to improve my bottom line,” look at which products or services are most likely get you there and zero in on those. Keep resolutions action-oriented, too. Rather than, “I need to use social media more,” try, “I will engage customers on Twitter by tweeting twice a day.”

Build in benchmarks. Checking your progress regularly helps in a couple of ways. First, it keeps you engaged. It’s easy to be motivated in January, but by March the new year is long forgotten. Having to measure up regularly forces you to keep your goals front and center. Plus, it gives you a chance to review results. If you’re already off track in April, you can change tactics. Are you back where you need to be by June? Great, stay the course!

Pair up. Just like it helps to have an exercise partner or a study buddy, having someone on your side can help you stay motivated to keep your resolutions. It’s natural to look to your business partner, if you have one. But you could look outside, too. Have you met someone in your network — someone you’re not competing against, of course — who might have similar goals? Or perhaps there is someone who shares your background or particular challenges. You can compare notes and encourage each other.

Delegate other tasks. You are already busy, busy, busy. But if your resolution is worth making, it is worth spending time on. So free yourself up by delegating some of your work to other people. Yes, they can handle it: You hired them because they are talented, right?

Invest in yourself. You are your business’s best resource, so manage it carefully. If you typically work 24/7, resolve to schedule “me time” each month, whether it’s a massage, a round of golf or lunch with friends. Maybe you’d like to take a college course to beef up your business expertise or explore a hobby, or maybe you need to hire a babysitter so you and your loved one can enjoy a date night. The bottom line: If you are healthy, rested and inspired, you’ll be in the best place possible to lead your business through any challenge 2019 can throw your way.


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