Everyone knows the benefits of setting short-term and long-term goals. It helps in measuring how much we have grown and how much further we need to push ourselves. While it’s a choice if we want to set ourselves goals for our personal growth and development, the importance of having proper measurable goals for small businesses is absolutely crucial. It is more important than I can emphasise. Because the resources for small businesses are limited, setting achievable and measurable goals can help small business owners optimise their use.
While the fact remains that as the owner of your business, you would know best what goals you would want to set and achieve. I am here to just assist you by giving examples of some short and long-term goals that are not only achievable and measurable but are very important in today’s business world.
Example of short-term goals you can set for your business
Short-term goals are those that will help you take baby steps towards improving and growing your business. Here are some examples:
- Increase website traffic – Set an annual target for the amount of increase you would want to see in your website traffic and then break it up into half-yearly and quarterly targets. For example, suppose you want to achieve a 10% increase within a year, break it up into how much of this amount would you like to achieve in the first quarter and so on. Not all businesses receive equal amounts of traffic year-long, so breaking it up will help in reaching the end goal. Try to reach the target by analysing your strategies and make changes as and when required. This will also help you to understand which strategies work for your business and which don’t.
- Improve customer service – How fast do you respond to enquiries? Is there a place for improvement? If yes, set that goal and try to reach it. Reduce the time taken to respond to customers and increase your communication frequency. Take it one day at a time but make sure you make some improvement daily. Customers are what keeps businesses afloat, so setting this goal will definitely help your business thrive.
- Reduce expenses and increase productivity – Don’t fall into a stupor and carry on with the way everything is. Set yourself a goal of reducing your business expenses and increasing productivity by a certain amount and work towards it. Start by looking at the business closely. Find how you can utilise technology to automate, outsource or cut-down on processes that will not only reduce your overhead but increase productivity too.
Example of long-term business goals that you can work towards
The baby steps you take with short-term goals will lead to fulfilling your long-term ones. Here are some examples:
- Open store in a new location – The short-term goals of increasing your online presence, improving customer interaction will all contribute to fulfilling this goal. Make sure you duplicate your success for the first store by utilising the same strategies but eliminating the mistakes.
- Launch a new product or service – Once you know your customers and their exact needs, you can work towards this goal. The reputation you create with your short-term goals will be a great foundation for launching new products or services because the trust in your brand is already established.
The keyword is ‘achievable and measurable’
The above lists of goals are just an example. You can come up with and set your own business targets. Just remember to keep them achievable and measurable. You might believe that setting an impossible target will help you push yourself but be warned it can also be demotivating if you are unable to fulfil what you set yourself.
A simple example of an achievable and measurable target is – “My short-term goal is to reach 50K followers on Instagram within six months for my apparel business and long-term goal is to open a physical store within the next two years.” Both these goals are achievable and measurable. Of course, you have to work relentlessly in order to fulfil them but you would know where you stand at the end of six months and two years, respectively. If you have failed to achieve what you set out to, you can start afresh with a new set of goals, new strategies and a very important thing – the lesson from your failure.