15 Nov Set your small business goals for 2022 now!
Stop waiting for 2021 to end – set your small business goals for 2022 now! The pandemic has taught small business many lessons. Including the idea of there being no such thing as the ‘new normal’.
What is normal?
If you look up the definition of normal it reads: ‘conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected’.
I’m not sure successful small business has ever been confined to being ‘normal’, especially over the past few years. Business has been turbulent and as each month rolls into the next, there is the semblance of balance and ‘normality’ means coping with unplanned and untimed changes on a frequent and regular basis.
We have had an extraordinary 2021 but 2022 is not going to present us with a miracle. Positively we have vaccines and international flights, and increased freedoms. We also have a customer base that is now cautious, loyal and inquisitive, and according to research from market research firm Forrester, requires a greater number of interactions with our brand before deciding to buy.
As small business owners we have become inventors, creatives, the voice of calm in the storm. As we move forward in 2022 we need to reassess and look for the ways we can consolidate what we’ve learnt, what we’ve gained and reshape these lessons for the future.
Why should we set goals for our small business?
We need to set our small business goals to capitalise on our ambitions. Goal setting theory demonstrates setting goals helps us focus our energy in a specific direction and helps us formulate strategies for overcoming any obstacles that get in the way of us achieving our goals.
Linda A Hill, a professor at Harvard Business School, head of the school’s Leadership Initiative says, ‘There’s no such thing as overreacting when the stakes are so high and the consequences of inaction are so dire.’ She says, ‘You have to act courageously to protect as many of your employees and customers as possible and ensure your business survival. Maybe that means carrying more inventory, investing your resources to help suppliers stay afloat, accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies, or shepherding a strategic pivot.’
Tips for setting your small business goals for 2022
Being courageous means planning for the expected and unexpected by setting goals.
Here are some tips to set goals for your small business in 2022.
- First – take stock. Evaluation of where you are now helps create a benchmark from which you can organise goals and set targets.
- Second – set targets. What do you want to improve on and achieve? Specifically!
- Third – plan and evaluate. Use your SMART goals and milestones to review your performance against your targets.
- Evaluate the future – So many of our plans are based on our data analysis and past trends. Set plans and goals with a future focus rather than relying on what has happened in the past. We know the future is unpredictable, so predict your own future.
- Set goals. The ‘achievables’ (easily done); and the ‘desirables’ (stretch targets you might take years to achieve).
- Identify what you have control over. Spend your energy on what you can control.
- Find the low hanging fruit. What is in front of your eyes that screams opportunity for your business?
- Focus on profitability. Your profit as a percentage of sales is something worth focusing on. Where can you make revenue improvements or cost savings?
- Review your productivity. Review systems and processes. Where can you improve time management, reduce wastage and build efficiencies?
- Improve communication. How would you assess your communication with all of your stakeholders?
- Training needs. If you used your isolation to improve your skills, how can they be utilised in your business?
- Assess your marketing collateral – are your messages still relevant?
Plan and evaluate – set SMART goals
Make your small business goals matter and make sure they’re clear. Monitor your progress along the way until you’ve attained success by using SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Aspirational, Realistic and Time-bound.
- Specific: Your goal must focus on one clearly defined metric.
- Measurable: You must have a way to measure the content you publish against that metric.
- Aspirational: Your goal must push you beyond the results your content will naturally or organically generate toward that metric.
- Realistic: In the same breath, keep your aspiration in check with what you can reasonably complete with the resources that are (or will be) available to you.
- Time-bound: Your goal must have an end date upon which you will achieve that metric.
After you’ve set your SMART goals you might want to create a visual diary/reminder – such as a Pinterest page or a poster.
It’s never too late to get organised with your small business goals for 2022 but it is best to start now before the end of the year hits!
If you need some extra help you know where to find us. Beyond Business Groups helps you focus on all of these areas and more.
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