New year, new you. That's what everybody says, right? Well, it can be for your business. As we continue into 2023, you may look for ways to get ahead or increase revenue. Whether you're a new small business owner or a seasoned business owner, achieving the next level of success requires goal planning.
In this article, we'll explore what makes a good business goal, strategies for setting business goals, examples of business goals, ways to stay ahead of competitors in the coming year, and how to fund your success. Here we go!
What Makes a Good Business Goal in 2023?
A good business goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, SMART for short. You may have heard about SMART goals before, but if this is your first time, it's a beneficial way to envision and create plans.
The S stands for specific. Specific goals are clear and well-defined, with a particular outcome in mind. “I want to succeed this year” is not precise. “I want to increase website traffic to my site” is more specific. “I want to increase website traffic to my most popular landing page” is even more precise.
M stands for measurable. Measurable goals have a way to track progress and measure success. In other words, you need a proper way of affirming that you achieved your goal.
A stands for achievable. Achievable goals are realistic and within the realm of possibility for you, the business owner. “I want to increase website traffic by 100,000%” is likely not achievable, but 50% probably is.
R stands for relevant. Relevant goals align with your overall mission and vision for the company and are essential to success. Suppose your target customers do not use the internet (for the sake of argument). In that case, increasing website traffic is irrelevant to you.
Finally, T stands for time-bound. Time-bound goals have a deadline for completion and create a sense of urgency. “I want to increase website traffic sometime in the future” is not time-bound. “I want to increase website traffic in the next six months” is time-bound and fosters a sense of urgency that keeps you going.
So, if you wanted to increase website traffic this year through SEO or other marketing channels, this would be a SMART goal: “I want to increase website traffic to my most popular landing page by 50% within the next six months.”
What's your SMART goal?
Where Are You Right Now?
Before setting business goals, reviewing your current business operations and performance is essential. This may include conducting a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Whether you do or not, it's critical to know where you are before you create a SMART goal targeting where you want to be. This helps you set realistic goals and objectives aligned with your business's unique needs and circumstances.
Strategies For Setting Business Goals
There are several strategies you can use when setting business goals. One practical approach is to start by identifying your company's overall mission and vision. This will help to ensure your goals are aligned with the company's long-term strategy and are relevant to achieving success.
Another strategy you can employ is to involve employees in the goal-setting process. This can help to ensure that goals are realistic and achievable and can also increase employee engagement and buy-in.
Yet another strategy is to identify priorities for your business — be specific. You may want to revamp the interior of your store because it's starting to wear down, but maybe increasing summertime sales is a higher priority. List your short-term and long-term goals and then list them in order of importance.
Remember, it's essential to be flexible and willing to adjust goals as needed to align with changes in your business throughout the year.
Business Goal Examples
A company might set many business goals, such as increasing revenue, expanding into new markets, improving customer satisfaction, reducing costs, and growing market share. No matter what you choose, make sure it's a SMART goal.
As you choose your goal(s), consider that some goals are short-term while others are long-term. Having one of each is an excellent approach to take.
Long-Term Business Goals
Long-term business goals are objectives that a company aims to achieve over an extended period, typically several years. These goals are more ambitious than short-term and often focus on growth, expansion, and long-term sustainability. Some examples of long-term business goals include:
- Building a solid brand reputation
- Diversifying your company's product or service offerings
- Expanding into new geographic markets
- Increasing market share
- Investing in technology and innovation.
- And many more
Long-term business goals are essential to establish a company's clear direction and align employees' efforts towards a shared vision. They can also be broken down into smaller, short-term goals. They should be regularly reviewed and updated to remain relevant and aligned with the company's overall strategy.
Short-Term Business Goals
Short-term business goals are objectives that a company aims to achieve within a shorter period, typically within a year or less. These goals are more specific and tangible and often focus on immediate or near-term results. Some examples of short-term business goals include:
- Increasing sales or revenue
- Improving customer satisfaction or loyalty
- Reducing costs or increasing efficiency
- Launching a new product or service
- Building a more substantial online presence
- And many more
Short-term business goals can keep you on track and ensure that you're progressing toward achieving your long-term goals. Think of these as baby steps to accomplishing your long-term goal.
How to Stay Ahead of Competitors
Every business owner wants to stay ahead of the game because that means your business will continue to grow and thrive. Staying ahead of your competitors requires strategy, innovation, and constant adaptation.
It's essential to have a deep understanding of your market and industry. Conducting market research and regularly monitoring the competition can help you identify trends and opportunities. Next, ensure you have a robust and unique value proposition that sets your business apart from others in the industry.
Innovation is also vital; whether it's in product development, business models, or processes, it's essential to constantly look for ways to improve and differentiate your products or services. In short, try to be the best option out there.
Adapting to changes in the market, technology, and customer demands is also crucial in staying ahead of the competition. That will be unique to each industry and location. Still, if you keep tabs on your competitors and industry, you'll know when something new is coming down the pike and if it fits your business.
Ways to Fund Your Business Goals in 2023
So, now that you have your SMART goals for 2023, you may be wondering how you will pull them off. After all, sometimes it takes money to make money. Well, that's where MBF comes into play. Whether you need new equipment, a quick capital loan, or other financing options, we have you covered.
At Midwest Business Funding, we believe in a partnership. That means we come alongside you and determine the best option for your business. Your success is our success, so whatever your goals are, let us help you meet them!