Setting New Year’s resolutions for your business can feel overwhelming, whether it’s your first-time goal setting or you’ve tried it in the past but struggled to accomplish what you intended to. That’s why we’ll be walking you through how to create effective and achievable goals using the SMART goals system, an ideal method for creating business resolutions whether you are about to start your business or you’re just looking for a fresh perspective. Then we’ll provide 12 examples of business goals that you can set this year to help you increase your profit margins and efficiency in 2021.
How to set SMART goals
If you’ve set goals in the past but had trouble completing them, the SMART goals system can help you to create resolutions that you can actually accomplish. Let’s go over the five criteria for setting a SMART goal with a defined objective and timeline.
It’s easy to come up with general goals like growing your business or making more money in 2021, but an ideal goal will get specific about exactly what you want to achieve and how you will do it. If you don’t know what steps you’ll need to take to make your goal happen, you’re much less likely to be able to reach them.
If you don’t focus on measurable ways to track your success, how will you know when your goal is accomplished? Set deadlines with quantifiable checkpoints so that you know exactly what needs to be done and how.
While it’s a good idea to set goals that are slightly outside of your comfort zone, you don’t want to create resolutions that are so ambitious that they’re unlikely to actually come true. If you’re currently making five figures per year in your business, setting a goal to bring in seven figures this year might not be the most realistic or achievable.
Each goal you set should be in line with your overall purpose as a business owner, and your goals should also match up with each other. When setting your business goals this year, consider whether they are worthwhile for your company’s vision as a whole and will help you on your way to accomplishing your big picture dreams.
Without deadlines, you may never end up getting to your goals. It’s fine to set a goal for the entire year, but it doesn’t give you an idea of when you actually need to start or what steps to take in order to complete the goal. Try setting shorter time periods like three or six-month intervals instead.
Now that you know the basics of setting SMART goals, let’s look at some New Year’s resolutions that you can apply to your business in 2021.
12 New Year’s business resolutions
Starting your own business can be complicated, especially when it comes to details like filing taxes and financial planning. It’s always a good idea to open a business account in order to keep your personal and professional finances separate.
A business plan is a detailed document that contains important information about how you plan to operate your business. It will help you get a better understanding of your business and the viability of your idea. It is also a necessity if you intend to seek out business loans or funding.
In addition to helping legitimize your business in the eyes of the market, registering or incorporating your business will allow you to file taxes as a business and access relevant tax benefits. You’ll need to choose between a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or cooperative, depending on what type of business structure makes the most sense for your company.
Without the proper strategies in place, building and growing your business can be an uphill battle, especially if you’re working from home with distractions everywhere. There are many different techniques for time management, like blocking out your day using a timer, so do some research and find what works best for you.
No matter what industry you’re in, promoting your business will be an integral part of connecting with customers. Start by determining your advertising budget so that you can decide whether to hire a marketing expert to take the lead or whether you want to create your own plan for outreach.
6. Read business books for professional development.
If you think you could benefit from advice from successful entrepreneurs who know what you’re going through, there are a ton of great resources available.
First, you’ll want to define what kind of space your business needs. How many people work for you? If you’re a one-person business right now, there’s no shame in working out of your spare bedroom to cut unnecessary costs. Co-working spaces are also a great option if you need to meet clients in person.
You probably already know that you need an online presence for your business. While a free social media profile can be helpful, it doesn’t communicate professionalism in the same way a professional website does. Consider your needs when comparing website builders: do you need an online store or blogging capabilities? Depending on your budget and comfort level with technology, you may decide to hire a professional to create your website rather than making it yourself.
You know what value your business can provide, but have you put in the work to figure out exactly who your ideal client is? The more specific you can get about your niche audience, the easier it will be to create high-converting content that speaks directly to your customer’s needs.
10. Avoid burnout by taking time off.
As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to set boundaries and stick to them. Over time, the stress will take a toll on you personally and professionally, and your business could end up suffering. That’s why it’s so important to set (and keep) office hours, automate what you can, and stop thinking about work when you’re not working.
Creating specific sales targets can help you figure out an actionable plan to hit your financial goals. If you’re not already, you should start tracking your revenue so that over time you will have more data to draw on to make accurate sales predictions.
You’re deeply invested in your business, which means that delegating might not come naturally to you. If you’re going to maintain a healthy work/life balance, you need to get comfortable with trusting your employees and not micro-managing.
Now that you have a bunch of great ideas for resolutions that you make this year, no matter what stage you’re at in your business, it’s time to take a closer look at your vision for 2021 and figure out how you can make it happen.
Ready to start your business? Ownr has helped over 40,000+ entrepreneurs hit the ground running quickly—and affordably. If you have questions about how to register or incorporate your business, email us at [email protected]