It is well-known that long-term goals are crucial for the success of any business. Setting goals you plan to achieve in the distant future helps you keep your eyes on the big picture. Doing so may give your business longevity in your industry. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the practice of setting short-term goals.
Short-term goals are the goals that you hope to accomplish in under a year. Quarterly goals are the goals that you set every 3 months. Setting quarterly goals is a great way to challenge your business to grow quickly in certain areas. They also allow you to prioritize tasks while enjoying success sooner than long-term goals. In this article, we’ll list 5 short-term goals that you should think about setting this quarter.
Set At Least One Big Goal
Before you can even consider making smaller goals, you need to figure out what the end result is and then set your goals based on that. Whether it’s expanding your company, hitting one million in sales, or starting a new company, it needs to be a big goal but still realistic. One important thing to note is that you should take your time when figuring out which plan you wish to set; therefore, if it takes some time, there’s no need to worry; it means you’re cautious!
Once you have set a goal, then you can start setting smaller goals that will contribute to the larger goal that you are attempting to achieve.
Re-evaluate Your Niche
One of the most challenging things to do as an entrepreneur is figuring out your niche. It’s one thing to do something you love, but you want to make sure you expand into something profitable. During this quarter, take some time to re-evaluate your niche to see if it still makes sense.
Changing a niche or focusing on a new one is not always easy. However, if you are targeting the wrong customers, you want to know that as soon as possible. There is no shame in making a pivot into a new niche for your business. If you’ve struggled with growing your business or reaching quality customers, it may be the niche, not you.
Figure Out Your Finances
Great, so now that you have a long-term goal and a niche, it’s time to check in on your finances. When running a business, it is tempting to just look at revenue and profit numbers. But sometime this quarter, take some time to really dig into your finances. If you have an accountant, schedule a meeting with them to go into more detail.
Figuring out your finances means taking a look at your growth year-over-year or month-over-month. Stop and see if there are any patterns that you missed or if you are on track to meet any projections you set for yourself. You can also use this opportunity to tweak your business’s finances to see if you can improve the overall financial health of the company.
Figuring out your finances will allow you to make business decisions that will aid you succeed in the long run. Once you understand your finances, you’ll be able to ask yourself some important questions about the future of your business.
- Should you focus on lower costs?
- Should you increase prices?
- Should you reinvest in marketing?
- Should you launch a new product?
- Should you expand your team?
Increase Your Online Presence
Starting a business can be challenging, but establishing an online presence is much more difficult. This is why you should take some time and plan how you want to build your company on social media. Let’s face it, social media is the best way for you to expand your business and reach more people.
It is possible to grow a business without social media by utilizing online and offline marketing options. However, a strong online presence is almost going to help your business’s bottom line. This quarter, review your online presence and attempt to grow it by 10%-25%.
This growth can be anywhere your business has an online presence. You can opt to focus on your social media following, social media reach (impressions), or engagement. You can also decide to focus on increasing the number of positive reviews for your product or business.
Re-visit Your Business Plan
This is the final goal for this quarter and by far one of the most important goals for you to set. It’s time to revisit your business plan, this will be the foundation of your business, and should be used as a means for you to set other small goals throughout the year. By drafting a well-written business plan, you can set yourself up to achieve every milestone. Here are just a few things you can add to your business plan.
- Re-visit your target market. When doing this, you’ll need to balance between your niche and your target market. You’ll need to determine how your product will benefit them, how you wish to target them, and if this product or benefit will benefit them long-term.
- Check-in on business’s purpose. Check to see if your business is still accomplishing the goals you choose when you wrote the business plan. This would also be a good time to see if the mission of the business should change.
- Revisit legal structure. You may have started as a one-person business but your growth may cause you to change things. Perhaps you started as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and now may need to become an S-Corp for tax benefits. Make sure you do research or consult with an attorney and accountant before making this decision.
These are just some of the crucial things that should be included in your business plan. However, these points will help you determine if you can shape out a great business.
Setting meaningful quarterly business goals is the first step to achieving them. If you start your year off by laying out these goals, then you will be on a great path to starting off a business. Remember, if you want to have a great year business-wise, then you will need to make sure that you start your year off on the right foot. So here’s to a great first quarter!
This article was first published in February 2021 but has been updated and expanded.