Small Business Goals You Can Set This Financial YearStuart Taverner
The new financial year can be an exciting time for small businesses. With end of financial year obligations out of the way, you have the opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges of the last twelve months, and use those learnings to set smart business goals for the year ahead. Read on as we dive into the importance of goal planning, as well as some of the more common goals that small businesses will benefit from setting.
Know what your goals are – and be accountable for them
A goal about having goals might seem like a bit too much but hear us out. One of the best goals a small business owner can achieve in the short term is to identify the most effective way they can set and keep track of goals over time. This will mean taking the time to categorise goals, defining short and longer-term goals, considering principle goals in specific categories, and setting daily goals to meet along the way. Note-taking applications like Trello could be helpful with this, as well as built-in reminder and scheduling tools on your smartphone. Or, you could simply go the old-fashioned route- pen and paper.
Perfect your financial plan
The new financial year is the best time to review your financial plan, and make sure that you’re maintaining a healthy budget and cashflow. Take some time to analyse your turnover – is it stable, falling, or growing? By how much? To put your business in a good position for the next financial year, reflect on the past twelve months and set some new growth targets, determine how to reduce business spending (which we’ll discuss in more detail below), increase your cash reserve and find ways to speed up your invoicing process wherever possible.
Minimise your business spending
Keeping your business spending to a minimum should be an ongoing goal for any small business owner, but the new financial year is the perfect time to analyse the way you’re doing this in close detail. Is it actually feasible for your business to cut spending any more than it already is, and if so, in what order of priority should these cuts be taking place?
Consider options like paying off debt faster where possible (so you can reduce interest payments), renegotiating contracts with vendors (if you’ve been working with the vendor for a significant amount of time, you may have more negotiating power), adjusting operations to increase productivity, and adopting new technology or software to streamline your processes.
Improve your company culture
If your small business has employees, you may find that there’s room to become a more employee-centric company. While this task may require time and resources dedicated to it in the short term, it can pay off in the long run- employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to be productive, and a reduced turnover in workers will mean less time and resources spent searching for new ones.
The best way to approach this is to get to know your employees. Really talk to them, and listen to their responses: what are their professional ambitions? How can their role in this company support them to meet their goals? They might be hoping for more responsibilities or the chance to learn leadership skills, so be prepared to adapt the duties that they currently have or make changes to the working environment, so that they’re happier with their position. You might even find that they’re completely satisfied in the business and don’t want to see any changes – but you won’t know until you ask!
Learn how to improve your small business’ culture here.
Grow your social-media following
Before we jump into this point, it’s important to note that social-media followers aren’t the only marketing metric of importance. After all, social-media followers in and of themselves don’t mean a whole lot. As a small business owner, you need followers that are engaged, as well as demonstrable sale conversions from your marketing efforts.
Follower numbers are, however, a good indicator that your digital marketing strategy is on track. Engagement and brand awareness will drive followers organically, and as you see your business grow in popularity; you should also expect an increase in followers. Read up on digital marketing to learn some tips and tricks, consider hiring a digital marketing professional, or engage an agency to amplify your impact and increase brand awareness in the online space.