A new year comes with new goals. This is true for personal improvements as well as business success. Now is a good time to determine your business goals for the year and plan how to reach them.

1. Try a SWOT Analysis

Perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to figure out where your business excels, where it needs improvement, and how it can take advantage of opportunities while avoiding or managing threats that may pose problems.

"The strengths and weaknesses in a SWOT analysis are considered to be internal, while opportunities and threats are considered to be [external]," says Cultivate Advisors.1 "What does your company do well, and where can you make improvements? Opportunities and threats are even more important in today’s marketplace as companies are evolving and innovating faster than ever. Rather than trying to put out fires as your competitors make positive steps forward, a SWOT analysis allows you to act as a firefighter ready for battle. As a best practice, strive to complete a thorough SWOT analysis at least once per quarter to keep yourself accountable and aligned with your goals."

2. Strategize for Long-Term Goals

Spend time strategizing for your long-term goals. These will likely relate to business growth. Figure out your goals, develop strategies for attaining them, and figure out a timeline. You may have to make adjustments to your operations or marketing. Keep your team advised so everyone can work together to reach the goals you've set. Ask for their feedback and how you can help them perform their tasks to the best of their ability.

3. Strategize for Short-Term Goals

Part of your long-term goal strategy will be smaller goals along the way, and what you’ll do to meet them. Identify goals for a set period of time and communicate them to team members. Measure progress along the way and repeat the process from goal to goal on your way to your longer-term goals.

4. Figure Out Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Determine your key performance indicators so you can keep track of your progress toward your goals.

"Before you can measure your KPIs, you'll need to determine which metrics to track," says Jesse Mawhinney at HubSpot.2 "This will greatly depend on your goals and your team. Once you narrow that down, set your targets. They're usually based on a combination of factors, including historical performance and industry standards. You'll also have to answer the who, when, and why. Who is responsible for this KPI? Identify the person on your team who is managing this KPI, so they can be the go-to when addressing roadblocks that may affect performance. They will also be responsible for reporting on progress."

5. Have Regular Meetings to Keep Your Team on Track

Goals can sometimes fall out of focus during day-to-day operations. Holding regular meetings to discuss progress will help keep the goals on everyone's mind. Remind the team how important these goals are and continually assess progress and strategize for improvement.

6. Have Deadlines for Accountability

Goals, especially short-term, should come with deadlines to help maintain accountability for meeting them. A deadline can serve as a finish line for team members to schedule enough time.

7. Make Adjustments as Needed

If deadlines are frequently missed, it may be that tasks and roles need to be adjusted among your team. It's also possible that the goal is not as realistic as you thought, and you need to consider adjusting it.

While you should keep your goals in mind and always plan ahead, now is the time — when you have the whole year ahead of you. You can be more optimistic about the coming year if you put the extra effort into planning and strategizing.

1. https://cultivateadvisors.com/blog/7-simple-ways-to-start-planning-your-2023-business-goals/

2. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/choosing-kpis


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC