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How to set effective business goals

Written by Granger Forson, owner of BizSmart® Gloucestershire


As a business owner, you can never underestimate the importance and value of goal setting.

Goals are the motivating force behind successful businesses of all sizes. Without them, you can’t get from where you are now to where you want to be, so they are crucial for keeping your company moving forwards.

As the year draws to a close, it is the perfect time to set new goals that will really matter for you and your business in the future.

To help you on your way, here are my biggest pieces of advice for setting effective business goals.

Review your business performance over the last year

Before you begin setting any new goals, it’s important to do a self-assessment of how well you did against your goals for last year.

Reflecting on where you exceeded predictions and where you fell short will help you identify potential areas of improvement.

Knowing how your business performed across the different areas can help you assess its strengths and weaknesses and find things you can change for the better moving forwards.

Know your ‘why’

Setting business goals is meaningless if you haven’t established your ‘why’. Why do you want your business to succeed overall? Is it to provide financial stability for your family, or to meet the expectations of your investors?

Regardless of what it is, by knowing your motivation before setting any goals or doing any planning, you will be much more likely to achieve your objectives.

Understanding how each of your goals fit into the big picture will not only help you feel more fulfilment through your goals, but it will also mean you won’t have to force yourself to meet them, making it much easier to reach success.

Make sure your goals are ‘SMART’

If you’ve been in the business world for some time, you have probably heard about ‘SMART’ goals time and time again, but there is a reason why so many successful business leaders rely on this method for goal setting.

Even if you are setting your goals informally, it pays to ensure your objectives for 2022 are all SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

Using this framework will help you create successful goals and give you structure, allowing you to set out more clearly what you want to achieve – and by when. This will ultimately push you further and give you a better sense of direction.

Set out actionable steps to achieve your goals

By breaking down your goals and creating a solid action plan to reach them, the process becomes much easier. Therefore, once you have decided on your goals, the next step is to decide what actions you need to complete to achieve the plans you’ve made.

Divide your yearly goals into monthly and quarterly objectives and list out specifically the steps you’ll deploy in achieving the plans you’ve made.

Doing this will not only help you with time management and allow you to carve out the time and effort needed to achieve your goal, but it will also help your wider team and employees understand the steps they individually need to take to help the business achieve its goals.

Find accountability and support

To achieve any business goal, accountability is essential, so it’s important to involve others in your goal setting.

A great way to do this is through engaging in peer-to-peer support, which will see you regularly meet with the same people who will hold you accountable for your actions.

Fellow group members will expect you to keep to your word and report back on the progress you have made with what you promised you would do in the previous session.

There is nothing worse than someone asking you about your progress and having to explain that you didn’t put in the work, so this is a proven way to ensure you follow through with your intentions.


As the saying goes: “those who fail to plan, plan to fail”, and setting clear business goals is fundamental in preparing your business for the year ahead.

There are many ways to make goals work for your company, but the most important thing is to get started, keep moving, and aim for success.

By following these tips to create clearly defined goals, and building a solid action plan to achieve them, you can ensure 2022 is your business’ best year yet.

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