How To Set Realistic Goals for Your Business in the New Year

If you've run a successful business without goals, you might wonder why you need them in the first place.


The last year is in the books, folks. That means it's time to set your sights on 2023. While you're free to tackle the new year without a game plan, it's best to set a few goals for your business this year. Instead of spending your time and energy on stuff that doesn't matter, New Year's business goals can keep you on the straight and narrow.

Let's look at why business goals are so important, plus four tips to help you set achievable business goals this year.

Why Bother With Goal Setting in 2023?

If you've run a successful business without goals, you might wonder why you need them in the first place. While goals are definitely not necessary for success, they'll help you run a better business.

2023 business goals can help you:

Stay motivated: Do you feel listless or burnt out in your business? It's easier to dig in and find your passion when you have something to work towards. Goals can help you do just that.

Maintain focus: Look, running a business isn't easy. Side quests pop up on a regular basis and take you away from your business's real mission. Instead of allowing emergencies to rule your year, set goals now to help you focus your energy on what matters most.

Find direction: It's hard to sit down and think about what you want for your business long term. But when you schedule a goal-setting sesh for 2023, you'll have time to plan a direction for your business. By setting a goal, you get a direction to work toward, which makes it much easier to plan your business's next big move.

4 Tips To Set Achievable Goals This Year

Most business owners don't have any trouble creating goals. But many people struggle to create realistic goals that their business can actually achieve. There's nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, but these four tips can help you set achievable goals for 2023.

1. Consider Your Current Resources

You need to back up your goals with resources. For example, if you want to increase sales this year, what do you need to make that happen? You might need more salespeople, a PR consultant or new products — and all of these things require resources.

Do you have the resources to facilitate your goal right now? Or can you find a way to get the resources you need for your goals? If not, you might need to set a more modest goal based on the resources you have right now.

2. Break up Big Goals

We love big goals, but sometimes goals can be too big. If you want to earn $1 million in revenue this year but you're currently pulling in $200,000, that's a pretty big jump. Shooting for $300,000 in annual revenue might be a more realistic goal.

From there, you should break your big annual goal into small, achievable goals. This not only helps you check in on your goals throughout the year, but it also helps you get a motivational boost from seeing your team crush their goals.

For example, if you want to earn $300,000 in revenue this year, you might set revenue targets on a quarterly ($75,000) and monthly ($25,000) basis. That makes the big, scary goal of $300,000 much more doable, doesn't it?

3. Set Goals as a Team

You're the business owner, which means it's your job to shoot for the moon. But you can't operate in a bubble; your team has to be on board with whatever crazy goals you set for 2023.

If you need a reality check, it's a good idea to run your 2023 business goals past your team before making them official. This helps you get buy-in from employees while ensuring that the goals aren't too challenging.

4. Follow the SMART Framework

You should run all of your goals through the SMART framework before making them official. This five-step process helps business owners refine their goals to be more specific and actionable. Make sure your goal is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For example, a goal like "Increase sales this year" is too vague. A $1 difference counts as an "increase," but that probably isn't what you're going for. Instead of saddling yourself with a flimsy goal like "Increase sales," create a SMART goal like "Increase income from new products by 20% in Q4 of 2023."

See the difference? SMART goals eliminate flimsy thinking and add much-needed structure to business goals, which makes them much more achievable.

There are a number of ways to keep you on a path to achieving your goals in 2023. These four in particular offer a concrete approach to building that path.

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