How to Set Goals to Grow Your Business in 2024

February 13, 2024 Mimi Torrington

business team reviewing goals to grow business

After dealing with curveball after curveball, you’re probably cringing just thinking about the upcoming year. You’re not alone in that sentiment. In fact, you’re probably scrambling to figure out what goals will help you grow your business in 2024. Moreover, the last thing you want to do is put off setting your business goals for the next year. Instead of procrastinating, get a head start and learn how to set (and commit to) goals for 2024 and beyond. As Tony Robbins once said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Check out these tips to amplify your goal-setting process.

Review Your Past Performance

Two business leaders evaluating last year's goals to grow their business

The end of the year is fast approaching and it’s time to assess what worked and what didn’t work. Pay attention to missed goals and the roadblocks that prevented them from being attained so that you can plan more accurately for the upcoming year. Maybe you went in a completely different direction than you expected last year. That’s OK. Take what you have learned and use that to create new goals that will set you up for success. Ask yourself this:

  • Did you follow the plan?

  • Did all the goals that you and your team created get accomplished or did they fall by the wayside?

  • Were the business goals you set achievable?

Solicit Employee Input

team giving input on setting goals to grow your business

Goal setting should be a conscious group process with leaders and team members working together. When employees don’t feel involved in the process or feel like their goals are an after-thought, it negatively impacts engagement and motivation. Moreover, there’s a difference between imposing goals on employees and encouraging them to suggest goals on their own.

Collaboration between manager and employee in the goal setting process is crucial. In fact, a Harvard Business Review report showed that collaborative goal setting drives employee engagement. Employees with a concrete grasp of how their roles fit into the bigger picture are more likely to achieve success for themselves as well as their organization. So instead of adopting a top-down goal setting strategy, try implementing a collective goal setting initiative – one where managers meet one-on-one with employees to create goals that benefit the company and influence individuals to do more.

Make Your Goals to Grow Your Business S.M.A.R.T.

business team seeing improvement from last year's performance goals

When determining your goals, make sure they are worth the time and effort you will inevitably spend accomplishing them. Think about what goals can really propel your business forward within the next year. And don’t just think about long-term targets – figure out what short-scale goals you want to complete as well. Once you’ve pinpointed what you actually want, ensure your goals meet the S.M.A.R.T. criteria:

  • Specific. Make your goals as specific as possible.

    • Example: Reducing the number of days to close from one week to two days by the end of the second quarter.

  • Measurable. How will you track this information?

    • Example: Close days reduced from seven days to two days.

  • Achievable. Is this goal within scope? Is it possible to achieve?

    • Example: Look at your current numbers and see if this goal is a major stretch or if it’s easily doable.

  • Relevant. Does this goal align with the organization’s wider goals?

    • Example: Is it realistic to expect your accounts receivable team to complete all their invoicing within two days?

  • Timely. What is the timeline for this goal?

    • Example: … by the end of the second quarter.

Meet Consistently to Measure Progress

Team measuring progress in meeting about how to set goals to grow your business

There’s no better feeling than achieving your goals you’ve committed to. But before you wipe your hands clean and call it a day, you need to analyze your efforts. Find a way to keep track of your goals that works for you and your team, whether that’s a spreadsheet or digital tool that allows you to monitor your goal progress. Surprisingly, more than 80 percent of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals. Furthermore, tracking goals is an effective way to keep your team determined. Many leaders often overlook the small victories in favor of the big wins, but those small feats can help your team undertake much bigger initiatives. Additional tracking advantages include:

  • Increased productivity

  • Greater camaraderie within the team

  • Better chance of meeting intended objective

  • Fewer mistakes

Invest in Talent to Achieve Your Goals to Grow Your Business

hr manager hiring new talent

Hiring employees is the biggest risk many businesses ever take. Ideally, every team member that you have should be adding more value to your organization than they cost you to find and hire. And many companies have no problem identifying the cost of their employees (salary, benefits, etc.), but do they have trouble adding up the value? For a company to have a team that works in tandem, they need to align their business goals with their available talent. Furthermore, if your existing talent pool is dwindling, it’s time to seek help from outside the organization.

In times of uncertainty and chaos, one of the smartest decisions you can make as a leader is to pour time into your team. It’s a simple pivot that will increase dividends and diminish turnover and resistance in times of change.

Every business has different goals, but all goals must have a frame of reference. Loosely made goals without structure have the lowest return on investment. So before you haphazardly throw out goals you think will progress your company forward, pause and think on the above tips to ensure you create goals that will grow your business in the next year.

Want to find out more about utilizing an outsourcing provider to fulfill your business goals? Get in touch with our experts to discover how you can tie in outsourcing with your overall company goals.

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