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How to set meaningful business goals for 2023 (and beyond)
Posted by Grace Townsley
February 9, 2023
Does the market’s uncertainty have you feeling a little hesitant about setting business goals for 2023 and beyond? Then you could be doing your company a disservice!
Without clear, meaningful business goals in place, even through uncertain times, your business may miss out on big opportunities for growth and progress. Without goals, you’re operating without direction and focus, creating misalignment, confusion and organizational waste.
But with a clearly defined set of objectives in place, your business has the accountability and motivation it needs to keep moving forward— even in the midst of market uncertainty.
How can your business set beneficial goals this year? And what happens if you miss the goals you strived so hard to achieve? Read on— and get ready to goal set!
The best business goals you can set in 2023 are measurable, attainable, and include a deadline. Here’s why:
Measurable goals allow for clear progress tracking and measuring of your success. A goal like grow faster in 2023, or improve customer satisfaction, isn’t a measurable goal because it’s too complicated to track and not clear enough to celebrate along the way. What is “fast growth”? And how do you define customer satisfaction?
A better, more measurable goal could be to increase profits by 10% or improve your average customer rating by one star. These goals are quantifiable and easy to communicate across your whole company.
Attainable goals are realistic for your business’s current stage of growth. For example, if you’re a startup in the apparel industry, it may not be realistic to set a goal of increasing your sales by 300% every year for the next decade. But a smaller, more incremental goal with defined milestones along the way can feel like a win, while still being realistically possible.
Time-bound goals help you focus your attention and prioritize the tasks needed to reach your objective. A deadline also creates a bit of urgency— pushing you to avoid procrastination and achieve more than you would without a target in mind.
A timeline also makes it easier to track your progress towards your goal. With a set deadline in place, and accountability to stay on track, you can watch your business move towards your goal as the months count down.
Choose a goal that gets you closer to your company vision
Because the purpose of goals is to help your company achieve meaningful growth, your business goals should align with your company’s overall purpose. For example, if your company’s vision is to become the top brand in your industry, a goal of increasing your profits by 10% in 2023 may not be an effective way to reach that goal.
Increasing profits can happen a number of different ways, such as opting for cheaper manufacturing methods, or moving your production to another country. But changing your production process could impact your brand’s quality and reputation— costing you both customers and market share. In the end, that misaligned goal could actually pull you further from your true mission.
Instead, set goals that take you one step closer to your main vision. If that’s to become the top brand in your industry, a goal like gain 50% of the market share in 2023, or increase customer retention by 10% in 2023, are both goals that strongly align with your mission.
What if you miss your goal?
Missing the mark on your business goals can feel discouraging. It’s disheartening to put your company’s effort into an initiative, then fall short — especially if your team is watching.
It’s important to remember that missing goals is just another part of the entrepreneurial process. Every setback is an opportunity to learn a new way forward. Every company hits and misses goals from year to year. And when the market is turbulent, even the best, most attainable goals can prove just out of reach.
Instead of dwelling on every missed metric:
Take time to reflect. Before you brush past your year-end results and move onto bigger and better, review what is working and what needs improvement. In reflection, you may uncover an opportunity to maximize your resources or reduce waste. And that might be just the change you need to reach your next objective!
Adjust your ongoing strategies. Identify the areas that need improvement to help you reach your next set of objectives. Look for external factors that held you back and internal strategies that can be optimized. And keep your motivation strong by setting short-term mini-goals that will help you get closer to your main goal, one step at a time.
Set your new goals. You may be tempted to give up on goal setting for a season. But the better response is to use this experience to research what factors contributed to your performance, what growth opportunities are available, and what team members can help your business keep moving forward.
Goal-setting is an essential part of running a successful business. The right objectives keep your company on track, help you move closer to your vision, and give your teams something to strive towards. And with these tips in mind, you can set goals that produce meaningful progress — in 2023 and beyond.
Want more? Since 2006, Escalon has helped thousands of startups grow faster with our back-office solutions for accounting, HR, payroll, taxes, insurance and recruiting. Talk to an expert today.
As a professional copywriter in the finance and B2B space, Grace Townsley offers small business leaders big insights—one precisely chosen word at a time. Let's connect!