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How can we help strengthen your business?

Goal Setting: 7 steps for setting goals for business success in 2023

If you want to make your business the best it can be, you have to be willing to establish and track goals. Without goals, you have no way to monitor your company’s progress or keep yourself or your team accountable. Setting goals helps you create a clear path for your company and get you headed in the right direction. In this piece, Janelle Kettle presents easy to implement goal setting that will elevate your business.

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Why is setting goals important? Before we get into how you can set successful business goals for the upcoming year, let’s break down why goals are so important in the first place. If you want to make your business the best it can be, you have to be willing to establish and track goals. Without goals, you have no way to monitor your company’s progress or keep yourself or your team accountable. Goals help you create a clear path for your company and get you headed in the right direction.

All goals are important, no matter how big or small they are. Achieving small goals can help you work toward bigger goals. Your goals help you grow your business.

We all have heard this one before. However, do you know how powerful writing your goals down really is? A Harvard Business study revealed amazing statistics relating to goal setting and success. The findings were interesting!

  • 83% of the population does not have goals
  • 14% have a plan in mind, but are unwritten goals
  • 3% have goals written down

The study went on to find that the 

  • 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals!
  • The 3% with written goals are 3 times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals!

Armed with this game-changing insight, let’s jump into the 7 steps you can take right now to set actionable, achievable goals for your business in 2023.

1. First things first: define what you want your goals to be

Not sure where to start when setting goals? Congrats—you’re not alone! Plenty of business owners struggle with where to begin when it comes to determining business goals (especially the newbies). But, that’s completely OK. We’re here to help each other out, right? Right.

So … where to start? Instead of just thinking “What goals do I want to set for my company?” think about it this way: What do I want to accomplish or create if there were no limitations?

When determining your goals, make sure they are worth your time and effort. Think about what goals can really push your business forward within the next year. And, don’t just think about the big picture.

To figure out your top priorities, consider taking advantage of a SWOT Analysis.

Most of the time, you can use this technique to analyse your business’s overall operations. But, you can also create a focused SWOT that helps you analyse a particular project.

Ready to get into what exactly a SWOT tells you? Here’s a breakdown of SWOT analysis meaning:

  • Strengths: What’s your business doing well? (Internal)
  • Weaknesses: Where does your business fall short of success? (Internal)
  • Opportunities: What can your business be doing to get a boost? (External)
  • Threats: What kind of factors can harm your business? (External)

Your analysis will tell you where your business is falling flat and what areas need improvement. Once you determine what areas need help, start coming up with the goals you believe you can achieve (or come close to achieving) in the next few months or years.

2. Goal setting success: answering the “WHY?” behind your goals will influence your level of commitment.

Like with anything in life, if you want to achieve a goal, you have to commit to it. If you’re determined to lose weight, what do you do? You set goals, and you commit to your diet and exercise regime to reach your goal weight. Change how you phrase your goals to putting your goals in the present tense. There is something powerful when you put goals in the present versus “someday.”

Once you set your goals, make the commitment and stick to it. Don’t second-guess your goals or give up on them right away. Enjoy the ride, track your results, and do whatever you need to do to stay motivated throughout the process.

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the false story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” — Jordan Belfort


3. Setting actionable goals: create an action plan to achieve your goals.

How you take a dream and make it a goal is by creating an action plan. Goals are imperative, but you must also have an action plan on how you are going to achieve the goal. This is imperative, especially if you have an enormous goal. The action plan would include all the small action steps to help you move towards your goal.

4. Goal setting success: be as specific as possible.

The more time you spend describing and visualizing your goals, the more likely you will be to actually achieve them. So, when setting your goals, be as descriptive and crystal clear as possible.
Go into the nitty-gritty details when setting a goal, such as exact amounts or percentages, what it will take to achieve said goal, and how long you think it will take to reach it.

Define where you want your goal to be at each step of the way. Think of this as your goal’s roadmap. Be specific with what you want to accomplish at each point.

Are you a visual learner? If so, here’s an example of what your goal roadmap may look like:

  • 1. Increase customer count to 10,000 by end of Q1
  • 2. Have 15,000 customers by Q2
  • 3. Have 20,000 customers by Q3
  • 4. Have 25,000 customers by Q4

Your roadmap can also detail more long-term goals, such as increasing overall revenue or reducing certain expenses. As you can tell, the opportunities are endless.

5. Goal setting success: meet regularly to measure progress.

There’s no better feeling than achieving a goal you’ve set your mind to. But, you can’t reach your goals if you don’t have a system to track and analyze your efforts. Find a way to keep track of your goals that works for you and your team. For example, maybe you’ll utilize a spreadsheet to keep track of metrics monthly. By tracking your goal(s), you can find out what is and isn’t working and make changes along the way to ensure you achieve your goal in the end.

It’s also good practice to meet with your team to discuss your goals. That way, you keep everyone in the loop and can brainstorm ideas to help you reach your goals.

6. Goal setting success: hold yourself accountable with deadlines.

If you really want to motivate yourself to achieve a business goal, try setting deadlines to hold yourself accountable. Setting time-focused goals help you set a clear date on when you want to reach your goals. Deadlines help you stay in line and give you the boost you need to accomplish your goals. From the get-go of establishing your goal, set a deadline for when you want to reach your goal. Give a specific date on when you want your goal completed. That way, you can hold yourself accountable when that date rolls around.

7. Goal setting success: celebrate milestones and achievements.

Last but certainly not least, remember to celebrate the milestones you reach and the goals you accomplish—no matter how big or small they may seem. You’ve invested so much time and energy into reaching your goal, so take a moment to take it all in and celebrate your accomplishment. Smaller accomplishments can be simple rewards, like lunch at your favourite restaurant or a cake. As milestone accomplishments are met, you might splurge a little more with your celebrations to match the goal you reached.
Goal Setting Tips for 2023: setting goals for life and business success

Defining clear S.M.A.R.T goals for your business is a foundational requirement for success. The time and effort your goal setting exercise takes are worth their weight in gold, and they’re directly related to the profitability and viability of your business. Working with a professional  business adviser to set out a clear roadmap for your business year is a great way to assure success. Get in in touch with us to discuss, clarify and formalise your business goals in 2023!

You may email us at or call 011 025 1446 (Johannesburg) and 021 003 8000 (Cape Town).

Insight by:

Janelle Kettle

Chief Operating Officer

Kettle Consulting (PTY) Ltd

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