8 Realistic New Year Business Goals & Objectives

The end of the year is a good time to look ahead and decide which business goals and objectives to put on your agenda for the new year. Small business owners may sometimes struggle because they aim too high with their goals, making it difficult for them to reach their desired benchmarks and grow their companies.

At Addition Financial, we recognize that some business owners may need help setting realistic new year business goals. We want you to achieve all your business goals next year, so here are eight realistic New Year’s business goals and objectives for you to consider.

Where Does Your Business Stand This Year?

Before you set your business goals and objectives for the new year, you’ll need to look at where your business stands now. That’s the best way to figure out where you want to be at this time next year — and how to get there.

There are several ways to evaluate your business as it is today. Here are some options.

Review Your Financial Reports

Every business owner should have access to financial reports that provide an overview of the company’s financial situation. Here are some reports that you may find useful:

  • Business financial statement
  • Profit & loss statement
  • Break-even analysis
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow statement
  • Net profit margin report

You may also want to review your accounts payable and accounts receivable to get a handle on your cash flow.

Evaluate Your Current Marketing Plan

If you have a marketing plan for the current year, this is a good time to review it and use it as a learning experience to help you understand where you succeeded and where your marketing efforts may have fallen short.

For example, if you put most of your marketing budget into search engine advertising and didn’t get the results you wanted, you may need to rethink your marketing mix for the new year and allocate funds to support a new strategy.

Look at Your Competitors

What are your competitors doing and how are you measuring up to them? While competitive analysis alone isn’t enough to help you set goals and objectives, it can help you understand where you’re doing well and where you might be falling short.

Competitor analysis can help you understand your target audience and give you information about the best marketing strategies and tactics to connect with them and help them choose your products and services instead of those offered by your competitors.

What is a SMART Goal for a Business?

Any goal you set for the new year should be a SMART goal. As a reminder, a SMART goal is a goal that is all of the following things:

  • Specific. The goal should spell out precisely what you hope to achieve. A goal to increase profits is not SMART because it is not specific. A goal to increase your profits by 10% is SMART.
  • Measurable. The goal should be something you can measure. A goal to improve customer service can be measured with CSAT scores. A goal to retain more customers can be measured by calculating your customer retention rate, and so on.
  • Attainable. A goal that isn’t attainable isn’t going to serve you. It’s important to be realistic and set goals that challenge you without being impossible to reach. It’s not realistic to increase profits one hundred percent in most cases, but a goal of a 15% increase might be attainable.
  • Relevant. Your business goals must be relevant to your mission and your overall objectives. For example, a dental practice that wanted to increase its profits might set a relevant goal of attracting five new patients per month.
  • Time-bound. Open-ended goals aren’t useful because it can be difficult to measure your progress if you don’t have both a start date and an ending date. It’s not enough to say that you want to attract new clients. You need to set a time period for that goal and measure it as you go.

You’re more likely to achieve SMART goals than you are to achieve poorly-defined goals. The process of defining goals requires you to put thought into how you will achieve them, when you want to achieve them, and how you will know when you’ve reached them.

new year business resolutions worksheet

8 Realistic Business Goals & Objectives for the New Year

Now, let’s review eight realistic goals for you to consider as you set objectives for the new year.

#1: Increase Traffic to Your Website

For most businesses, increased traffic means increased profits. Setting a goal to increase traffic to your website means thinking about where your traffic comes from now and how to direct more people into that funnel.

To set a SMART goal, you’d need to look at your existing traffic and determine an attainable percentage increase. Then you’d need to think about how to get people to your website. Some options might include a website redesign, starting a blog, or adopting a new social media marketing strategy with the goal of driving traffic to your site.

#2: Increase Customer Satisfaction

CSAT scores are a measure of customer satisfaction and increasing them is a goal for many small businesses. You can make your goal SMART by specifying what you want your score to be and how you will get there.

Some things that can help you improve your CSAT score include optimizing the customer experience on your website, adding new channels for customer support or creating a customer loyalty program.

#3: Expand into a New Market

Expanding into a new market could mean identifying a new potential use for your product or expanding into a new geographic area. Either way, you can make the goal SMART by specifying which market you want to reach, how you will reach it, and what degree of market penetration will signify success.

Market expansion may require research and a strategy for how to expand your reach, including new social media targeting or the use of relevant local keywords to make sure that people in a new geographic area can find you online.

#4: Improve Customer Retention

Customer retention plays a key role in increasing profits, since it costs far more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. A SMART goal might be to increase your customer retention rate by 10% in the first quarter of the year.

Customer retention is closely tied to CSAT scores, so you may find that if you improve one, you’ll improve the other. Some strategies that can help with customer retention include setting up a loyalty program, building a community around your products (think of what Apple has done with its products) or educating your customers about new uses for your products.

#5: Attract New Customers

Attracting new customers is one of those perennial goals that most business owners want to pursue. While it is undeniably less expensive to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones, you can still set a SMART goal related to customer acquisition. For example, you might set a goal to sign two new clients every month.

One strategy that is particularly useful for new customer acquisition is setting up a referral program. Your program should have clearly defined rules, so that your existing customers understand what they’ll get if they refer a new customer. You might offer a free product or a discounted one if someone they refer buys your product.

#6: Decrease Expenses

One way to increase your net profits is to decrease your spending, something that a lot of companies may wish to do. You can make this a SMART goal by looking at your expenses for the current year and specifying how much you wish to cut them and how you will measure your savings.

Some examples of things that can be useful for cutting expenses are encouraging customers to choose paperless billing, downsizing your office or buying key supplies or raw materials in bulk.

#7: Increase Net Profits

Increasing profits is a common goal, but it’s important to be specific about how much you can expect your profits to go up in the new year. Your SMART goal should include either a percentage increase or a specific financial goal; for example, you might want to increase profits by 8% or hit a total profit amount of $1,000,000.

Because many different activities may contribute to profits, this could be an overarching goal that gets broken down into smaller goals, such as acquiring new customers or increasing traffic to your website.

#8: Increase Shareholder Value

If your company has shareholders, it’s a priority to deliver the earnings that shareholders expect. You can make your goal SMART by specifying a realistic increase to shareholder value. Goals may be annual or done on a quarterly basis.

This is another goal that ties into smaller goals such as customer retention and satisfaction and may also tie into new market expansion.

Setting realistic business goals & objectives for the new year is necessary because it can help you create a roadmap to grow your business. The 8 goals we’ve included here may help inspire you to achieve your business growth goals.

Do you need small business financing to help you achieve your business goals? Addition Financial can help! Click here to learn about our business loans and begin the application process today.

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