Small business goal-setting requires a clear target to aim for. Before we can set goals of any kind, we need to know where we’re headed and why. To do this, we need to step into the future. Answering the following questions is a great way to start:

  • What do you want your business to look like one, two, or three years from now? 

  • How much revenue will you be bringing in? 

  • Will you have a team?

  • If so, how many team members will you have?

While you can’t know for certain what your reality will be in three years, you need to do your best to identify a clear target to shoot for. We call this future casting.

How to Achieve Next-Level Growth Using Small Business Goals


Future Casting

Future casting is a bit of forecasting, visioning, and planning all rolled into one. You want to be realistic while also pushing yourself to think big. It’s not the time to tell fairy tales, and it’s also not the time to edit your vision so severely that your three-year vision looks eerily similar to today’s reality. Answer the questions listed above and any others you can think of that will give you the clarity you need to set goals to bring your vision into reality.

Once you’ve determined what your vision for your business is one, two, or three years out, you’ll want to reverse engineer what you will need to put in place to get you from where you are to where you want to be.


Reverse Engineering

Reverse Engineering is identifying the key factors that must be in place for your vision to be realized. Let’s say that through future casting what you expect your business to be two years from now, you determine that your small business goals need to include doubling your annual revenue to be able to pay for a bigger team. Your current annual revenue for purposes of our examples is $100,000.00.

That might look like:

Two Years Out (bold items indicate new proposed changes):

Revenue Goal = $200,000 per year

Team = CEO (you), Tech VA, Executive VA, Marketing VA

In order to double your revenue, you’ll need to figure out how many sales you need to make of the offers you have, or that you’ll create, at what price point to know what will get you there. 

Setting financial goals for a business might seem daunting, but when you break things down into each offer, the price of each per month over twelve months, and the number of clients, it allows you to calculate how much you’ll need to increase each factor to achieve your goals. Below is an example of what is currently true:

Current Situation

Offer #1: One-on-One Coaching Package.
Timeline: 12 months.
Clients: 9
Price: $6,000 total or $500 per month. Total per year = $54,000

Offer #2: Mastermind Membership.
Timeline: Ongoing.
Clients: 47
Price: $97 per month. Total per year = $54,708

Current Annual Revenue = $108,708 per year 

Now, take the current offers, and any new offers, and calculate what changes need to be made so you can double your revenue. We have provided an example below of proposed changes to double the annual revenue over the next two years (bold items indicate changes):

Proposed Changes

Offer #1: One-on-One Coaching Package.
Timeline: 12 months.
Clients: 12
Price: $7,800 total or $650 per month. Total per year = $93,600

Offer #2: Mastermind Membership.
Timeline: Ongoing.
Clients: 60
Price: $97 per month. Total per year = $69,840

New Proposed Offer #3: Group Coaching Program.
Timeline: 12 months.
Clients: 12
Price: $4,200 total or $350 per month. Total per year = $50,400

New Estimated Annual Revenue = $213,840


annual small business goal-setting

We believe in the power of three at Encore Empire, and this means that we recommend that goal-setting consist of no more than three goals for each time period. Depending on the complexity of your goal, one might be all you need. 

Look at the target you set for yourself during your future casting exercise. What are the 1 - 3 big goals that you need to accomplish within the year to support you in hitting your target? Those will be your annual goals. 

Note that in the example above, we’re shooting to double our revenue and add two new team members over the next two years. This means that we’ll want to run through annual goal-setting for year one and year two.

Year 1:

  1. Hire a Marketing VA

  2. Get the Marketing VA onboarded and begin developing new marketing initiatives to bring in more clients for current offers

  3. Develop the new group coaching program 

Year 2:

  1. Launch the new group coaching program

  2. Run twelve conversion events per year - six for the coaching programs and six for the mastermind membership.

  3. Hire Executive VA


Break Your Annual Small Business Goals Into Quarterly Goals

The good news is that each year is broken down into quarters which gives you the ability to break the big goals into manageable steps. Keeping in mind the power of three, set three goals for each quarter that support your annual goals. Note: Following the example provided, you’ll need to set quarterly goals for Year 1 and Year 2.


Break Your Quarterly Goals Into Monthly Goals

Each quarter consists of three months. Each month you can set up to three goals that support your quarterly goals.


Break Your Monthly Goals Into Weekly Goals

Each month consists of at least four weeks. Each week you can set up to three goals that support your monthly goals.


Break Your Weekly Goals Into Daily Goals

Each week consists of seven days. Each day you can set up to three goals that support your weekly goals.

Small business goals can consist of almost anything, and the most common goals of small business owners everywhere are increased revenue and increased profit. When your offers are selling, and your revenue and profit are growing, you have achieved the success that comes from next-level growth.

Fast Company goes into more detail about how to break annual goals down in this article.

While small business goal-setting practices may vary from business to business, we hope that the steps listed above will help you gain clarity in mapping out and achieving your goals.

Marketing is a vital factor in business growth. If you’re looking to amplify your marketing efforts, we’d love to have you join us at our Marketing Methodology Workshop, where over the course of five days, we’ll walk you through creating your marketing plan for the next twelve months. In addition to that, you’ll create a repeatable system that you can use over and over for years to come. 

Carmen Reed-Gilkison

About the author

Carmen Reed-Gilkison is a certified Online Business Manager and Whole Person Certified Coach with 25+ years of marketing experience.

Deirdre Harter is a Certified Public Accountant with 20+ years of experience auditing and advising businesses of all sizes about how to build sustainable profitability in their companies.

They are also the co-founders of Encore Empire. Click here to learn more about their mission to help female entrepreneurs who happen to be over forty step into their power

To send a message to Carmen and Deirdre, click here

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