Image Alt Text
Running a business

A comprehensive action plan for setting goals for your business

Did you know that only 25% of businesses are successful for 15 years or more? This means that, in the long run, your business has more chances of failing than it does succeeding. 

I don’t say this to scare you, but to remind you of the reality I’m sure you’re already aware of: business can be hard. Harder than getting gum out of your hair, harder than turning off the television while binge-watching your favorite show, and even more difficult than putting out a house fire with a measly bucket! So kudos to you for deciding to be a brave world-changer and starting a business that can potentially help millions of people! But having a plethora of business ideas and tons of passion can be a blessing and a curse! 

If you’re anything like me, you may have had one—or two—business ideas fail. As a multi-passionate entrepreneur, I’ve dreamed of doing everything from creating an app that entertains your pets while you’re away to opening a school for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) students like myself to selling beach apparel for travelers! Although my ideas were creative and unique, they failed before they even began because of my lack of preparation. 

Now, after a good deal of trial and error (and a few tears, If I’m being honest), I’m an established entrepreneur and proud business coach who is dedicated to helping you and other entrepreneurs become a part of the esteemed 25% of long-term success stories! It’s time to make business less daunting and more doable; with proper organization, action plans, and goal-setting, you’ll see that running your business will finally become a walk in the park! 

So chances are you have a few business goals in mind as the new year and new challenges roll around. Whether you’re aiming to reach new clients, improve your current services, or rework your entire operation, understanding how to approach each objective is crucial! 

This may seem intimidating, but don’t worry! Goal-setting for business growth can be a worry-free and fulfilling process if you follow the steps in this article!

Let’s get to it!

How to set goals for your business 

When setting achievable and realistic goals for your business, you’ll need to develop your outline. While creating an outline of your goals, you want to sit and think hard about your current organization processes and how you would like them to change. As a business owner, goal-setting is one of the best ways to reflect on where you’ve succeeded as well as where you can improve—so don’t rush through it! 

After so many failed business ideas, I vowed to no longer step into a new project without having a written goal and action plan for how it will succeed! Also, goal-setting isn’t a one-time-thing that you do only when you start your business or at the beginning of each year! You should create a goal-setting outline before leaping into all business tasks, such as launching a new product or service, creating a new content strategy, or hiring new team members! I’ve found that I create a goal-setting outline at least once a month!

Here are some questions I ask myself when creating my own outline! Try answering some of these questions along the way!

  • What do I want to accomplish? 
  • What tangible results do I want to achieve? 
  • Are each of my goals relevant and realistic? 
  • Are there any threats or roadblocks that could prevent me from reaching these goals? 
  • What steps will I need to take to complete these goals? 
  • If I do not meet a goal, how will I recover? 

The more detailed you are with your responses, the more likely it is that you’ll create a game plan to bring your vision to life! For example, when creating the goal-setting outline for my business, I realized that the major threat or roadblock that could prevent me from getting more sales in my business was my clinically diagnosed ADHD. Although I had remarkable ideas for products I wanted to launch in my business, they would not come to fruition If I didn't decide to hire a business manager to hold me accountable or implement a daily work schedule that worked for my shorter attention span! Asking myself and answering the question, “Are there any threats or roadblocks that could prevent me from reaching these goals?” allowed me to scale my business in ways that I didn’t expect!

How to track your business goals 

Yay! Now that you’ve done the more tedious work of creating your objectives and goals, it’s time to ensure you actually attain them! You’ll find it tempting to leave these goals in the back of your mind and hope that you’ll achieve them somewhere along the way, but I would caution against this. Nothing in business comes to pass when you just “wish upon a star.” You'll have much more success by actively tracking and managing your progress throughout the year!

There is a diverse range of tools designed to help you track all of the exciting goals you’ve just set for your business! A few of my favorites include the following:

  • Project management software: Solutions like Click Up, Asana, and Trello can help with scheduling, communication, and other essential tasks. 
  • Goal-tracking apps: Momentum, Productive, Streaks, and other apps can act as a virtual to-do list, helping you set achievable deadlines and hold yourself accountable for your progress!
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software: Most CRMs are designed to keep your business data in one convenient, accessible channel, from payments to workforce collaborations.

How to reassess your business goals 

Remember, goal-setting for business growth doesn’t start and end with making your initial list! As your business continues to grow and adapt to the ever-changing market, there will come a time when you’ll need to reassess the objectives you set months ago! For Instance, the same social media marketing strategy that I created for my business in 2018 would not help me maximize my profit today! Although many pieces of the strategy might remain the same, I now have to account for platforms like Instagram introducing Reels to increase visibility and TikTok introducing Stitch and Duets to make collaborating with other entrepreneurs much easier! 

Just because you have to reassess and adjust your goals once in a while doesn’t mean that you’ve done something wrong. If anything, businesses that don’t occasionally reconsider their goals are more likely to fail in the long run, and remember—we’re here to make sure you become a part of that 25%! To reassess your strategy, ask yourself questions like the following: 

  • Am I satisfied with my current metrics? 
  • What dissatisfies me about my current metrics?
  • What am I proud of so far? 
  • What am I not proud of? 
  • Which areas do my employees or audience believe need improvement? 

After answering these questions, continue to implement innovative changes to your goals and then celebrate your endless success! If you consistently execute these goal-setting guidelines, you can quickly become one of the thousands of business owners who have success in their business well beyond the 15-year mark!

Just remember, “Your goals are the roadmaps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.”

Recommended for you

Mail icon
Get the latest to your inbox
No Thanks

Get the latest to your inbox

Relevant resources to help start, run, and grow your business.

By clicking “Submit,” you agree to permit Intuit to contact you regarding QuickBooks and have read and acknowledge our Privacy Statement.

Thanks for subscribing.

Fresh business resources are headed your way!

Looking for something else?


From big jobs to small tasks, we've got your business covered.

Firm of the Future

Topical articles and news from top pros and Intuit product experts.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.