The expert guide to setting New Year goals

Building momentum as a small-business owner begins with your company vision. By setting clear goals for your business throughout its lifecycle, you can continually renew the purpose and ambition attached to your brand.

While the end of the year is often thought of as a time to set personal resolutions, it also signals a natural break to reconsider both short-and long-term goals to drive success in your professional life.

As the Head of Vistaprint Australia, I am passionate about providing local businesses with the tools to maximise their growth. To get you started with translating your dreams into actions, I have put together my top five tips for creating effective business goals for the year ahead:

1. Begin with dreams

Use lists, mind maps, and brain dumps to consider every dream you can think of achieving. This is not the time to limit your thought process to reality or get caught up in the details of how you will get there – go beyond boundaries to note the big and small of what or where you envisage your business to be in the next 10 years.

2. Categorise your priorities

You can make sense of these ideas by sorting your dreams into categories and by ranking them in order of what is important to you. You may find that these categories overlap in some cases or that consistent themes appear – this is a signal that you are on the right track to identifying your most important goals.

3. Pen down a plan

Goals that are written down are said to be around 33 pr cent more likely to happen. Identify one to three loose business goals that you want to focus on and develop them into SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) goals. This will form an action plan; a powerful framework for moving your abstract ideas and rough goals into specific steps for achieving success.

4. From big picture to daily habits

Break your goals down into small, digestible steps that you can complete each day in order to bring you closer to your business goals. By working towards your ambitions one step at a time, you will build confidence in yourself to reach your goal through steady and purposeful progress.

5. Track your progress

Finally, schedule time with yourself each month to review the progress you have made towards each of your business goals and what improvements you require to stay on track. Establishing a timeline will encourage you to stick to routines and evaluate when you have met, exceeded, or perhaps neglected your action plan. A journal will also allow you to reflect on your progress and maintain a record of how your ideas change throughout the process.

Melissa Haywood, Head of Vistaprint Australia

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