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Setting Your 2018 Small Business Goals

We’re in the final quarter of 2017, and while it seems like there’s plenty of time to set small business goals for 2018, the reality is a bit different.

While there are several weeks remaining in 2017, there’s still the day-to-day to manage, not to mention the holidays, which for many small businesses owners can be more hectic than usual thanks to both corporate and personal demands.

That doesn’t leave much time to create goals for the next calendar year.

While setting goals sounds like and even can be a nebulous practice, the best small business owners know that establishing a list of tangible achievements – and mapping out the path to get there – is a key way to start honing your business strategy and keep you focused as the months roll on.

But what kinds of goals should you be setting, and how broad or narrow should your scope be? The following are a few ideas of areas to consider when planning out your list of next year’s accomplishments.

5 Small Business Goals to Set for Next Year

Considering the myriad number of American small businesses, some of these suggestions may be more or less appropriate for your company:

1. Expand: Yes, most small businesses have some sort of vague idea that they want to grow. But growth doesn’t just happen by putting your product or service out there, then waiting to catch a break. Your 2018 goals should include putting together a detailed plan on how to expand your business – that includes doing research into new geographic territories, adding a new service to your current suite of offerings based on consumer need, or launching a new product that complements what you already sell. If you’re not quite sure what path you should take to expansion, consider asking yourself these important questions about your business.

2. Add a New Face: Some business owners make the mistake of hiring extra personnel before they’re needed. Others hesitate too long, not adding a new worker until they’ve burnt out on months of 70-hour workweeks. Don’t make that mistake. Part of your expansion plan, if it warrants it, should include adding at least one part- or full-time worker to help shoulder some of the load as you broaden your horizons. And remember: Planning for a new employee isn’t just figuring out what they can do for 40 hours a week – it includes becoming familiar with employment laws, payroll practices and even a decision about whether to provide retirement benefits.

3. Invest in Yourself: While some small businesses can start expanding with just a little additional marketing spend, some companies need to dedicate serious cash to things such as R&D, heavy equipment or even a second location. Now might be the time to ask yourself about whether you’re ready to take on a little business debt – but also whether you even need to.

4. Get to Know Your Customers Better: Whether you plan on making a concerted expansion effort, or you simply want to generate better revenues from your existing customer base, now is the time to get serious about data collection. It can be as simple as using Google Adwords to track your online ads, or paying for services that track purchase and other user behaviors. Whatever method you choose, learning more about your customers will help you better cater to their needs … and better convince them to buy from you more often.

5. Get Answers: Even multinational corporations don’t have everything figured out. So if you’re a small business owner with questions about anything – whether it’s how to expand, whether you’re paying too much in taxes, or even what you can do to make your office more efficient – that’s perfectly normal. What separates successful owners from struggling ones is that when they see a weakness or gap in knowledge, they try to fix it. If you have questions about what your small business should be doing, now’s the time to talk to the experts at McManamon & Co. We have advisors who can guide you through a number of important business issues, such as accounting, mergers and acquisitions or even a general consultation.

2018 may still seem like a long way away, but no business owner can afford to let the future sneak up on them. Call us at 440.892.9088 or contact us online to get a head start on next year’s success!

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