This is the second in a 3-part series getting you and your business ready for 2021. Check out part 1 here, and look for part 3 next week, December 30.

Business Owners have one thing in common: they want their businesses to succeed. And part of taking the leap to own your own business is being a dreamer. A goal-setter. An achiever. The founder of ActionCOACH, Brad Sugars, often says “if no one is laughing at your goals, then they’re not big enough.”

When it comes to setting forth a plan, especially a relatively short plan like one year, or even one quarter as we do with our clients, we see most Business Owners get tripped up in having the goals of the long term overshadow the achievable, narrowed goals of a shorter period. There’s a couple of strategies that we use with our clients that can help with this.


First, list every possible goal that you could have. Get the whole team involved. This list could be huge. These goals could be small, like purchasing a new office printer that is more reliable, or large like doubling profits for the company. All of these are achievable, but in order to get the entire team honed in on what is important, this first step of brainstorming can be very valuable.


SMART goals are something that are taught in many different contexts, including my teenage daughter’s Life Skills class (yay Mrs. Meadows!). Defining your goals as SMART can often allow multiple goals to be merged into one. SMART is an acronym:

S: Specific. Make the goal defined and easy to understand

M: Measurable. How are you going to know if you reached the goal? Increase profits is a real goal, but how much? 1%? 100%? The team needs to know when it has been achieved.

A: Achievable: The goal needs to be something that is realistic to achieve in the time period. For example, going from 500 clients to 5,000 clients in a veterinary practice in a quarter is not achievable. But going from 500 clients to 700 clients may be. Use your vast knowledge of your industry to figure this out.

R: Relevant: This is where the theme that we talked about last week comes in. Is the goal going to help you reach the long-term goals of the business? Is it the right time for the business?

T: Time Bound: Put a date on it. Write it down in your calendar. If you can’t put a date, or even a time, on it, then the goal doesn’t have a way to be tracked.

Now that you have your goals SMART-ified (yes, that’s a word around here), time for the final step.


Having 50 SMART goals is a lot for any team. It feels overwhelming, and the team loses focus. Take a peek at your SMART goals, which should be slightly narrowed from the Brainstorming step, and pit them against each other. Would we rather have Goal #1 or Goal #2 happen this quarter? #2 or #5? This will allow you and your team to narrow down those goals to 3-4 in a quarter. Write them down! During our quarterly Growth Club events, this process can take more than an hour. It’s tough, but we have some great strategies when you attend the events to help with this process.

Make sure that they are posted where everyone can see them, and track their progress. Our team reviews our SMART goals every single Monday morning, without fail. Some of the bigger, loftier goals are just an update on where we are. Simpler goals are checked for completion.

The process of narrowing the goals can be a great way to get your team’s buy-in to the direction of the company. Team culture and employee engagement go up, while driving the results in the business = win-win.


Need help setting the goals for your team? Our team is here to help. Contact us today to set up a no-cost, no-obligation business analysis today.

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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