With a new calendar in hand, you’re ready to start the year off strong. It’s a go-getter time, and you would know if you’re a small business owner. How you set objectives for your company matters. Aiming big and taking a few risks is likely part of why you’ve seen success so far. But it’s important to balance these goals with smaller ones. Here are some tips for setting realistic goals this year.

Review your year

If you’re stumped on what business goals to set, a look at the past can help you brainstorm. What were your achievements? What were your frustrations? An exploration of the previous year should get your mind moving. Can you build on your recent accomplishments by taking them to the next level? What goals can you set to circumvent issues? Are you still stuck? Be sure to run through our end-of-year checklist.

Dig into the details

When you have some targets in mind, focus on the specifics. For example, saying you want to improve marketing likely won’t be enough. What specific aspect of marketing do you want to better? By setting a detailed goal rather than a vague one, you have the ability to sketch the plans to achieve it. That’s why concrete goals are your best tool for getting ahead, according to Entrepreneur.

Make your goal actionable

Approach your business goals like an effort in endurance. Set up some objectives along the way. Plot out, step-by-step, how you are going to achieve your objective. Maybe you need to hire a new employee or take a class to expand on a skill. Determining the necessary actions can help you hone your goal and make it more practical and attainable.

Give your goal a deadline

A goal remains an unclear vision if you don’t put your plan into action and give yourself a deadline. A marathon runner has a race day. What’s your finish line? Maybe you have a product launch or a big event to serve as a target date. At this time, you will also want a method to gauge whether you’ve achieved your objective. If you set a social media-related goal, then perhaps that measure is the number of users who have posted with your company’s hashtag by a certain day. Set that number when you set the goal.

Make your goal step-able

Small successes add up to big ones, so strive for goals that have a natural progression. If you’re ready to take your online store to a brick-and-mortar venue, think about what’s next. You don’t have to know all of the detailed plans now, but you should at least consider future avenues. This can help you solidify your present needs, like financing. Will you potentially require a bigger space, or is a second location a better option?

Your local Farm Bureau agent is here to help discuss the unique needs of your business and how Farm Bureau Financial Services can help you meet your goals.