New resolutions, greater ambitions, higher targets; so often we leave our business goal-setting to the “new-leaf” times of the calendar: new year and new financial year. But it’s wise to make a plan for success and keep business goal-setting front of mind from January right through to December – and through the challenges of uncertain times. Achieving those goals, even small, realistic goals, will boost your motivation, satisfaction and sense of purpose throughout the year. Here are 16 business goals to keep in sight year-round. 

1. Update Your Business Plan Regularly

You've had good days and bad days in the past 12 months, so learn what you can from them. Use these lessons to help you review how your business is performing against the expectations you laid out in your business plan last year, last quarter, and last month. Writing down what you want to improve will help motivate you to achieve your goals. 

If you don’t have a business plan, the biggest question is, why not? It might be time to learn more about writing one. For more information, follow the Australian government’s step-by-step guide on developing a business plan.

SEE ALSO: Ask an Expert: How to Write an Effective Business Plan

2. Work on Your Business, Not in It

As a business owner, you’re often deep in the weeds of your business. Make time every week or fortnight to work on your business rather than in it. That means focusing on planning, broader strategy, lead generation and more. That kind of regular high-level thinking will help you identify opportunities and challenges as, or even before, they arise. 

3. Compare Your Business’s Goals with Industry Benchmarks

Yes, your business is unique but knowing where you stand against similar businesses is a good way to keep track of your business’ health – and plan better for the long-term against various types of business goals.

There is excellent information from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to help you measure your financial performance. The ATO analyses data from tax returns and activity statements to set small business benchmarks across each industry

These benchmarks not only help the ATO spot tax dodgers – they'll also help you see how your business is performing, view profit/loss benchmarks via the ATO app, help you set new goals and objectives and even identify where to cut costs. 

You'll need some info including: 

  • Gross income
  • Salary and wages
  • Vehicle costs
  • Interest on overdraft and credit cards
  • Payments to suppliers and contractors
  • Cost of sales

4. Keep To-Do Lists in Plain Sight to Achieve Common Goals

Clear communication about weekly and monthly activities is essential for good teamwork. Sure, our smartphones and laptops are amazing for helping us manage multiple tasks and appointments but weekly (or monthly) planners up on walls are still in fashion for good reason: they make it super easy for the whole team to see what's coming up, share goals and objectives and achieve common goals together. If working remotely, virtual organisation platforms such as Monday, Trello and Avaza will keep everyone on the same page. 

The Best Undated Planners and Diaries to Try

Help your team achieve common goals together with essential workspace supplies such as whiteboards and planners‍

SEE ALSO: 7 Filing Hacks That Will Change the Way You Work

5. Support Flexible Working With Portable Hardware

Laptops are essential in these days of flexible and remote working. Look for lightweight options that still have enough grunt to get the job done efficiently and enough battery life to get you through the workday – and more. 

The Best Laptops for Working From Anywhere

Support remote staff and those who need to work on-the-go with a high-performing laptop such as the Lenovo Yoga.

SEE ALSO: Teamwork Skills: 5 Tips for Better Brainstorming

6. Drive up Customer Satisfaction With Easier Payments

Point-of-sale terminals work well in fixed locations such as in store but what if you want to take payments at the markets or when visiting a customer on their own premises? Most customers prefer digital payments these days and the latest mobile credit card readers with inbuilt SIMs or Bluetooth make it easy to accept payments on the go, not to mention improving customer service and customer satisfaction.

Portable EFTPOS and Credit Card Readers to Try

7. Increase Productivity with Better Data Storage

Use an external hard drive for storage to speed up your computer and increase productivity. 

Of course, cloud computing makes day-to-day data storage simple but it's still worth keeping back-ups of all your valuable files and records offline. An external hard drive is an affordable, convenient way to expand the data storage capacity of your computer whenever and wherever you need it. 

And if you regularly work with large files, an external hard drive can speed up your PC's performance by taking the load off the internal drive and do wonders for your productivity.

The Best Hard Drives to Speed Up Your Computer

SEE ALSO: Let the Geek Guide You: What Cloud Computing Can Do for Your Business

8. Stay Focused on Long-Term Business Goals

Yes, there are plenty of apps that will help you manage your time across tasks, reminding you about appointments, payments or registrations – but how do you keep an eye on long-term business goals that don't have a set time frame? Write them up on colourful card or on an elegant planner to give you visual inspiration and put strategic planning items on display to help you stay motivated to do them.

Try These Organisational Supplies for Business Goal Planning

Keep your team focused on long-term business goals with the help of Officeworks workspace supplies and stationery.

9. Sort Out Recyclables

It seems so basic to separate recyclables from rubbish. But when someone is in a rush to finish lunch or get out the door, it can be tough to stick to the sustainable program. In the office, colour-coded bins will help staff put paper, mixed recyclables, landfill and organic waste into their respective containers with barely a thought. 

And if you’re wondering why recycling should be a business goal, know this: surveys have found that people (particularly millennials) want to work at environmentally conscious companies.

Colour Coded Bins for Office Recycling

10. Do More For the Environment by Recycling Office Items 

Don’t stop your eco-conscious business goals at colour-coded bins. Your business can also help reduce the amount of used or worn-out office items sent to landfill (such as pens, staplers or even masks) by collecting them in a TerraCycle box. 

TerraCycle is a great Aussie organisation that recycles or upcycles common office waste previously thought to be un-recyclable. When you collect and send non-electronic office items to TerraCycle, they'll be sorted and converted to materials that will, in turn, make new products, like garden furniture made from pen plastic. If you invest in TerraCycle collection boxes at Officeworks, you'll also be contributing to the Restoring Australia initiative where Officeworks plants two trees for every tree used in its paper products. 

Terracycle Products to Try

SEE ALSO: What Do I Do With…?

11. Keep Health Front of Mind

Keep yourself, and your employees, healthy with a fruit delivery service.‍

Whether you’re looking out for a team of employees, or just yourself, staying healthy is critical to the smooth day-to-day operation of your business. Fruit supplies a bunch of health-boosting nutrients, such as vitamin C, dietary fibre, potassium and folate, all in a convenient and delicious package. 

When we’re busy, many of us struggle to eat the recommended two serves a day, so if you are in an  office, order up a health injection with a weekly fruit delivery for anywhere from 10 to 100 people. If your team is working remotely, encourage healthy snacking by having scheduled fruit breaks on the workday calendar.  

What to Try

12. Reward Your Team More Often 

Research suggests that staff feel more motivated if their good work is recognised and rewarded immediately, rather than waiting for an annual bonus. And the reward doesn’t have to be large; it’s the recognition that counts. Gift cards are a great way to thank team members who've gone the extra mile in customer service, thrown themselves into a new project, or simply achieved their personal goals. 

Gift Card Rewards to Try

13. Focus More on Fitness and Good Sleep Habits

Regular exercise and good sleep are well-known performance boosters, improving focus and energy levels throughout the day, while lack of sleep can seriously impact your wellbeing and performance, so it makes business sense to keep your team on the right track. 

Fitness monitors take the idea that “you can't manage what you don't measure” several thousand steps (or sleep cycles) further in a small and wirelessly connected package. Many of these devices monitor heart rate and movement to help manage and improve daily activities, including exercise, and some can also measure light-, deep- and REM-sleep quality. 

Fitness trackers and sports smart watches can also deliver reminders to move from your desk and notifications from your smartphone to help you achieve your business objectives. Once everyone’s equipped, a friendly competition to see who can clock-up the most steps is a fun way to get everyone moving more.

The Best Fitness Trackers and Smart Watches to Try

Achieve fitness goals with the help of smart watches and fitness trackers.

SEE ALSO: Real Review: Garmin Forerunner 55 Smart Watch

Improve Productivity With Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones can help boost productivity in noisy workspaces.‍

Open-plan offices have their benefits but they're not ideal when it’s time for a phone or video conference. Double ear headsets with good quality microphones improve call quality so you never need to raise your voice to be heard. And some models have noise-cancelling earphones, helping to block out distractions, all of which will help boost productivity and increase revenue. If working from home, noise cancelling headphones can be a lifesaver in shared households or households with young kids.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones to Try

15. Make It Easier for Staff to Find the Essentials

To help office staff reach their productivity goals, a super-fast organisational hack is to label storage spaces.

As your team grows, you want to make it easy to find office stationery, mugs and other supplies they need. Otherwise they'll lose time – and likely patience – with aimless searching. To help everyone reach their productivity goals, a super-fast organisational hack is to label storage spaces (cupboards, shelves, pigeonholes, etc.) marking a clear place for everything. It'll also help you see at a glance what needs restocking. 

Storage and Label Makers to Try

SEE ALSO: Real Review: DYMO LabelManager 420P Portable Label Maker

16. Review and Update Your Software Licenses

If you've grown your software library ad hoc, you've probably lost time and productivity trialling different options or overspent on licences for software you don't need. Still, that's no excuse for pirating software: in Australia 18% of software is unlicensed according to a 2018 Business Software Alliance report but businesses caught pirating software can be hit with heavy fines. 

Instead, save time, money and hassle with a software licensing package tailored for your business that will give you the tools you need to be creative, productive and successful, without the risk of fines that could set back your overall profitability goals. 

SEE ALSO: 7 Things You Can Do to Build Your Brand Right Now