While we’re making our New Year’s resolutions, many businesses are going through their own process of resolving to be better next year by setting business goals. But coming up with budgets, forecasts, and goals for an entire year can be intimidating.

Meredith Wood, editor-in-chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business financial solutions, offers six tips for creating goals that can keep a business focused over the next 12 months.

“Without benchmarks for each team member or the business as a whole, you’ll lack a sense of direction, or the strength to push on when the going gets tough,” Wood writes for Allbusiness.com. “You also won’t know what expenses you can forgo the next year, or what investments you need to make to get your numbers where they need to be.”

Here is an abbreviated version of her six tips:

  1. Dedicate a full day to goal setting. Wood emphasizes getting every participant’s undivided attention, so don’t try to cram it in with everything else.
  2. Create an agenda and stick to it. That’s good advice for any meeting, and it’s essential for goal-setting.
  3. Define “objectives” and “key results” to strive for. They even have their own acronym, OKRs. Wood says they should be simple and clear, and structured so you can add on tactical plans for achieving them.
  4. Remember personal goals, too. Encourage team leaders and management to develop goals for their personal and professional development in addition to company-wide goals.
  5. Don’t forget about culture and communication. “As your small business grows…it’s important to take stock of how your team communicates and relates to one another,” Wood writes.
  6. Remember to celebrate: “If you dedicated an entire day to planning for the future, and did so successfully, take your team out for drinks and/or dinner afterward to show your appreciation,” Wood says.

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