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As we navigate the final quarter of the financial year, many business owners will be using this time to reflect on the year so far and thinking about what kind of goals they would like to set for April onwards. A lot of business owners have a three or five year plan and revisit this every year, but often the goals or milestones can prove to be out of reach.

Here are three ways to create realistic business goals to set yourself up for success:

Set a maximum of 3 goals

If you try to focus on a multitude of goals at the same time, you will struggle to give individual goals the attention they deserve and your motivation levels are likely to dip. However, by setting a maximum of three goals, such as a gross profit target or an acquisition for example, you can be really focused with your time and energy. You can of course set yourself smaller goals that fit into the three wider focuses, but try to keep these as succinct as possible.

Create a ‘to don’t list’

There are things in business that you just have to do, but often you can get sucked into doing tasks that someone else can do just as well. By building a ‘to don’t list’, you can really focus on goal setting and learn to delegate tasks effectively. This list is bound to be longer than your list of goals and sometimes people don’t feel comfortable enough to say no, but how can you achieve what you want by doing everything? Strong leaders are really set on achieving goals and may push back on some things, but that’s how they stay focused.

Reflect every day

The point of having three goals in your back pocket is that each day, and in times of stress, you can think to yourself, ‘Am I doing enough to hit these three things?’.

On a Friday in particular, I block out my diary and take the time to plan the next week with my goals in mind. I also take the time to identify any ‘noise’ from the week, things on my ‘to don’t list’, that I’ve been involved in and figure out how to avoid that going forward.

Everyone works differently – some people review goals on a monthly and a quarterly basis, but if you do have your one, two, or three goals set firmly in your head, this will help to fire up your productivity levels and achieve the things you want to.

Find and contact your local Haines Watts office

About the author

Matt Perry

Matt’s focus is on helping owners and their management teams on all aspects of structure, strategy, growth and the potential realisation of value from their businesses.

He has particular expertise in supporting owners who are running businesses that are rapidly increasing in complexity. He works closely with these owners to scale their operations, address management and leadership issues and obtain funding for investment and growth.

Matt brings a keen understanding of the broader commercial issues that impact growing business, including governance, risk, succession and protecting personal wealth.


I enjoy becoming an integral part of a business’s journey and draw on my own experience in managing a fast growing company. There are so many angles to consider when a business starts to scale up. There’s nothing better for me than setting some long term goals with a business owner, supporting them through that growth and ultimately seeing them achieve their ambitions.

If I wasn’t doing this I’d be: selling.

Favourite Sports Team: Arsenal.

Dream Location: Sicily.

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