The Benefits of Setting Quarterly Goals

Do you have goals for your business?

Actually, let’s assume you do. At the very least, you had a goal when you started your business, even if that goal was “make lots of money” or “quit the old desk job.” It’s difficult to maintain a business without setting goals. You need something to strive for, whether it’s to make ends meet or to add 7 more stores within the next 10 years. Both long term and immediate goals are necessary to keep your business from floundering.

The better question is how often you set immediate goals? While it’s good to have a variety of goals, one of the most effective methods when it comes to organizing your goals is to set quarterly goals. Here are a few reasons why quarterly goals might help you run your business more smoothly.

Helps You Set More Achievable Goals

With yearly goals, many business owners are inclined to shoot for the moon, and that’s not necessarily a bad idea. It gives you something to aim for and encourages you to push yourself. If you’re the kind of business owner who intentionally sets more goals than you imagine you’ll achieve, this is a good method. However, many business owners become discouraged when nine months into the year, they’re little closer to their goal than they were in January.

Monthly goals, on the other hand, are so closely bound together that sometimes you can miss the forest for the trees.

Quarterly goals offer a happy medium. Because you only have a quarter, you’re more likely to set achievable goals. However, it’s longer than the time you have to achieve monthly goals, so you have room to get a little ambitious. In fact, some business owners will intentionally set more quarterly goals than they believe they can achieve as a way of pushing themselves.

Shorter Timeline Means More Urgency

Another issue that those who only set yearly goals run into is procrastination. When you set a big goal for the year, it’s easy to think, “I don’t have to worry about that right now. I have time.” Often business owners fall into a trap of unintentionally putting off active work towards their goals and thus fall short of the goals they set.

Quarterly goals offer more of a time crunch. With only three months to achieve your goal, you’re more likely to have it on your mind consistently and take bigger steps to actively achieve it. In fact, setting quarterly goals is a great way to ensure that you stay on top of your yearly goal and to track your progress more efficiently. Set an annual goal and break that goal into four steps to achieving that plan. Those steps can become your quarterly goals.

Easier to Recover if You Fail

Have you ever set an annual goal and realized two months into it, “This isn’t going to work out?” The problem is you still have ten months until the end of the year. You can set a new goal, of course, but then you’ve already lost two months. Many people avoid this and simply determine to start over the next year. With quarterly goals, however, if you realize that you’re going to fail, you don’t have to wait very long to start over. You lose less time through trial and error, and with the limited time, you may even find yourself striving towards your original goal anyway and getting further than you expected.

Makes You More Organized Come Tax Time

Many business owners and self-employed workers have to pay quarterly tax instalments to the ATO. If you have employees, you’ll also need to send in a quarterly wage report. That’s why it’s a good idea to base your quarterly goals around the quarters set by the ATO for quarterly instalments. As you track your progress for your goals, you’ll find you have some of the information you need for your taxes right there. You can stay on top of your goals and stay on top of your taxes all with one stone. Check out the ATO’s quarterly instalment schedule to get an idea for how to arrange your quarterly goals.

Interested in setting quarterly goals for your business? TCA Darwin offers — among other services — business structuring, formations, and advice, as well as consulting to help your business run more smoothly and stay on top of your goals. Contact us for more information and tell us about your goals.