Establishing great fiscal year goals before the year starts is pertinent to hitting the ground running and achieving success, but it can be difficult to know where to start conceiving and developing these goals. Your business’s fiscal year success is a strong indicator of overall success, so you want to have the clearest and most beneficial fiscal goals possible.
The tips below can help you narrow your focus on what you want and need to achieve during your fiscal year. Putting these tips into practice can save time, money and a lot of headaches!
Let’s start with small actions you can take today to get yourself on track:
• Take notes on your past and current fiscal goals.
• Create fiscal planning checkpoints on your calendar to help you stay on top of planning.
• Ask yourself, “What tasks are keeping me from fiscal planning?”
• Start organizing your tax information.
• Ask yourself where you want your business to be a year from now.
• Start jotting down a working list of fiscal goal ideas (it doesn’t have to be perfect).
Now for the bigger picture:
Take time to reflect on your previous fiscal year
Your current fiscal year is winding down, and a new one is on the horizon. Knowing how to start planning a new (and hopefully better) fiscal year may feel daunting. That’s why you should start by evaluating where you have been.
Look at your plan as a whole and in broad strides. Where were you successful? What could you have done better? What areas need the most improvement and growth? If you look at the big picture of your previous fiscal year, you can better develop specific goals and a definitive vision for the next one.
Decide what is realistically attainable
When it comes to fiscal year planning and goal setting, the temptation to go above and beyond the realm of possibility may be strong. After all, your organization’s past fiscal standings are often key benchmarks that help you decide where you want to be (or where you don’t want to be).
Unfortunately, your goals are often only as good as your budget, and what you want to achieve may not be possible now. When formulating your fiscal goals, try scaling back a bit. Think about objectives you can realistically achieve in the present, and see how far you can take those objectives with resources currently available to you. You’ll be amazed at how far setting and achieving small goals will get you in the long run.
Get ahead of tax time
We get it -- nobody likes doing taxes. Taxes are tedious and frustrating compared to your broader business goals and exciting plans for the future. But taxes need doing, and the further ahead of tax time you start, the better off you’ll be.
Besides saving you a lot of deadline anxiety and headache, planning and executing your taxes sooner will give you a better understanding of where your business is financially and where you can go. Getting taxes out of the way will allow you to focus more attention on the broader financial goals of your business that you truly care about.
Do everything else that needs doing
The day-to-day operations of your business present challenges and obstacles all their own. When you’re focused and working hard on daily aspects of your business, it can be all too easy to have important big-picture goals fall by the wayside. These goals will eventually become a massive pile up, leaving you deflated and clueless as to where to start.
Making these goals an absolute priority is the only sure way to free up your time so you can focus on fiscal goals. It may be intimidating to tackle these tasks, especially if they’ve already begun to accumulate. But making a concerted effort to face them head-on will provide more time to develop great fiscal year ideas and ensure their success.
Work on your fiscal goals all year long
Many organizations treat planning and executing fiscal goals as a low priority on their task list. Since fiscal responsibility is always “there," it is often underestimated as something that can be attended to at one's leisure -- whenever convenient or deemed necessary. Never lose sight of the importance of fiscal goals. They are always necessary, and the more you attend them -- even in small daily doses -- the better off you’ll be.
Try making somewhat flexible plans that lend themselves to lots of creativity and beneficial adjustment. This way, you can keep the same base foundation of each goal while also allowing room for you to grow and tailor them according to your business needs. Striving to work on your goals a little bit very regularly can provide ease and help you stay consistent in churning out great fiscal work for your business.