Only 5% of Small Businesses Reached Their Goals in the Last Year

small business yearly goals

Creating yearly goals for your small business is important. But did you know that most companies never reach them?

In fact, just 5% of small businesses have achieved all their goals in the past 12 months. This was the finding of a new survey report from Clutch titled ‘5 Strategy Development Tips for Small Businesses in 2020.’

The survey interviewed 502 small businesses owners to find out more about their strategic planning processes. The businesses operated in a range of industries.

Just 5% of Small Business Achieve All Their Yearly Goals

It found that almost 65% of small business owners met more than half of their objectives during the last 12 months. Only 5% achieved all their goals.

The research unveiled three businesses area where more than a third of businesses had created a process strategy. 46% of small business owners said they have a sales strategy in place. 41% of participants admit to having had a clear marketing and advertising strategy. 36% of businesses say that in the last 12 months they had had a customer service strategy n place.

Small Business Confidence in Carrying Out Business Plans

The survey also looked at small businesses’ confidence in carrying out business plans. 77% of small business owners said they are confident in their ability to execute their strategy. 95% however still fall short on meeting all their objectives.

To achieve business goals and experience growth, it is important small businesses develop a business plan. Without a business plan that focuses on areas like marketing and sales, it can be difficult for small businesses to remain competitive.

The scope of a business development plan can be significantly different from business to business. However, all plans should be well thought out, comprise of key areas like sales and marketing and be maintained.

Flexibility is Key to a Successful Business Strategy

In light of the disruptions made to businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unavoidable change, flexibility is key to a successful business strategy. Setting goals that are outside your ‘comfort zone’, can be invaluable in helping small businesses achieve goals and get through difficult times.

As Dan Bailey, president of WikiLawn Lawn Care, a lawn care tips and services database provider, told Clutch: “[Setting stretch goals] helps push you out of your comfort zone and ensures you achieve more than you otherwise would have.”

Strategy Development Tips

In light of the results of the survey, Clutch mapped out five strategy development tips for small businesses.

Actionable Goals

Clutch’s strategy development tips include setting actionable and clear business goals. Efforts should be focused on the business areas that matter the most. Small businesses should find a mentor to help them with their business strategy.

Draft Formal Documented Business Strategies

The survey also found that just 15% of small business owners report fully documenting a strategy in the past year. Clutch advises that a formal, documented business strategy should be drafted. In drafting tangible goals, a documented business strategy can help direct a business in achieving its aims.

Make Regular Revisions

Clutch also recommends that small businesses follow their business plan but revise in regularly.  As well as featuring clear and actionable goals, a business plan should be flexible and regularly revised.

This way, when unforeseen circumstances like COVID-19 rear their head, the business plan can be adopted, and goalposts moved accordingly.



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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".