1. Start with some research

Prepare for writing your goals by doing some research. Take an inwards look at what makes your business tick. Think about the big picture — where do you want to be in a few years’ time? What are your short-term goals compared with your long-term goals?

Think about challenges and opportunities, as well as things you can do to strengthen areas that are not your strong points. If you haven’t already done so as part of your business plan, carry out a SWOT analysis. This tool encourages you to examine Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for your business.

As well as looking inwards, look outwards at your market and your competition. Consider benchmark performance indicators to help you compare how your business may perform against others in your industry. You can check out industry benchmarks and find useful tools and calculators on the Inland Revenue’s website.

2. Make your goals SMART

A useful framework for setting your goals is SMART, which stands for SpecificMeasurableAchievableRelevant and Time-bound.


Make sure your goals are focused and relate clearly to where you want your business to go.


Include figures, facts and milestone dates so you can measure your achievements against the goals you’ve set.


Set goals that take you out of your comfort zone with a bit of a stretch, but are still realistic.


Make sure your goals relate to your business purpose and fit your business plan.


Add firm deadlines and timeframes to your goals to motivate you to achieve them.

For example, ‘I am going to be more successful at selling,’ might become ‘I will increase website sales of Product A by 5% each month for the next five months.’

3. Make your goals your own

Figure out what you want, not what someone else has suggested you aim for. Make sure you’re following your own path because you’ll have more conviction and determination to achieve goals you’ve set for yourself.

4. Monitor your progress — adjust your goals if needed

Monitor your progress each month. If your goal is to increase sales by 5% each month, review your figures at the end of the month. That way you’ll know if you’re on track or if you need to do something differently. Sometimes you’ll find that your goals need to be adjusted along the way.

5. Put your goals in writing and share them with others

Write down your goals, keep them where you can see them, and tell others what you’re going to do. Written goals are more effective. The process of writing helps you clarify your goals. Displaying them and telling others about them keeps you committed and motivated.

6. Celebrate success

If you achieve your goal, or better yet, beat it, make sure you reward yourself. Being in business can be hard, so make sure you take the time to recognise your success.

Important information

The material is for information purposes only. You should seek professional advice relevant to your individual circumstances. While ANZ has taken care to ensure that this information is from reliable sources, it cannot warrant its accuracy, completeness or suitability for your intended use. To the extent permitted by law, ANZ does not accept any responsibility or liability arising from your use of this information. We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 249, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see anz.co.nz/fapdisclosure