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  • Writer's pictureLaura Deetman

How to define and achieve your financial goals as a founder

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Welcome to founders’ life where, besides the CEO and Creative Director, you are also the Marketing, Operations and Finance Manager of your business.

Many of us started our business out of love and passion for our craft, followed our creative expression and journeyed towards the freedom of living life on our own terms: not to be stuck in Excel sheets and dazzling cash-flow statements.

Setting financial goals therefore often gets pushed back to “when we have time” (usually never) or are avoided completely. However, the power of financial goals can be life-changing. Gaining clarity on your business finances will allow you to make informed commercial decisions, align your focus with your strategy and help you feel empowered and calm along the way.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the steps you can take to define and achieve your financial goals.

Set a vision: Get clear on what you want to achieve with the business. In an ideal world, what do you want your business to look like? What would feel really good to have achieved financially this coming season? Identify the big picture before you break down your vision into smaller goals.

Break down your goals: Finance is a broad topic so breaking your goals down into specific areas is crucial. Think of areas such as revenue, profit margin, sales or costs. Perhaps you want to hit ‘X’ number of sales this quarter or have ‘Y’ level of business savings in your bank account. Being specific when talking about your finances brings clarity and will inform your strategy moving forward.

Choose your language wisely: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to goal setting. Some founders don’t even like the word ‘goal’ itself. If this is you, set your intentions or targets instead. When setting these, it is important to use language that resonates with and inspires you. When you are clear and excited about your goals you will be more motivated to achieve them.

Define your why: Why is this goal important to you? How will this goal benefit your business and ultimately your life? Perhaps hitting that sales target will boost your confidence or having a buffer in the bank account will make you feel more resilient and comfortable to take a risk that will fuel your growth. Getting clear on your motivation behind your goals will connect you to their deeper meaning and inspire you to keep moving forward when things get bumpy.

Set a timeline: Set a timeline for your goal that feels achievable to you. Some founders love long-term thinking and set 2, 5 or 10-year goals. Others prefer to keep things manageable and set them for the quarter or first year ahead. As a new founder, it’s okay to start small and keep things manageable. The more you grow in size, team and responsibility the better it is to be prepared and think long term.

Choose a strategy: Although the word strategy can sound daunting and complicated, it’s simply a way for you to get from A (where you are now) to B (where you want to go). Get creative and brainstorm your options with your team on how you will achieve your goal. Remember that for a successful strategy session, no idea is too crazy!

Map out your actions: To keep yourself and your team on track, create a clear action plan mapping out the actions you will take. Set deadlines and allocate tasks to yourself and your team members. This sets out your roadmap to success and ultimately the journey to achieving your financial goals.

Monitor, celebrate and adjust: Accountability increases performance. Book regular check-ins with yourself and your team to see if you are on track. Celebrate the milestones you are hitting along the way. Know that as business and life change, so do our goals. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goal, your strategy or remove a goal completely if it no longer feels aligned. And remember to get help when you get stuck or need that extra push to make your goals a reality.

Laura Deetman is a passionate coach for women in business and founder of The Finance Club - a network committed to educating and empowering women to take control of their finances and live a life of financial freedom.

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