The start of the financial year is a good time to set some goals, for your business and your personal finances.

Think about what you'd like to achieve over the next 12 months. At the end of March next year, how much money do you want to earn each month? What would you like to have in the bank? How many staff would you like to employ? Do you have any debt you'd like to pay off?

Once you've got an idea of what you'd like your situation to look like next year, you can start to set goals. Make them specific. "Earn more money" is not a good goal because it's not clear what it means.

Instead try: Pick up one new client a week (or fortnight or month).


Make them measurable: Make sure you can easily see whether you have or have not achieved your goals. If you want your staff to work together better as a team, for example, have a clear idea of what that would mean in practice. Would you see them collaborating on projects? Would you see senior staff assisting juniors?

Make them achievable: It's great to have big dreams but if all your goals are enormous and life-changing, you could start to feel a bit dejected if you're not able to achieve them in the time you've allotted. If you have a really big goal, step it out into smaller parts so that you can climb there in little steps, instead of trying to scale the cliff in one go.

Reward yourself: Don't forget to celebrate all your successes, no matter how small. In business, there's no boss to pull you aside and tell you that you've done a good job — you'll have to do it yourself. Regularly check in and run through an inventory of the things you've done well and what you've accomplished. Take yourself out for lunch to celebrate — or better yet, find someone else to do that.

Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants.