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How to Set Business Goals for 2021 (+ Achieve Them!)

Setting business goals can seem daunting, especially when you want to look 10 years into the future.

But you don’t need a crystal ball to get your business goals in order. You just need to commit to looking ahead and planning out what you want to achieve for your business, and for your lifestyle.

We chatted with Katie Ruddell, Founder of Kokomo, a plant-based cafe chain in Vancouver on how she transformed her dreams into reality thanks to hard work, dedication, and some super savvy business goal setting:

Why Having Business Goals are the Key to Success: 

Having 10-year business goals might seem far-flung and lofty, especially if you’re just setting up your business.

But spending time on defining your goals could actually help you get there faster!

From what you want to gain in your business plan, to how you want to live your life based off of that success, the goals you lay down now can act as milestones to work towards.

Two years ago, Katie Ruddell opened the doors to her plant-based cafe Kokomo. In those two short years, Kokomo has gained over 15k loyal Instagram followers and opened two new cafes.


But make no mistake, Kokomo’s success isn’t by chance. It took Katie years of planning and some serious goal setting to get where she is.

“The beautiful thing about goals is that it puts them into your subconscious and steers you in the right direction,” Katie explains.

Simply by dreaming up and writing down her goals (even if they seemed unrealistic or completely unachievable), she was slowly setting herself and her business up for success.

But her goal setting didn’t stop there! From setting achievable 1, 5, and 10-year targets, to sharing her personal goals far and wide, Katie learned how to turn her vision into reality.

And that’s exactly what Katie’s sharing in our free video workshop! Tune in to learn her 5-step plan to setting business goals and how the Kokomo brand grew over the last 2 years: 


Step #1 to Setting Business Goals: Realize Your Future Vision 

Ready to dream big? We hope you are!

The sky’s the limit when we talk about goal setting, about how we want our life to turn out, and what aspirations you have for your business.

Want to earn $1 million dollars? How about opening 10 store locations? Or hosting your own TV show? It’s time to visualize whatever your heart desires for 2030.

“Let this be the fun part!” Katie says. “There’s no right or wrong way to think about your future.”

So while we’re looking 10 years into the future, it’s important to think about your aspirations holistically.

Don’t just focus on your work life, Katie warns, because you risk forgetting about your personal goals along the way. The more you can weave and mix all aspects of your life together the easier it will be to create achievable milestones.

For example, if you know you want to have a family in 10 years’ time, your business goals might be geared towards having the financial security to support your family or being able to relocate your business to live in a bigger home for them.

But why 10-year goals? 

It doesn’t need to be 10 years if that feels just too far into the future for you.

But Katie recommends going as far into the future as you feel comfortable to remove any obstacles of time, money, environment or any other blockers that could be stopping you from looking at the bigger, dreamier picture.

TIP: When you’re visualizing your future, ask yourself questions like how old you are, how you feel at that time, and even more specific questions like who are you with, who do you love, what your biggest achievements are.

This helps form a clearer picture of what a day in the life of “future you” looks like, and helps build a more holistic approach to your goal setting.

Step #2 to Setting Business Goals: Write it Down 

Whether you’ve got a super clear picture of your goals in mind, or they’re a little hazy around the edges, it’s time to write them down.

Think of this as your wish list for the future!

At this stage, it’s okay to have just one big list of your aspirations, because once they’re down on paper, it becomes a lot easier to break them down into achievable steps. Which is exactly what step #3 is all about!

Step #3 to Setting Business Goals: Create Achievable Milestones 

Putting your 10-year goals and visions onto paper helps you be more strategic and tactical in your approach to achieving them.

From here, it’s easier to break these big goals down into 1, 5, and 10-year goals for the future.

For example, maybe your 10-year goal is to open multiple retail stores for your e-commerce brand. So by being able to work backward from the big 10-year goal, you’ll know that in 5 years you’ll need to have at least one store location. So your 2-year goal could be something like “deciding on the first store location” or “securing investment for store #1.”

The more detailed you can be in breaking down your 10-year goals into achievable chunks, the easier it will be to achieve them.

Soon these smaller goals will become part of your day-to-day life — they’ll always be top of mind and part of your conversation with friends and family.

So when you get down to your 1-year goals, they should feel achievable and something you’re excited about — like a really great to-do list!

To help you break down your big goals into achievable milestones, we’ve created a free goal planning worksheet.

Instagram Goals Setting Worksheet

Download the worksheet for free now and you can start to map out your business goals for 2021 and beyond! 

Step #4 to Setting Business Goals: Share Your Goals Far & Wide 

So you’ve got your big 10-year goals, as well as the milestones along the way. You’ve probably even got a list of goals you want to achieve in the next 12 months. Now what?

It’s time to share your goals with your friends, family, colleagues, peers, anyone who is in your life!

Why? Because these are the people who will hold you accountable to your goals.

“When people asked me about my 5-year goals, I would avoid that conversation completely,” Katie admits.

“But what it actually did was hold me accountable to my goals. I couldn’t forget about them, so I ended up telling as many people as possible.”

It’s important to remember that your peers are there to support you — and could really help you along the way to making your goals come to life.

In Katie’s case, a friend who knew of her goal to open a plant-based cafe put her in touch with a real estate agent just at the time when Katie was looking for her first space.

That friendly connection made all the difference for Katie’s business goals and she secured her first cafe!

Like you learned, one of the most important steps in goal-setting is writing your goals down, but now it’s time to share them with confidence. It can feel scary (we get it!) but the payoff is worth it — we promise!

We have some pre-made Instagram Stories templates to get you started — just download to start sharing!

Instagram Goals Templates IG Stories

Step #5 to Setting Business Goals: Make Space for Your Goals in Your Daily Life

You’ve dreamed, you’ve written, you’ve shared — now it’s time for action!

Finding space for you to work on your goals is essential if you want to achieve them, and the easiest way to do that is to find ways to weave it into your day-to-day life.

For example, your goal could be that you want to have 10k followers on Instagram before the end of the year.

To get there, you need to put out good content, engage with your community, follow and support other brands on Instagram. So setting aside time each day or week to work on your Instagram strategy will help you get there!

View this post on Instagram

HOW I FEEL WHEN I'VE SCHEDULED OUT THE NEXT FEW MONTHS OF IG POSTS USING @latermedia ????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ As an entrepreneur I have the luxury of not having a schedule and doing whatever I want, whenever I want, BUT that’s not always a good thing.. ????????‍♀️⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I often end up not getting as many things done as I planned in my head because I have no one keeping me accountable ????????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ While 2019 was a great year for me where I explored my creativity, went on amazing adventures and continued to say ‘yes’ to all opportunities.. I also didn’t accomplish as much as I wanted ????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ So, 2020 is going to be different. This year it’s all about goal setting, planning and staying accountable! ✅⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ One primary goal I have is to publish more consistent content including weekly Instagram posts and more regular stories. To do this I’ll be using my favourite Instagram scheduling tool, @latermedia , DUH. ????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Later allows you to bulk upload images, preview what your feed will look like, write captions with perfectly spaced paragraphs & line breaks, find hashtags and even schedule stories which will make crushing this goal so much easier! ????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ And since ya’ll know I’m close with the Later team, they’ve given me a promo code to share with you so you can reach your #instagramgoals too! ????????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Just use: ALEX2020 at checkout for a FREE month of their premium membership ????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ They’ve also just launched another one of their amazzzzing free workshops on actually setting and achieving your Instagram and business goals which you can watch at instagramgoals.com! ????????‍????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ What are you Instagram goals for 2020? Do you want to post more? reach 10k followers? Take better photos? Let me know below! ????????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #instagramgoals2020 #laterpartner⁠

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Hint! Later is all about helping you achieve your Instagram goals!

In fact, we have a whole dedicated training course suited to anyone who wants to grow their brand on Instagram! You can find Katie’s workshop, along with tons of other useful (and totally FREE!) resources to help you get there!

Katie also recommends working on a daily mantra or affirmation to help your mentally welcome in your goal.

Don’t worry, it’s not as mystical as it sounds! Simply repeating a positive statement about your goal can put you in the right frame of mind to work on it.

Even something as simple as Katie’s “I’m ready” mantra (which she liked to repeat to herself while running!) helped her achieve her first big hurdle of finding a location for her first Kokomo cafe.

Finally, check in on your goals! Remember to review your list and breakdown of your 1, 5, and 10-year plans and see if you’re on track to success.

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How I'm reaching my biz goals NOW, not LATER ????????⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I have 3️⃣ #InstagramGoals2020 for this year that I've already started to put in action with the help of my fave scheduler @latermedia. I swear by using a tool that auto publishes for me and my clients while I'm taking action on my big goals.⁠ I found prioritizing 3 main biz goals this year has helped me stay focused when taking action.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ The first, grow #TheShineOnlinePodcast. ✨I hope to get some major guests on the show, reach new listeners outside of this community, and be featured on New & Noteworthy. Auto publish for feed videos helps me consistently promote the episodes via audiograms when they air. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Second, open enrollment for my courses quarterly. ✨Four big course launches a year sounds daunting, but this will help me reach my passive income goals for 2020. Creating a launch calendar in Airtable is my first step to make launching smoothly. I rely on Later to do the heavy lifting with the option to schedule stories so I know when I'm showing up. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ And lastly, speak at 7 paid speaking gigs this year. ✨I unintentionally booked 7 events last year, some of which were paid opportunities. To reach my goal of increasing my paid engagements, using micro-videos and IGTV is influential for building credibility on my signature topics. I also love the analytics within Later for seeing what works in these new content forms.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ If you want to learn more from Later and check out their amazing resources, access a free goal-setting workshop to grow your business in 2020 at instagramgoals.com. IT'S GOLD. ????????⁠⠀#LaterPartner .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ #creativethinker #creativeentrepreneur #womenwholead #entrepreneurgoals #createcultivate #instawriter #marketingtip #contentstrategy #femaleentrepreneur #fempreneur #socailmediaagency #womeninbusiness #creativecommunity #designalifeyoulove #makepassionyourpaycheck #femaleboss #ladybosslifestyle #createthelifeyouwant #creativelifestyle #creativeentrepreneur #creativebusiness #savvybusinessowners #getstarted #startupbusiness

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Setting business goals for the future can feel overwhelming — 10 years is a long time!

But it’s a long time to get to work on achieving them. By using this 5-step plan to set out attainable goals for the future, you’ll continuously be working towards your big business dream.

It’s time to get at it! If you haven’t already, tune in to Katie Ruddell’s free 30-minute workshop on setting (and smashing!) your business goals in 2021! 


Written By

Nikki Canning

Nikki is Later’s Editorial Manager. She’s worked in digital media in Dublin, London, and Sydney and loves nothing more than hitting “publish” on a new post. When she’s not writing blogs with the Later team, you’ll find her outdoors with her dog, Arlie, or planning her next adventure — follow along on @nikkitravelled.

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