A guide to setting goals and time management tips for your startup

A considered company structure and well-defined goals will ensure that your business is organised and everyone works towards the same outcomes.

According to Homebase, the average worker spends 51% of every work day on low- to no-value tasks. Here’s how to effectively manage time in your startup and set clear objectives so everyone – yourself included – stays on track.

Why set goals for your startup?

Without setting goals you’ll struggle to manage, It’s important to establish what you want to achieve and the rough time frame you have to achieve these to ensure you keep on track. Setting goals will help you create a roadmap for your business and make it a whole lot easier to track your progress too.

Why is time management important?

Setting goals and managing your time effectively works hand in hand. In order for your business to run smoothly, you’ll need to implement time management techniques. Here’s a few tips to help you get started:

Dedicate time to specific tasks 

  • Avoid multitasking
  • Use time blockers
  • Set time limits

Keep yourself accountable

  • Set deadlines
  • Set reminders
  • Create a daily planner
  • Stay accountable to the organisation’s mission by setting SMART goals 

How do I set goals for my startup?

The SMART model is widely used in business to help founders focus on what they really want to achieve, and see a clear path to doing so. It dictates that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and TIme-bound:


You’ll need to have a clear specific outcome in mind when setting your goals. This will help you narrow down your focus, giving you a clear view of what you need to achieve. This makes it a lot easier to develop steps for achieving your goals, too. 

For example, say you’re setting out to improve engagement on your socials, you’ll want to be specific about exactly what you want to achieve. So, instead you can set out to increase engagement rates by 5% across each social media platform. This will help you build a plan to achieve your goal.


Before you set your goals, it’s important to take some time to understand how you will measure results and metrics. These will help you track your progress to see if you’ve met your goals. 

Depending on your goals, the metrics you may use to measure the progress will change. For example you might use revenue, profit or cash flow as a measure of success for your startup.


While setting your goals it’s important to consider achievability. There’s no point setting goals that you know you can’t hit. Being realistic with your goal setting is key. It’s important to keep that in mind when setting goals for your business.


Relevant goals will help you identify what you will do specifically to grow your business. This will help you establish clear goals that are tailored to exactly what you want to achieve.


Having a timeframe for when you want to achieve your goals is a necessity. Plus there’s nothing more motivating than a deadline. Remember to be realistic with your deadlines too, evaluate just how much time you’ll need and stick to it.

Staying organised as a startup founder

Keeping organised and managing your time effectively is important in any business, but as a startup founder you already know your time is precious. A good idea to help you get organised and track projects your team’s working on is introducing productivity softwares. 

There’s a lot of choice out there, so here’s a few of our top picks to help you get started:

Using management softwares is a great way of keeping track of your daily to-do lists as well as keeping track of your employees and project timelines. Staying organised is only half the battle too, once you’ve established a clear structure for your startup, you’ll need to work hard at keeping your team motivated and preventing burnout.

If you’re struggling to motivate your employees, check out our article 11 tips to keep your startup employees motivated and prevent burnout for tips and tricks to help you keep your team engaged and satisfied.

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Karina Kundzina
Karina is the Content and Marketing Assistant at Inkwell, the company behind The Pitch.

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