Goal setting for small business owners is important, to drive your business forward. You could just let the business plod along, at its own pace. But if you want more customers? more interaction? more income? You need to work out what’s going on and how you’re going to achieve that.
Review What You Already Do.
Before making new plans you need to look back over what you have been doing the good and the bad. Look at what happened in the last 12 months to your business and your website.
- Did you set goals for the last 12 months have you achieved them?
- Other achievements – did things happen you didn’t expect, or plan for?
- Failures – not everything goes right first time. Sometimes we need to make big changes or just a little tweak to make it work. Just because something didn’t work the first time, did you stop doing it? Look at the “failures” what can you learn from them to do differently next time.
Think about what you did that led to these achievements and the failures, WRITE them down, this will help you to repeat successes or sidestep problems in the future.
Next, spend some time thinking more specifically about your website
- Check Analytics on your site – how many people visited your site, what keywords or phrases did they use? For those phrases did you rank top? Could you do better?
- Where do you rank for your keywords and locations in Google (and other search engines)
- Uptime – Do you know how often and for how long your website goes down?
- Sale figures – How many sales, how much money did you spend, how much money did you make – are you meeting the goals you set (if you set any)
- User experience – Have you had any feedback on your website – does everything work? Is it easy to find what they want?
Armed with your review, you can set your goals for the year ahead.
- Set lots of goals – some daily ones, some weekly, some monthly as well as ones that cover the whole year.
- They don’t all need to be big ones, use a good mix of big goals and small ones.
- They don’t all have to sales and money orientated either. What about increasing your social following, updating your website, creating a new product, starting a mailing list?
- Don’t forget you get to celebrate each time you achieve one of your goals.
Brainstorm your ideas first and then write out your full list of goals in sections. List them by how often they have to be done? or when you will review them/achieve them?
Not all your goals need to be sales and money orientated either. What else could you set as your goal? What about increasing your likes and follower on social media? Step out of your comfort zone and go to your first Networking meeting or finding new group? or try learning a new skill.
Vision boards. You could create a vision board or dream board for the year ahead. It is a picture/board/screen or even Pinterest board, using images to represent your goals/wishes or quotes to inspire you. You can then have this displayed near you when you work. It will remind you what your goal is and why you’re doing this!
Are you a list person? I love the feeling of ticking off a job off my to-do list. So do this with your goals. Have them somewhere visible so you can tick them off and don’t forget to celebrate each win.
Are your goals SMART?
Make your goals SMART – I learnt about SMART goals back when I was doing my nursing training (did you know I used to be a nurse?). So they’re not new, but it is still something of a buzz word when it comes to goal setting.
So what is a SMART goal?
It’s a popular technique for validating your goals, to make you/your business more productive and focused on the task in hand.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
Specific – what do you want to achieve, who will do what (in case you work with others or have someone to delegate jobs to). Why is it important? and how you intend to achieve this goal. You may not know all the details of the how just yet but you can always add more info over time.
Measurable – make your goal measurable – otherwise, how will you know it’s achieved. For example, if you want to increase your social following –then by how much? (numbers or percentage both work well.). What about sales – I want to make some money or I want to achieve a 25% increase on this year’s figures.
You can always increase the figure if/when you achieve it.
Achievable – Goals you know you can achieve, are ones you’re more likely to stick at. If a goal on your list doesn’t seem achievable, break it down into smaller chunks. Set smaller steps or goals to help you achieve your end result.
Realistic – Dream big but again be realistic is it achievable given the available resources and time. If you don’t have time to a specific job to achieve your goal, then do you have the money to be able to get help with that task? For example, paying someone to make your website for you. If you don’t have the money either, then do the job yourself, but it will take longer. So be realistic with how much time and money you have to meet your goals.
Another R is Relevant your goals need to be relevant to your business or it’s pulling your attention from your business and working against you.
Timely – Setting review period, dates it’ll be achieved by or deadlines; every goal should be limited by a period of time. As I said before it could be daily weekly, monthly or over the year but you need a timeline to work to. Having a deadline can also create an urgency, that will motivate you. Without motivation, you may just let your goals slip.
So once you have your goals, you know what you want to achieve. You’ll want to know who is your ideal customer, sometimes called a “Super Customer”. But this will be next weeks blog theme.
So in Conclusion
When you’re setting goals for your small business.
- Review what you’ve been doing work out what has worked and not worked for you. Don’t forget to look at your website.
- Set yourself goals for 2020, what do you want to achieve? But open your mind to setting goals that aren’t just sales focused.
- Make your goals SMART to help keep you motivated, focused and productive.
Tell me about some of your wins of 2019 in the comments below.