Do you struggle to set & achieve your small business goals? Don’t worry, you are not alone! It is one of the biggest challenges small business owners face. Let’s be honest setting goals can be overwhelming! But the worst thing you can do is not to set your goals at all or write down a random number and call it “goal setting”. Not setting your goals correctly can lead to frustration of not seeing desired results. On the other hand, spending a little bit of time setting your goals accurately can ensure success for your business. That is why today I am sharing with you actionable tips to help you set your goals so that you can be proactive and finally make your small business dreams reality! Ready? Let’s dive right into the step 1.
STEP 1: Ask yourself “the righ question”: What success means to you?
Lesson #345 I learned during my small business journey is that success is intangible. It’s a feeling. What makes other people feel successful may not make you feel successful. While one business owner may find success in opening a warehouse and hiring employees, someone else may find success in having a small business that allows them to work from home and spend more time with kids. Others may find success in selling just enough of their handcrafted products to cover the costs and have a creative hobby. And someone else may find success in building a business to support a specific cause (like cleaning out the planet).
I made a huge mistake when I started my small business – I thought the key to success was chasing more and more sales. That was until I realized that thousands of sales made me feel burned out rather than successful.
I used to write random goals, such as “gain 500 followers” or “get 300 orders this month”. What I really needed to do earlier was to think about why I even started my business and focus on how much exactly I needed to earn to live the lifestyle I wanted. In other words, If I wanted to have 8-hour work days and free weekends to spend with my husband, instead of focusing on the number of sales, I should focus on the exact income I would have to earn per hour (or profit per product) to be able to do that and set my product offers accordingly.
Because I didn’t define my definition of success and based my goals on it, I kept myself busy thinking that “I am working on my goals” while really, I was chasing my tail. I took every order request, including the low-profit ones (often the most time-consuming). I realized that to get to 8-hour work days and free weekends, I have to value my time more and be smarter about my product offers. I started to say no to distraction projects and low-profit orders & switched my product offers from single mugs (with $8 profit) to luxury gift boxes (with $30+ profit).
I see small business owners making this mistake everyday – working around the clock, adding more projects to their already full to-do list, chasing more sales without getting closer to desired a destination. If that is you, now is the time to pause and ask “why am I doing this, is there a better way to reach my definition of success?”
Think about what are you really trying to accomplish in your business?
- Is it a specific dollar value you need to earn?
- Is it having tons of sales in your online store, even if they are low-profit ones?
- Is it having social status and thousands of followers?
- Or is it a freedom to be able to work from home and be close to your kids?
- Or are you dreaming about building a nation-wide brand and open a warehouse for your business?
- If so, how much sales do you really need to make that happen and is it realistic with your current product offers and time available to make it happen? Is there a better way to reach it then you are currently doing?
STEP 2: Set SMART goals
Smart goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals that help guide and focus your efforts. They provide structure and direction for your plans and give you something to work toward. They also help you stay motivated and on track as you work towards your larger goal. When setting smart goals, it’s important to be clear about what you want to achieve, set a timeline for yourself, break down the steps you need to take to reach the goal, and track your progress along the way.
- What do you want to accomplish?
For example, suppose your goal is to increase sales in your small business. In that case, your specific goals might include increasing the number of leads (for example, people joining your email list) or increasing the average purchase amount (offering bundles).
- How will you know when it’s accomplished?
It’s very important that your goals are measurable, so that progress toward achieving the goal can be monitored. Measurable goals should include elements such as quantity, quality, timing, and cost. For example, a measurable goal could be to increase website traffic by 10% over the course of the next three months.
- How can you accomplish this goal?
An achievable goal is a goal that is realistic and attainable, meaning that it can be achieved through effort and dedication. It should also be realistic and challenging, meaning that it should push you to work hard but still be within reach. Finally, it should be something that you are motivated to accomplish. By setting achievable goals, you can make progress and reach success.
For example: if you currently get 100 sales per month, setting 120 sales next month is achievable if you increase your marketing efforts. You can do that by posting more often on your social media, growing your email list, running a promotion, or improving your conversion rate.
- Does this goal match your needs?
A relevant goal is a goal that aligns with your values, interests, and abilities and has a clear timeline for completion. Setting relevant goals can help you stay motivated and make progress toward your desired outcomes.
For example: If you are hoping to get more free time from your work, setting a goal for more sales will not get you there unless you hire a team member to help you. The relevant goal would be to increase the order value, so you earn more per order, without having to spend more time to acquire new customers.
- When do you want to accomplish it by?
Timely goals have a specific date or timeline set for their achievement. They can be short-term, like completing a project or task within a week, or long-term, like reaching a business milestone within a year. Setting timely goals is a great way to ensure that you stay on track to achieve your desired outcome. It can also help to break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps.
Example of smart goal:
By December 31st, I want to earn $50,000 net profit. With profit $30 per product, I would need to sell 1667 units, which is 138 units per month.
STEP 3: Break down your smart goals into quarterly focus for your business
Instead of trying to do everything at the same time and getting overwhelmed, prioritize what tasks are the most important to get you your desired goal. If you don’t have a current customer base yet, at first you will need to get more leads to your business. You can do that by focusing on building your email list and social media marketing strategy. Your quarterly focus will vary depending on your current situation and goals.
Q1: January-March: start & grow email list to 1000subscribers
Q2: April-June: start TikTok & post 4x a week to increase organic website traffic
Q3: July – September: Improve conversion rate from 1.5% to 2%
Q4: Oct – Dec: find 5 influencers to promote your product
STEP 4: Break down your quarterly focus into specific action you will have to do
Q1: January-March: start & grow email list to 1000 subscribers
- sign up for email marketing provider
- create free resource
- create opt-in form
- create welcome email sequence
- market my free resource on Pinterest, TikTok & Instagram
STEP 5: Use calendar to stay on track
The last step is to keep you accountable & on track! When you have your goals set and an action plan created, now is the time to pull out your calendar and book specific days when you will start implementing your action plan. You may have to do some research, gather information or take a course on how to do specific tasks to achieve your goal. Being resourceful and staying proactive is the key to making your goals happen. Good luck achieving your goals and building a small business of your dreams! I hope you found this goal setting blog helpful and if you’d like to learn more small business advice – make sure to follow me along on Instagram at @smallbizbabescommunity.
See you there!
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