Starting a small business takes a lot of steps; from the idea to fruition, it can take months or years to finally get your business put together. Then, the problem becomes: how do you keep it successful? One of the best ways to ensure that your business is making a return on investment is through goals. While every business has the obvious goal of making sales or acquiring new customers for their service, not many have sat down and set actual business goals. Whether these goals be about new offerings, innovation, or other enhancements, actual business goals can be helpful for many reasons.
- Goals Give You a Specific Direction.
Creating a generic goal has never helped anyone. Simply saying “I want to be the best at what I do” is not as effective as listing your exact steps to getting to be the best. Instead of focusing on the end goal, these specific steps give you something smaller and attainable to focus on in the meantime. By first setting a list of clear goals, you can figure out how to most effectively get to your end goal.
- Goals Sustain Growth.
Not only do goals give your company an idea of your direction; they help guarantee that your employees are competent without you. By creating goals, you are by default creating tasks for each of your employees and giving them direction in their position. When you start taking on even more responsibilities, you will be sure that your employees can survive- and even thrive- without you always there.
- Goals Help Measure Success- or Shortcomings.
Businesses should always be trying to improve, grow, and become more profitable. When you look back at the last year, 3 years, or 5 years of your business, what kind of success do you see? Have you accomplished the goals you had? Did you have goals at all? Base your goals for the next few years on the accomplishments from the last few years.
- Goals Give You Motivation.
If your business has been through hardship, it can be difficult to see where you’re headed; it’s all you can focus on and you just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. However, instead of hiding from hardship, it can be motivating to embrace it. Motivate yourself to grow your business so successfully that it can’t happen again, instead of focusing on just not letting it get that bad.
Motivation works other ways too; instead of expecting your employees to grow on their own with no incentive, offer motivation and incentives to them. While conferences or certifications may help them personally as well, it will give them more motivation to do it and help grow your business.
- Goals Help You Reassess.
Did you have a goal to increase your client base by 10% in the last year? Did you achieve it? Now, it’s time to take a look and see what an appropriate amount of growth might be for the next year. If you didn’t hit your sales goal, what can you do differently next year to make sure you do hit it? Reflecting and paying attention to the past is an important part of growing in the future.
- Goals Help Your Marketing.
Have you ever been asked what you want to focus on in your next marketing campaign and all you can think is “everything”? Business goals can make this a thing of the past. Looking into your numbers to find the most popular and most profitable product/service that you offer is a great way to figure out which you should be focusing on in marketing. If your goal is a sales amount, the most profitable makes the most sense, but if your goal is to increase your customer base, the least profitable but most popular might be your best bet. Think carefully about your marketing campaigns so you aren’t spending money and still not accomplishing your goals.
Always set goals- personally and professionally. Having something to look back at to check in on yourself is useful and productive. Assessing your growth and potential for the upcoming period is extremely important and can make or break how your business grows in the future. Contact us today to help you figure out how your business goals play into your marketing plan.