Let’s look at the resolution you made last year for your business, and see if we can determine if you accomplished what you set out to do. Oh, you’re saying to yourself, “I didn’t set a New Year resolution for my business”. Nothing set, nothing lost. Maybe you really did lose by not setting your plan.
If we do not play in the game, often we lose by just not being connected to what we need to do to stay ahead of the curve. Let’s start by looking at what works in setting goals for your business. Outlined below are some suggestions that can work if you stick to them. It is all right to fall off the goal wagon occasionally, but not acceptable to stay off too long.
1. Be Specific. Our marketing terminology would be to quantify your business goal.
quantify: express as a quantity; “Can you quantify your results?” [syn: measure]
What goals have you set that can be measured? Is it to increase your businesses’ net profit by 10% by year-end? This very specific goal can be measured. Do not use such resolutions as, ” build my web business”. Be very specific about a measurable outcome.
2. Setting a timeframe does matter. Set milestones. These are commitments!
milestone: An important event, as in a person’s career, or the advancement of knowledge in a field; a turning point.
Staying with the same theme of increasing your web business by 10% by year-end, you might want to set the milestone by the end of March. Start with doing your homework by setting a comprehensive plan on how you will meet these goals and commitments.
As an example, in January you have made a plan and commitment to send out website postcards announcing your new approach, and asking for referrals from your existing clients. You have also put together packages and sent them out to keep your customers informed about what your business is doing. You do follow up in February with all of your clients that received the material.
In March, you can look to see if any responses came in from the 5000 website postcards and 2500 packages you mailed. Did you get referrals due to the marketing? Are you on track for a 2.5% increase by March? Do you need to be more realistic and look for most of the marketing efforts to take effect in June? These are business details that can be worked out if you set realistic goals and milestones for your business to meet.
3. Make changes gradually. Change is often the main thing that causes most of us to fail. Look at what you do well and apply the same principals to what you are about to add to the theme of increasing your net profit by 10% by year-end. If you have a great ability to schedule work then take that same skill and schedule time to learn what it takes to make a good business plan. You will be using the skill you find that comes easily to you in scheduling and applying it to learning about how to do your business plan. Start slow and include in your business plan to increase your effort over a period of three months, then six months, and before you know what happened, you have a firm sense of accomplishment.
4. The responsibility lies within us to be realistic. It would be nice to wake up and all of those habits we wish we had would come as quickly as writing this article. The real work is within each one of us to take some time this year and make it a better year. Keep motivated by looking at your sense of accomplishment, and rewarding yourself and folks around you for their achievements.
Rebecca Lang is founder of Lang Design, Inc. an Internet web design and development with an emphasis on marketing website business. Serving businesses nationwide, we are located in Wilmington, Delaware, just south of the Philadelphia Metro area.
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