January, 2020. A time to start fresh, plan your year, and set resolutions to get healthy, spend time with family, etc etc. Personal resolutions are all the rage in the New Year, but what about resolutions for your business? Well, if you’re doing it right, you set resolutions for your business every year. These resolutions are your business goals.
Ideally, these are a collection of thoughtfully developed micro goals that result in successfully achieving a large macro goal. But more often than not when I ask clients what their goals are, their responses go like this:
“I want to increase sales.”
“I want to make more money.”
“I want to grow my audience.”
These are NOT good goals for your business. This year, I am challenging you to change your mindset around your business goals so that you can think in terms of simple steps that you can take throughout the year so that you can meet your defined, achievable macro goal by 2021. To do that, let’s take a look at how you can define a clear goal for your business TODAY.
Know The Ins and Outs of Your Business
First thing’s first. Take some time today to reacquaint yourself with the inner workings of your business. Determine what worked last year, what didn’t, and where your main opportunities for growth are.
- Conduct a SWOT Analysis. If you aren’t already familiar, your SWOT analysis is an analysis of your businesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. If you have a leadership team, or trusted individuals that are familiar with the ins and outs of your business, ask them to do the same. As the owner of your business, your opinions may differ from team members. Asking someone on your team to conduct a SWOT analysis may shed some light on things you may not be aware of yet.
- Run an internal audit. After you’ve run a SWOT analysis and evaluated it, run an internal audit and crunch some numbers. This step will help you determine what tools lent a hand to your strengths, and what tools contributed to your weaknesses. If you didn’t have a system for analytics or goals in place for 2019, take a look at social tools like Facebook Insights (assuming you have a social presence) to get some insight in regards to your social performance as a starting point and shoot me an email to discuss different options for tracking your goals in 2020.
- Analyze individual performance in 2019. What did you do, personally, to help grow your business in 2019? What worked, and what didn’t? How can you utilize your time in 2020 more effectively to scale your business? These are all questions you need to ask yourself to determine how you can play an effective, and efficient role in growing your company in the New Year. Also consider how much you WANT to do in your business in 2020. As a small business owner, my guess is you currently play a huge role in everything relating to your business. Maybe you’d like to scale back to spend more time with your family, or maybe your passion lies in the client/customer facing side of your business and not the internal side of your company. If that’s the case, it may be time to consider if you have the capacity to hire a team member to delegate some of the business items you don’t enjoy as much.
Do a Market Analysis
This is one step I’m sure you’ve done before, even if you don’t realize it. Business owners are always keeping one eye on their competitors and what tactics they utilize in their marketing and business efforts. Look at the list below, and take some time to identify these key points to determine the state of your market/industry currently.
- Who are your current competitors?
- What is their price point?
- Where are they selling?
- What content are they sharing?
- How is their content performing?
Brainstorm your new goals
This is the fun part! Brainstorming is a mental technique that allows you to develop ideas without judgement. It can be tricky for some people, especially if it’s not something you do often. One way to brainstorm that I’ve found to be challenging, but effective is to write one idea for a goal on a piece of paper every minute, for as many minutes as you set aside for the exercise. (Keep in mind, this is essentially a brain dump, and not every goal you jot on paper is going to work for you and your business.) After that time is up, look at all the ideas you wrote down and build them out. Here’s an example:
Say that you wrote “Increase sales” on a piece of paper during the exercise. Now look at internal audit you conducted in step two to see what your business did in sales during 2019 – say you did $100k in sales. Maybe you decide your goal for 2020 is $200k in sales. Now, ask yourself these three things:
- Is that goal realistic? Based on your internal audit, SWOT analysis, and personal audit, is doubling your sales in 2020 a realistic goal to set? If you answer yes, proceed to the next question.
- Is your goal too broad? Your goal will likely be broad if you are thinking of goals in terms of one year – so break your goals down to quarterly, and then break them into monthly goals. These will be your micro goals that will allow you to determine how close you are to achieving that $200k sales goal throughout the year.
- Is this a measurable goal? Once you’ve determined what micro goals you are going to track to gauge whether you’re on track to meet your macro or annual goal, you will need to determine if your goal is measurable, and what tools you are going to use to track your success. This is typically where marketing comes in for business owners. A marketing strategy and built out tactics will provide you with measurable ways to monitor your goals on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
If you’ve worked through those three questions and found a refined, measurable goal for your business that excites you, then congratulations, you’ve established a goal for your business in 2020. Now you have a clear direction for the year when determining what actions your business takes in the New Year and whether those actions make sense in terms of meeting your Macro goal at the end of 2020.
Now that you’ve established your goal for the year it’s time to determine what tools you need to help you achieve your macro (and micro) goals. Build out your business plan for the year and start taking action! Click here to get started.