2022 is still in its early weeks, and there is no time like NOW to focus on goal setting for your business. First, this about last year. What were your goals? Did you meet them? If not, what were the barriers? How about your long-range and short-term goals for this year?
A great next step is a SWOT Analysis, especially if you haven’t ever done one or haven’t done one in a couple of years. Assessing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats will enable you to get the big picture of where your business is right now and allow you to dream about the future. When you are honest and specific about what is working, what needs fixing, opportunities for growth, and challenges, your goal setting will be more effective.
Your business is complex. And, breaking your goals down into categories allows you to be focused on all the essential facets of your business. Let’s look at 9 aspects of your business that will benefit from goal setting.
As you set monthly milestones for your long-term goals, consider these 9 key areas:
What is the number of new connections you need to make with potential clients? Consider the best ways to generate leads and make these new contacts. Depending on your services or products, advertising, social media posts, training videos, customer reviews may be the best places to start.
What are your revenue & profit benchmarks for the month? Be very thorough and specific when you set your financial goals each month. These particular goals will motivate you to work harder and to work smarter. They will also inform your spending and investing. Financial goal setting might reveal that the time is right for a new product or service, a new hire, or adding passive income streams to your existing revenue.
What are the overarching projects that you need to complete for your business? This is non-client work. Maybe you need to get your bookkeeping in order, invest in some new tools, or hire a copywriter.
What are the tasks that only you can do? These might include strategy planning, hiring, or training. Carve out time for these important tasks that will allow your business to flourish.
Separate from prospecting goals, these are connections you desire to make via email, zoom, or in-person with potential strategic alliances or those who you simply want to network with. These are not clients; instead, seek out people with whom you want to interact, build community, and learn from. These connections might also give you insight into new practices for your business or avenues for growth.
These are specific projects or tasks that you have sent to someone else to do, like a copywriter preparing a blog for you or a web designer adding new branding to your site. This goal makes sure you remember this delegated work and check on it.
What educational content do you want to consume this month? Keep a running list of recommended blogs, books, and podcasts. Then, set a goal for yourself. Whether on your commute or during lunch, while you exercise or before bed, during the workday or on the weekends, schedule this time to stay current on your industry, best business practices, and up-to-date research.
(By the way, here is a great podcast on the science of goal setting: The Huberman Lab # 55.)
Each month, set the overarching content theme for the month as it relates to the emails, newsletters, blogs, & social media content you will create and share. Once you have this in place, you are ready to begin creating content or send assignments to your copywriter or social media manager.
Look for ways to serve your community through service projects and social programs. We all want to make the world a better place, right? Set a goal to do good each month, whether it be financial, with products and services, or with your time. People will see the heart of your business as well as the products and services you provide.
Finally, as you work on setting goals each month, make sure each one passes the SMART test. Goals should be . . .
Specific. Know who is involved, what you want to accomplish, and why the goal is important to you and your business.
Measurable. How are you going to measure the success of this goal? How will you know when you’ve accomplished this goal?
Achievable. Do you have the knowledge, tools, and motivation to meet this goal? Ideally, the goal won’t be too easy or too hard for you to achieve.
Relevant. Is this goal worthwhile? Does it fit into the overall direction of your business? Does this goal align with and help you achieve other goals?
Time-Constrained. What is the timeline for this goal? Milestones along the way? What is the deadline for accomplishing this goal?