What are business goals?
Well made, meaningful business goals are effectively targets for your business moving forward. They push you, they challenge you and they are the one thing that will help grow your business.
Goals can be changeable and require regular committed review, but they should always be;
Focused – targeting a clear path to the future, but always being mindful of both the past and your niche.
Motivational – making you feel invigorated and not overwhelmed.
Aspirational – always aiming a little higher.
Why should I set goals for my business?
Goal setting is incredibly important, without it we simply will never be able to create a path to success.
We won't have a clear strategy to take the business forward, as we have to know where we want it to be!
Furthermore, we probably haven't even worked out where we want our business to be!!
Here’s an example of how lack of planning can cause your business untold problems; in about 2010 I started burning out in my creative business. I was selling good volume of product and turning over a good amount of money each month, but I wasn’t making a wage that reflected my workload and I was exhausted.
To understand what led to this I have to start at the beginning and share my history with you… I started with £100 in my pocket back in 2006 and my idea was to have a small side hustle alongside my freelance day job… So coming from a creative background I started buying and reselling bankrupt craft supply stock on eBay.
I don’t think I ever intended it to be more than that, because it was a side hustle… so why bother planning, right?
I had no range plan to make varying levels of profit, so as I started really selling, I was actually just spinning financial wheels… in it comes and out it goes… problem number 1.
Problems 2 & 3 were that I didn’t have a plan for the future, nor did I know my customer. So I bought and sold what I thought would work on the day, not what the market wanted.
I was missing a big trick, which was making my own unique handmade supplies that fulfilled an increasingly popular niche. This market was really growing and I missed it as my head was buried in the sand.
But I was selling… selling good volume and as my workload increased I felt successful, why wouldn’t I? What I was actually doing was just treading water with my cash flow and working all hours... my creativity was dead, but I kept on going on some sort of crazy auto pilot and deluding myself that I was tired due to my success.
At rock bottom I had to take time out after my first miscarriage… over a month. During that time I realised the value of my life (which sounds incredibly strange to suddenly realise such a valuable thing, now I think about it!) I also realised how hard I was working and not really getting anywhere… not really getting anything for me.
So I started goal planning… seriously looking at what I wanted from my business, what I needed from my business and how to give my customers more of what they wanted without seeming like I was taking a giant step back.
I made massive changes and became much more niche, hand making a lot of my product. I also started teaching and writing about my craft.
I ended up with a business I loved and with customers who held me as an authority on what I did. I was keeping better hours, working in a more creative direction and making better profit while I was at it. Now I was successful!
So you see good planning really works and it all starts with goals.
What types of goals should I be setting?
There are two main types of goals that I advise you set;
Dream Goals are highly aspirational, they are your hearts desire. They are not hindered by caution, or hesitance. They are your desired end result.
For example; I dream to have a business that helps me to teach millions of people around the world.
This type of goal requires a longer deadline... so given our example, I might label that goal with a '5 year plan' sticker.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals are target based and usually focused on seemingly smaller steps. They are goals that have shorter lifespans.
The acronym means;
S - specific and well defined targets.
M - meaningful, target based goals on shorter deadlines. They should have measurable steps.
A - action stepped to help make them attainable.
R - realistic, relevant and result gaining
T - time-based (dead-lined)
For example; I aim to increase my email list by 100 new subscribers each month.