When do you start to set new business goals?
A lot of the time, we start setting goals only when we have a new business or a new job. In reality, we need to set new goals regularly and also monitor the progress of our past goals.
The best time though to assess your business goals for maximum productivity is within the first quarter of the new year. Reviewing your business goals would allow you to know what to prepare for and expectations for the new year.
When setting goals, do not allow yourself to be slowed down by trying to figure out every little detail. You should look at the bigger picture.
See your goals as a whole instead of a part.
With your long term goal in sight, you can then put the strategies in place for short term planning. It is within the short term plan that you would lay out all the steps that you would use in achieving the long term goal.
This list is not in order of importance. Although all these goals might not be applicable to every business or organization, it would go a long way to help grow a productive and successful business.
1. Have a Reasonable Budget
The biggest mistakes that most entrepreneurs and budding start-ups make is starting out without a financial plan.
Your number one goal for the year should be creating a financial plan a.k.a “a budget”. If you don’t have a budget at the beginning of the year, you are starting wrong.
A budget saves you from making unnecessary spending and allows you track what you are spending your money on.
A budget also allows you to know what is working in your business. Take for instance, you budgeted for advertisement. Being able to track the spending would let you know if the advertisement is generating any revenue or not.
A budget allows you to determine things like this:
- Are you paying your employees good enough or more than the industry average?
- Is your commissions and bonuses spending below or above average?
- Do you need to search for funding or do you need to cut cost?
In the instance where you would need funding – if you went to a VC firm for funds without a budget, you would be sure that you won’t be taken seriously.
2. Hire Some Employees
Trying to run every aspect of your business on your own is a sure way to fail even before you get halfway. If you don’t have any employees, it’s time you start thinking about getting some.
The curse of almost every new entrepreneur is trying to do everything by themselves. You can start by hiring people to do the small tasks. That way you can concentrate on doing the most important tasks and growing your business.
The most important thing not to forget when delegating task: do not put anybody in charge of marketing. You should always be the face of your business. Leaving the marketing to another individual might end up putting you in trouble in the long run.
3. Cut Down Your Cost
The main aim of every business is to reduce cost. You should only be careful that when reducing expenses, you don’t cut off things that affect your bottom line.
When business think off cutting down cost, the first thing that usually comes to mind is reducing salary. Before making any decisions, ask questions like these :
- Would reducing salaries hurt staff and affect their productivity?
- Would reducing cost affect our shipping capabilities and customer care services? – If you don’t give customers the same experience they are already used, they would leave you for a more customer friendly service.
A good way to cut down expenses is by trying automation – make use of new softwares, try new processes – in all these, you would be reducing debt significantly in the long run.
4. Focus on Customers
This is one of the business goals that cannot be overemphasized. Customer is king and would either uplift your business or bring it down. You should regularly evaluate your relationship with your customers – know what is working and what is not.
Questions to ask:
- Are my customers happy with my products and services?
- Is my delivery process stress-free and timely for my customers?
- How is my refund process, are customers happy with it?
- How is customer care in the company, do customers get all their questions answered?
Always strive to make your customer experience better. This would help improve the bottom line of your company.
Read More :
- Key to GTD: 10 Steps to Effective Goal-Setting
- 10 Tips for a Personalized Workplace for Maximum Productivity
5. Generate Traffic to Your Website
Do you have a fantastic business with loads of services to offer but no customers to patronize you?
There is every reason for you to increase traffic to your website. You might not have goods to sell, but having a popular website helps bring awareness to your brand.
Make sure your website is aesthetically pleasing with a lot of helpful information that would keep customers coming back.
6. Reevaluate your Social Media Marketing
When you do social media marketing the right way, you increase leads, traffic and sales to your business.
Social media marketing is more than just throwing a thousand pictures on facebook, instagram and other social networks. There is a method to it.
You need to be consistent with your posting time, have a social media strategy and so on. You can handle your social media marketing campaign on your own or acquire the services of companies that specialize in this.
If you plan on doing it on your own, check out this amazing article by Jeff Bullas:
7. Run a Marketing Audit
These one of the business goals that most people do not even think of. The three biggest expenses that most companies would make are rent, payroll and marketing.
You have to ensure that you are getting the most value from your marketing endeavors.
Evaluate your marketing budget.
Anything that has a ROI of less than 20% should be discarded and the funds spent on better performing areas.
8. Have an Employee Incentive Plan
See your employees as the white blood cells of your business and customers as the red blood cells of your business. Both of then are the driving force of your business and essential to your growth.
You should always keeps your employees happy and satisfied. They are the ones who interact with your customers on a daily basis and implement company policies.
Keeping them motivated boosts your business, but so many small businesses neglect this important aspect because they believe that it is expensive.
While a good salary serves as a good source of motivation, there are also several incentives that you can offer to keep them happy – flexible time, bonuses for a good job done, holiday trips, recognition in the office e.t.c.
9. Ensure to Create a Good “Life Work Balance”
The life of an entrepreneur is not easy. You sacrifice a lot of things – regular pay checks, spending time with your loved ones, sleep and sometimes your health. When things work out as planned, the reward can be great but sometimes the cost high.
The strain from the job can cause you a lot of stress and anxiety. Staying away from your loved ones can cause strain on your relationships. You need to find ways to curb the negative outcomes before it causes irreparable damage.
If you have been eating a lot of junks, stop that and start eating healthy. If you are always sitting down in one location for long periods each day, exercise more. Take an hour out of your day to relax and enjoy nature.
Create time specially to spend with your family. It can be one day a week or one hour every night. Just don’t let them feel like your work is more important than them. Create date night with your spouse and take your children of fun hangouts.
10. Reevaluate your Company’s Mission Statement
This is something that should be done on a yearly basis, not only when you started the business.
Shockingly enough, some businesses do not even have a mission statement.
Make sure your mission statement is still relevant to the product and services that you offer. Your original mission statement might be describing an entirely different organization.
At the end of each work year, reevaluate your company’s mission statement. There is a good chance that as technology improves and the years go by, your mission statement might need to change.
Your mission statement is very important to your company’s growth.