2015 Business Makeover Series, Day One – Goals

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Goals Are the First Step in Every Major and Minor Marketing Process

The word “every” is a well considered word.  My editors sometimes point to my use of words like every, always, never, or even most that may or may not be provably true.  In this case, I’m saying every, and I’m sticking with it.

Whether you are starting out with a new business, making a decision to move to a new location, starting an advertising campaign, or moving a display table from one place in the showroom to another, start by asking yourself, “What do I want to gain?” Then, “How will I measure results?”

To illustrate the premise, let’s start with your own personal goals. We can assume and be right in many, many cases, that you have not set out any serious personal goals beyond getting through another year, or may some nebulous increase in business for 2015.

The first marketing goal setting session should be personal.  What are your goals.  The other day I was in a conversation with someone approaching retirement, and doing a bit of counting of her available retirement funds.  She wondered out loud how she could maximize her income and net worth by age 65.  My immediate response was “Why does it matter?  What will you do with the money?”

I suspect that everyone reading this could get by in retirement on $3000 a month of after tax income if single and $5000 if married.  Maybe far less.  So what would you do differently if you had double or triple that number.  Maybe nothing different at all..  Maybe it is just for peace of mind or a desire to leave a bunch to the kids or grandkids.  But wouldn’t it make sense to have some goals so that the decisions you make are grounded in strategies and tactics that are likely to get you to the goals?

So the first days challenge is to set person goals, short and long term, for you and your family. Then set short and long term goals for your business that will fit those personal goals.

On the personal side, you might consider some of the following:

  1. Personal income for 2015, 2016, 2017
  2. Hours at work for 2015, 2016, 2017
  3. Annual hours of vacation for each year
  4. Likely vacation destinations for each year
  5. What you will do with your personal time – spouse, kids, grand kids, hobbies, health, fitness, self-improvement, entertainment
  6. Any major personal goals in each of next three years

Now consider some of those larger business issues.  What are the goals of your small business?  Sell out someday?  Leave to kids?  Work until you drop?  Why?  Generate a certain amount of income?  Value?  Why?

With those longer term ideas in mind, what goals should you have for the next three years

  1. Gross sales
  2. Margins
  3. Overhead
  4. Net Profit
  5. Major changes like lines, location, remodel
  6. Hires, partnerships, strategic business arrangements

Now, let’s drop down another level.  Goals for a new product launch.  Goals for an event.  Goals for an advertising campaign.  Goals for the next hire.  Goals for each employee position.  Goals for a new equipment purchase.

Keep in mind as you do this exercise:

  • You can change your mind later
  • Set goals that you are passionate enough to actually achieve
  • Make the goals reasonably attainable
  • You won’t make all the goals you set out to achieve
  • You won’t make any goals that you don’t set
  • DON’T do this in your head. Write it down!

The Point – Whether you have a team meeting to arrive at these goals or make all decisions on your own, start each decision process with a statement of the goal.  As you write down the goal, there should be some ability to see that this goal coincides with the overall goals of your company and your personal aspirations.

If you would like to learn more about goal setting, purchase a copy of my most recent Warner Business Book offering, Running a 21st Century Small Business.  I will admit that some of the internet portions are outdated, but most of the book is still 100% on point.  And the cost is nominal.

Next we will review the difference between strategies and tactics.  Do you know the difference?  Does it really matter?

How are you doing at setting goals before making decisions?  Do you suspect that setting goals would make a difference in outcomes?  Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “2015 Business Makeover Series, Day One – Goals”

  1. Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a top notch article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

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