Category Archives: Major goals

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.

Goal Achievement tips

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Seven Success Secrets That Will Help You Keep Any Goal You Set

I have been setting goals for as long as I can remember.   I have also watched others have various levels of success with their goals and resolutions.  Here are the seven things that help me achieve a high degree of success.  Maybe some will help you.

1.  Let your yes be yes and your no be no – in other words, your word should be your bond, not just with others, but, by all means, with yourself.  The secret to not breaking your word is to not give it out willy nilly.  So only make resolutions that you seriously intend to keep.  This will create a pattern of success that will allow you to set new resolutions in the future.

2.  Keep your eye on the prize.  If the resolution requires doing something you’d rather not (like eating less or exercising more), there will be days, or weeks, or every day, when you struggle with doing what you’ve planned to do.  Visualize the result your hoping for … in detail.  Even imagine the praise you might receive or the trophy you might win.

3.  Reward yourself often for achieving small victories.  Dark chocolate is a great reward.  It has been proven to be good for you.  Only allow yourself the indulgence on those days or weeks when you have done what you planned to do.

4.  Share with others in the effort.  If you have others to socialize with while running or going to the gym, or just other folks to keep you accountable, you chances of staying on course rise dramatically.  Choose your accountability or discipline partners carefully.  The wrong one can drag you down.  For me – I will lose 15 pounds in 75 days by cutting carbs and working out 20 minutes a day.

5.  Keep some kind of record that provides you with a check box or way to line through the various levels of accomplishment.  It helps to stay motivated when there is a score that is being kept.  You might even compete with your partner, but keep it fun.

6.  Tell the world about your resolution.  The more folks who know you’ve made a pledge to accomplish some goal, the harder it will be to back away when the going gets tough.  Keep a few friends apprised of your progress; specifically, those you know will encourage you.

7.  Assuming there is a time associated with the goal, tell yourself this on the hardest days:  “I can do anything for two months (or fill in the blank with the time left).”  This isn’t a lie.  Humans are quite capable of strenuous or noxious tasks if there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Do you have other methods of upping the odds that you will succeed in accomplishing the goals you’ve set. Let others know about them in the comments.

Buying a Home

Kitchen remodel in Dallas

The purchase of a home may be the biggest goal you will ever set

No matter what stage of life you find yourself, your first home purchase or your next home purchase is very likely on your mind. Fully 68% of the population lives in a home they own. Very few live in a home that they inherited or paid for with cash they had just laying around. The vast majority of home owners had to carefully plan for every aspect of the purchase from finding a down payment to making the mortgage.

Setting goals and planning for a major project

  1.  Get all players on the same page. You don’t want to get 500 miles down the road just to find out your spouse had a completely different destination in mind. New home? Custom? Remodel? Tear down? How many bedrooms? Neighborhood? Etc.
  2. Research to determine if the dream you arrive at is realistic. What does a custom home in Dallas cost in the neighborhood you care about? Call a mortgage broker and find out what the payments will be and what the down payment and other costs to move in will be.
  3. Once you know all the major costs and resources necessary, set a realistic time table to achieve the goal. Get all players to agree to the all aspects of the plan.
  4. Break the plan into components and have various team members work on the things they are best qualified to further research or execute. Have regular meetings designed to report on progress so nobody feels left out or surprised at any point.

When we purchased our last home, my wife looked for the house, I worked on the finances.  She checkout out furniture, drapes, and appliances. I looked into movers.

When we remodeled our kitchen and added a sun room, I did most of the research on the options available, while my wife provided the details of what she wanted the final product to look like. We both sat in on all meetings with potential  contractors.

What would you add to my suggested approach?  What successes have you had using a different approach?