Are you creating your future for your business or just flying by the seat of your pants?
What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? The next month? The next week? Tomorrow?
More new customers per week? Higher average order amounts? Better customer service ratings? No matter what it is you are shooting for, goal setting is one of the most important things that you will do in the next 12 month’s.
You don’t have to wait until New Year’s to set your goals. Especially if you are starting something new or if you old goals have fallen by the wayside.
I’ve got 3 tips to help you get there.
1. Keep Goals Challenging but Realistic.
Any goal that you set for your company should be challenging but don’t over do it. For example, if you had an average order amount of $100 last year, you wouldn’t want to set your goal for this year at $1000 per order.
Unless you make drastic changes in how your company runs or what you are selling, that goal is just not realistic. You know best what you may be able to achieve in your particular industry, so be honest with yourself and set your goals accordingly.
2. Write All Your Goals Down
You may say to yourself, “Did I want to get 20 more new customers per week this year.” A few months later you will be asking again “Did I say I wanted 20 or 30?” Or more realistically, you have forgotten that you even made that goal.
If you have all of your goals written down you will be able to not only go back and check them, you will also be able to go down the list every few months and check to see how many of them you have completed.
3. Assess Your Current Situation.
To set goals you have to know where you are at right now. You must track everything.
I was terrible at tracking everything for years and I learned some hard lessons as a result. You want to keep track of how you are doing and if there is ever a hiccup you can spot it and you can fix it quickly. Don’t assume anything. Always assess the current situation before setting a new goal.
It’s Only Going to Hurt A Little…
Now, in financial goal setting for your business, one invariably comes to the question: How do I decide on a budget when starting a marketing plan?
This is obviously the first question that you have to answer in creating your future for your business. In order to get started on your new campaign you will need to know this. And in order to reach the income goals you have set for yourself it’s a must.
So how do you figure out what your marketing budget should be? Here is an easy method to help you find a number that is going to work for you and your business. Some might say that it’s not a good rule of thumb, but I personally judge things on whether or not they work and get results. That’s all.
Start with the amount of income that your company generated last month and multiply it by .14 (or 14%). That means that if you had $10,000 in Gross Income last month you should budget to spend $1400 on marketing in the next month.
I know, it sounds painful but it is just like a shot at the doctor. It might hurt for a minute (or in this case a month) but down the road you are going to be glad that you went through it. Putting that much toward the right marketing will bump up your income the next month and start you on a cycle of steady growth.
Actually if you are just starting a new business you will probably want to invest more like 20% into your marketing. 14% is a good number if you have been established awhile.
Remember what you do in marketing today will determine what you make 30-90 days down the road.
I know that some businesses run tighter than others and it is possible that you won’t be comfortable with that amount in the beginning. Don’t misunderstand me, any marketing is better than no marketing.
Don’t get discouraged if your budget is lower than 14% or the 20% number I gave you. But use those numbers as the ideal to strive for because, for me as well as many other growing businesses, it has proven to give the best rate of growth possible.
Again the 20% is for your business if it’s a few months old, the 14% for when you are established. A lot of other things go into your actual number but these are good guidelines to go by.
The growth of your business is based on three factors; quality products, great customer service and the proper amount of marketing. If you know you have the first two taken care and you still aren’t experiencing healthy growth then you need to take a serious look at your marketing budget.
So sharpen your pencil, start calculating and decide how rapidly you want your business to grow.
A great book to assist you in creating your future for your business is:
“The Pledge -Your Master Plan For An Abundant Life” by Michael Masterson…
I have read this book 2 or 3 times. It should probably be read before each new business venture as well as every December before you make you new yearly goals.