For some people goal setting is difficult. You can think of about a million things that you would rather spend your time on, other than setting goals. After all, you’ve got a business to run, right?
The thing is, trying to build a business without goals is like trying to drive to a specific destination, in an unfamiliar town, without a GPS device, map, or directions. You’re bound to make a wrong turn somewhere.
Goals aren’t always set in stone, but they do serve as guideposts along the journey of building your business. If you don’t have goals in place, you may reach a point where you’ve deviated from the original reason that you started the business-and going back and fixing things may well take a lot of time and effort.
When you’re setting goals, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. Here’s a list of questions to help you develop your business goals:
Why are you starting this business?
While the easy answer is “to make money,” there’s a particular reason that you chose the business you chose. I chose to start a copywriting business because I love writing. I wouldn’t choose a business that involved selling jewelry, because I rarely wear jewelry. So, my answer to this question would be “I started a copywriting business because I enjoy writing, and want to be able to help people who either don’t have time, or don’t feel like they’re great writers, to tell their stories.”
How much money do you have to invest?
For some folks, that number is going to be $0, and that’s absolutely okay. But you need to go in to your business with a firm number, so that you’re adequately prepared when opportunities to invest in your business come up. Initially, I built my business with no investment, but then once I started making money, I was able to make investments. If you say you have $25 per month to spend, and you find an opportunity to invest after you’ve already spent that $25, you’ll know that you have to wait until next month.
What are your financial goals in the first year?
Clearly, you’re going to sell more in month twelve than you will in month one, so you may want to break things down on a monthly basis. You may also see a spike some months; I get really busy in November because I take off two weeks in December, and everyone hurries to get their orders in before I shut down to new orders. I set goals monthly in the beginning. My first month as a freelance writer, I made $25. I used freelance platforms to gain clients, and I had to start out writing at ridiculously low rates until I was able to build a portfolio. Gradually, I increased my rates, and I certainly made more in month twelve than I did in month one.
How much do you need to sell to achieve your financial goals?
This is an important one. You need to take into consideration your costs. If you invest $100 in your business, and you want to make $1000 in your first year, you need to clear $1100 to repay that initial $100 investment. If you’ve invested throughout the year, then those count against those financial goals. As I added team members to my copywriting business, I had to subtract what I paid them from what was earned.
How are you going to attract the clients to make the sales to achieve your financial goals?
With this question, you’re going to be working on a bare bones marketing plan. Going back to my start as a copywriter, I did a lot of attracting clients through various freelance platforms. For the most part, I would apply to jobs where I possessed the qualifications that the poster required. But as I began to raise my rates, I “grew out” of many of the clients who use freelance platforms to find writers. If I was going to continue to attract clients, I needed to do two things: build my portfolio (thus proving myself as a writer) and market myself. To answer this question, you need to know who your clients are, where they buy the products or services you sell, and where they hang out. If you’re selling jewelry, you’re not going to find a lot of clients on a music forum, unless your jewlry is music-themed. But if you hang out on a forum where your “average customer” hangs out, you’re much more likely to get some sales from that. You might decide to add a blog where you showcase different jewelry looks, and participate in fashion related Twitter chats. It’s also a good idea to know how much you earn from an average client. If your average sale is $10, then you need 100 sales over the course of the year to hit that $1000 mark. If you’ve made 70 sales by September, and you can expect a sales surge prior to the December holidays, then you know you’re on track. If you’ve only made 30 sales by then, you need to ramp up your efforts.
From these questions, you can set up not only your business goals, but step by step guides to help you meet each objective.
What are your business goals for this year?
Author: My name is Julie Bradlie. I’m a freelance writer. Deeply engaged in studying education topics. I have experience in writing works for famous media and educational blogs. I have my own blog on Studymoose.com. I also help students with writing essays and dissertations. I believe that the right choice of the topic is 90% success.