As a small business owner, there’s no question that goals are imperative to success. Goals give you something to aim for. They create a distinct picture of the business you want to create and help you to manage both your own expectations and those of your customers. Without them, it can be tricky to prioritize key tasks or visualize your desired outcome.
The right goals will keep you in motion, while the wrong ones will keep you stagnant. So, if you’re looking for goal inspiration that makes an impact, brings value and possesses a purpose, look no further than your sturdy business plan. If you don’t have one, creating one should be first on the list.
As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, it’s next to impossible to achieve results or set goalposts without first ironing out every detail of the things you hope to accomplish and projecting results. Without a well-devised business plan as your backbone, you’ll be lost at sea with a broken compass, a torn map, and a drunk, inexperienced captain. Less than ideal, right?
Your business plan will serve as your compass, your map and your greatest ally. It will guide you at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey and throughout it. And most importantly, it will serve as a base. A base that will help you source effective goals.
Here are some things to consider before curating your next set of goals:

Your ideal customer

How can you market your product and get new customers to your door if you don’t know precisely who these people are? Chances are – you can’t.
Get acquainted with the below foundations and make sure your goals align with them.
  • Your desired demographic
    • Do you think you’ll appeal to an older or younger demographic?
    • Would you like to market to a particular ethnicity or income rank?
    • Is this more attractive to females, males, couples, or all?
  • Your target market
    • Where in the world are you selling your product or service?
    • Are there certain neighbourhoods or communities you’d like to advertise to?
  • What channel works best for your product or service?
    • Do you get a lot of interest out of one social channel?
    • Can you spot any trend on Google Analytics or on your website?
Goal idea: Choose a community that fits your demographic and attend a local event to hand out brochures and business cards.

Marketing Activity

Assess your marketing plan and marketing strategy and source goals that relate to your marketing initiatives. Your approach to marketing will greatly impact your leads, inquiries, sales opportunities, and reputation. So, your marketing activity should be a focus.
Some of the channels you can look at for goal inspiration are:
  • Social media
  • Advertising
  • Brochures and sales collateral
  • Signage
  • Website Traffic
  • Promotions and offers
  • Campaign ideas
  • Positioning strategy (see ‘Your ideal customer’ above)
  • Partnerships
Goal ideas: Advertise on Facebook because it’s a suitable channel for your target market or speak to a marketing professional for expert advice.

Avenues for growth and income

Review your sales targets, costs, profitability, and financial projections. From there, you should be able to calculate your progress and return on investment and discover where or what you should be investing your time and money in. You can then establish attainable goals with the potential to benefit your income and help you to save on unnecessary costs.
Goal ideas: Regularly update and manage profitability trackers or create realistic sales targets.

What your competitors are doing

Competitors can tell you a lot about the industry you’re in and the channels or resources that work best for marketing your product or service. Not only can they help you understand what you should be doing for your business, but they can also highlight things you don’t want to do.
Other benefits of researching competitors:
  • Instigates new ideas and goals
  • Showcases marketing gaps
  • Gives you an idea of trends for your demographic
  • Makes you question “how can I do it better?”
  • Shows you where you fit in the marketplace
During this process, you can then create goals that will help you come out on top.
Goal ideas: Get more social media followers than a competitor or make your website more user-friendly.

Improve and promote your product or service

You probably wouldn’t be in the position you’re in if you didn’t absolutely believe in your product or service. And that’s a beautiful thing. But as industries and trends change, it’s important to continuously evolve what you have on offer and make sure it’s always represented in the best possible light.
Some ideas to improve your product/service:
  • Use compelling, precise, and relevant language
  • Have plenty of relatable and appealing imagery and videos
  • Launch campaigns that shout about what it is that makes you unique
  • Create better offers and promotions
  • Update online pages frequently
Goal ideas: Write or edit copy for your website or create a new offer that would be attractive to your ideal customer.

Set a Productivity Goal

Productivity and motivation are hard to upkeep when you don’t have a boss watching your progress or dictating deadlines. When working for yourself, your success is in your hands entirely and while the pressure of it can be all-consuming, it can also spur excitement and a sense of challenge.
So, form goals that help you to become your most productive and well-balanced self. While you won’t find this in your business plan, it will keep you on an uphill track.
Below are some suggestions for boosting productivity:
  • Organize your workspace
  • Get a full 8-hours of sleep each night
  • Go for a walk daily
Every business is different, and every working style is personal, so there is no easy answer for strict goal setting. Though, there are certain qualities that you can take into account.
When seeking goals that will transform your business for the better, use your resources, find out what motivates you and rely on your business plan. As long as you choose them wisely, you’ll never be lost at sea.

Written by

Breech Mae