Does this sound familiar? You've been working hard (team no sleep!) at launching your business, but when you check the progress, it seems to be more stagnant than the advancement you've calculated in your mind. Before you throw your computer across the room consider this: In order to succeed in business, you need to learn how to set business goals.
Why? Without goals, you will never know if you are on track, or be able to create the right kind of strategy to reach them. If you don't know where you're headed, how do you expect to get there? Let's look deeper at what your business is probably like right now.
You have no idea how much you're going to make next month, also known as projections. You aren't entirely sure what you made this month if we're being honest. You have this overly-ambitious to-do list that you don't know how to prioritize. You have never done a business or blog audit, and make most of your decisions based on instinct and what you read on the Internet, rather than facts.
Translation: Most areas in your Google Analytics are dusty, you don't have a marketing plan to follow, and your metrics scare and confuse you more than they inform you.
Does this sound familiar? It has to be, because I used to be you. I also used to be stressed out and struggling. Now, I'm able to help people, pay my bills, AND have peace of mind every single day. My accounts are profitable, I know what I need to pay in taxes each and every quarter, and I have this renewed sense of clarity and focus in my business that I never had before. So what changed? I learned how to properly set business goals and stopped making 2 critical mistakes.
The 2 Most Common Mistakes That Keep Us from Reaching Business Goals
MISTAKE 1: NOT BEING FULLY COMMITTED TO YOUR GOALS.
The number one reason you're not reaching your goals is because you have yet to fully commit to reaching them. They look cute in your notebook, but you're not really about this life. The truth is, you're letting self-doubt and fear stop you from trying. Because when you really try, failing feels like it will be the end of the world. But it's not. You have to want it more than you're afraid of it. Your lack of conviction is causing you to leave goals unattained, because you're constantly starting over or never start at all. Shift your mindset to a growth mindset and be open to doing what it takes to reach the level you aspire to be at.
MISTAKE 2: YOU AREN'T TRACKING THE RIGHT METRICS.
You haven't reached your business goals because you've been tracking the wrong things. You have let yourself get consumed by insignificant vanity metrics like followers, pageviews, time on site, and likes. Why don't these really matter? Because vanity metrics can easily be manipulated, and they don't help us make business decisions. The metrics you need to track are the ones that indicate the health of your business.
You should know some key things such as:
- The conversion rates for your products, services and funnels
- The cost of acquiring a customer
- The referral source that drives the most traffic
- The channel that drives the most sales
- The channel that is most engaging for your audience
- Your best performing content
You might be like: "Allllllllright Emm, chill out. You lost me at customer acquisition channel." My bad. I get carried away with this stuff. As a digital marketer, my job is to connect these dots for the brands that I work for, and I've transferred that over into small businesses. Just because you don't run a multi-million-dollar company (yet), doesn't mean you shouldn't apply the same practices. I want you to learn how to use your data to make better decisions in your business. But first, you need to get organized, so you can actually find this data and have the mental capacity to process it all.
How You Can Properly Set Business Goals
First things first, you must stop everything that you're doing. You been doing too much, and you need to take a seat. Yes, you need to take a huge step back, so that you can make a comeback. To get organized in my business, I take December off every single year. I don't take on new clients, projects, or create new content for 60 days. I create my marketing plan for the following year and take time to dive into the metrics of my business. We spend so much time consuming information and trying new strategies, that we overlook the best resource that we have: our existing data.
You need to break down those business goals into monthly and weekly milestones. Those bite-sized, short-term goals are what hold you accountable and allow you to assess if you're on track.
How to Set a Monthly Business Goal
- Decide what you want to accomplish for the year and why. How much money you want to make, how much merchandise you want to sell, how many people do you want in your class, etc.
- Divide your goal number by 12. That's your monthly goal. If you want your weekly goal, divide your monthly goal by 4.
- Calculate your conversion rate by dividing your pageviews by the number of sales you had.
- Take your monthly or weekly goal and divide it by your conversion rate. This will help you identify the amount of pageviews you will need to reach your goals.
- Break your goals down into tasks. How are you going to achieve your goal every week/month?
- Have an accountability system. How are you going to assess if you're on track?
It may be overwhelming to take this all in, but understand that learning how to set up realistic goals and attacking them will help you finally check off some items on your "Goals" list.
Featured image by Getty Images
What's Really Keeping You From Your Six-Figure Goals - Read More
How To Use Habit Stacking To Achieve Your 2019 Goals - Read More
6 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A New Business - Read More
Here Are 10 Money Goals You Should Hit By 30 - Read More