Do you know what your business’ goals are for this quarter? For this year? If you haven’t been setting goals, then you may be missing the mark and aimlessly reaching for something you don’t want. Setting business goals is essential to measuring success is essential to measuring success and correcting your course. They also help keep your team cohesive, focused and productive.
But, how do you know what goals to track and what metrics are most important? To answer that question, you’ll need to set up a dashboard to track your results.
Choosing Business Goals
Business goals are different for every business. However, they all begin with the proper foundation. Some areas of business goal setting include:
- Finances. As a small business owner, you should have a good idea of what your income targets are in the short and long term. Determine how much you need to pay your own bills, pay your staff, and make a good profit. Set that number as your goal!
- Customer Acquisition. This is tied to the last goal. How many new customers do you need to reach your financial goals? Don’t forget to take into account that some customers will leave and need to be replaced. Once you’ve set a goal for customer acquisition, you can create a plan to meet those numbers.
- Customer Retention and Churn. Getting new customers is great, but reducing the rate at which existing customers leave is even better. Customer retention helps you cut costs, increase profits, earn referrals and gain repeat business. Set a customer retention goal and then create processes to meet that goal.
Choosing Personal Goals
As a business owner, you don’t just have professional and business goals. You’ll also want to set personal goals and make sure you’re moving toward your desired results. Here are some ideas:
- Time or Freedom. Many people own a business so that they can have time for specific things. Are you intending to spend more time with your children? Do you want more time to attend concerts or plays? Perhaps you want to get to the gym during the day. Write down the goals you have regarding your time so you can take steps to achieve them.
- Self-Care. Many business owners work so hard on their business that they forget to take care of themselves. Don’t forget that if you don’t take care of yourself, there will be no one left to run the business! Set specific goals that improve your health, whether it’s a quiet walk each weekend or a spa day once a month. Then follow through!
Setting Up a Dashboard
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to implement! You’ll want to set up specific steps that you can take to move you toward each goal. Setting up your dashboard will help you track the metrics you need to make sure you are on track. Here are some pointers for your dashboard:
- Choose Your Tools. Don’t make this the hard part! You can use a spreadsheet, reports generated by your customer relationship management tool, or even a simple whiteboard or notepad. As long as you look at it frequently, any tool will work.
- Track the Right Things. You want to make sure you track the things that matter. Page views are a vanity metric, but visits to your shopping cart are not. If something you track helps you feel better, but you can’t directly tie it to the achievement of your goals, you don’t need to track it.
- Review Your Results and Update Your Processes. Each quarter, review how you are doing on your metrics and whether you are making progress. If something you thought would move the needle doesn’t work, change it up. If your metrics are great but you’re not closing in on your goals, you are likely tracking the wrong thing. When you review regularly, you can make adjustments as needed.
If you want to achieve maximum success in your business, you need to set goals and track your progress as you move toward them. If you’re struggling with setting business goals, or you want help identifying the metrics that are most important in your company, I’m here to help. Schedule an initial consultation. I’ll help get you on the path to success today!