As a consultant to entrepreneurs, one thing I like to do is repeatedly stress the importance of establishing small business goals and then doing everything within your power to achieve them. But just how can you ensure your goals translate into real-world success?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a catch-all answer to that question, because no two industries are exactly alike. At the same time, no two businesses within a given industry are exactly alike either. Even so, the fact is that goals are what drive business owners to make the decisions they do.
So let’s take a look at some small business goals that you should consider and I’ll show you how they are important to taking your business to the places you want it to go.
Marketing Your Company
It goes without saying that you won’t make any money if people don’t know that you exist. Therefore, one goal that you should have, no matter what kind of business you run, is to advertise it.
The good thing about this is that there are a number of ways to reach out to potential customers and get them to come to you.
Sure, there’s the traditional billboard ad at the side of the road, and you could have an employee hang fliers. You could even take out ads on the local TV stations and run commercials every so often, but you might have to think outside the box if you want to truly make your presence aware.
Create a positive experience for your customers and they won’t forget you. Engage them in ways that speak to them personally and let them know that they aren’t just a number.
You could attempt this with things like product demonstrations and direct marketing. This will speak to your potential customer in a way that creates the kind of response rates that you want to see from your marketing and advertising investments.
As far as marketing goes, I would suggest setting a goal for yourself where you increase your marketing efforts by “x” percentage in order to try to get a specific amount of increased business.
Not only will your potentially increase the number of people who use your services, but you will gain a strong insight into what marketing methods offer you the best returns for your business.
Establish a Relationship With Your Customers
Relationships are everything in business. This statement applies to how you interact with your employees, your suppliers, and your customers. Since they are the people who are directly responsible for keeping your afloat, most of your small business goals should cater directly to their needs.
All customers have questions and concerns about your business, so it would be in your interest to be highly-involved with responding to customer feedback. Develop efficient channels for direct communication (social media has become a popular and easy way to do this).
There are countless different ways to go about doing this, but the payoff is that your customers will have a way to speak to you. Likewise, you will have the opportunity to show that your company is a trustworthy entity that listens to their needs. That, in turn, will lead to them coming back to you time and again. In factoring this strategy into your small business goals, make it a point to find a new or improved way to reach out to more customers. Make it easy for them and they will make life better for you.
Establish Clear Roles within Your Business
It isn’t unheard of for roles to constantly change in a smaller companies, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t set up small business goals around the roles that your employees play.
While flexibility is important, it’s equally important that everyone have a clear idea of what they’re supposed to do. Make sure they know what duties around the office they’re involved in and how they should collaborate in order to complete certain tasks.
When establishing goals around the responsibilities of your employees, work closely with everyone to make sure they know what they’ll be taking care of. Additionally, this will also help foster a culture of participation that empowers your employees.
Being employees of a small company, they have just as much of an interest in the company succeeding as you do. Therefore, you want your small business goals to involve them in some way and show that what they do matters.
Play the Role of Leader, Not Employee
Since you’re at the helm of your company, your goals should partially focus on lessening your role in the day-to-day in order to allow you to focus on the big picture. You should be able to feel comfortable in overseeing things, while your employees handle the daily operations.
This is an especially important thing to do because the more time you spend focusing on day-to-day business, the less time you have to advance things and help the company grow. Your small business goals should involve refining the hiring and training process. It’s better to spend additional time finding and developing the right people, so that you can concentrate on building your brand and getting things the way you want them to be.
Goals for a Brighter Future
When it comes down to it, establishing goals in business isn’t much different from setting goals in your personal life. It gives you something to focus on and work hard towards accomplishing.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to be flexible with your goals, because they should be realistic above all else. If something looks like its unattainable, don’t be afraid to take a second look, scale things back, and work towards something that can be more easily reached. In time, you’ll be able to achieve the kinds of small business goals that will get you where you want to be; even if you aren’t able to get there right away.
Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.
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Manny Skevofilax is a consultant and speaker that helps his clients successfully navigate the challenges of growing their businesses profitably. Since 2003, Manny helps businesses enhance their results by using his experience in strategic planning, financial statement analysis, operations, organizational development, and team-building. His consulting firm, PORTAL CFO Consulting, Inc., has attracted clients from diverse industries in the United States and abroad.
Manny can be reached at 410-808-3441 or via email at email@example.com.