Setting measurable and realistic business goals can help create a roadmap towards your larger aspirations and achieve long-term success.
Establishing business goals involves a fair amount of introspection into what makes your business pulse, and what you want its future to be. Devoting the proper amount of time to do that can be difficult, but your goals will be more achievable and effective if you do.
In the pursuit of measurable and pragmatic online goals for creative entrepreneurs:
Start by distinguishing your long-term goals from your short-term objectives.
Your long-term goals should have a timeline of about three to five years.
When you set up a new business you have to work on many different areas:
you have to define your company name and logo, to find a place where to work from (if you need one), build connections in the industry, build your brand awareness and promote your work online, create your customer base.
"Your long terms goal is where you want to be once every aspect of your business is optimized for success."
Now that you've figured out what you want in the long term, you need to figure out how to get there. This is achieved through the definition of short-term objectives.
An easy way to define your short term objectives is to make them SMART:
In order to work, objectives need to be concrete (not as abstract as your long-term aims) and highly detailed: “I would like to grow our Facebook page likes and sharing because Facebook is a key social media platform for my business”.
Put a figure or value to the objective. A measurable goal might be ‘increase profits by 4 per cent each month’.
You should set goals that you truly believe you can achieve. Regardless of what that goal is, ensure that you at least have a chance in achieving it.
Make goals challenging, but consider your resources so that you can actually achieve them reasonably.
If you set a goal to earn 80.000 euros a year when you've never earned that much in a year,
that goal is unrealistic. Begin with small steps, such as increasing your monthly income by 10 or 15 percent. Once your first goal is met, you can reach for larger ones.
- Time specific:
Set a deadline to keep things on track. You can’t simply set a goal with no time element involved, or even an obscure one. For example, you don’t want to say that you’ll start a business by some time next year.
No, if you want to set a business goal for starting your own company, give an exact must-launch date. When will you cut the ties with your current employment?
Think beyond revenue:
Understandably, most business owners set goals that revolve around specific revenue and earnings targets. However, your business is not just how much money you make out of it.
Or better said, in order to make money, in order to sell your product or your services, you have to build your own reputation, both online and offline, you have to attend events related to your industry that will help you creating new leads and contact, you have to invest on your own education and training. Each one of these aspects related to your business need a SMART approach.
How many likes do you want on your Facebook page? How many new potential customers do you want per month? How many industry business related events do you want to attend every year and what do you want to achieve taking part to these events?
Stay Organized and Focused:
As we have just seen, the reality is that a growing business will have more than just a few goals. That's when focus and a commitment to organization comes into play.
Keep a checklist of your short-term goals, you can use programs like Microsoft Excel to keep track of them. Each Monday morning check the status of your goals. The risk is that you may forget about long-term goals because so many tiny things can come up during the week to distract you. By tracking and analyzing, you can also help to ensure that your plan is working in your favor.
The most important rule of self-evaluation and goal-setting is honesty. Going into business with your eyes wide open about your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes and your ultimate goals lets you confront the decisions you'll face with a greater chance of success.
Now that you know how to define your goals, take a look at this infographic which will help you to better understand which online strategy you could adopt and when:
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