As a business owner, you know that running a business is a constant grind. Juggling your clients’ needs vs. your business needs can be tough, but not impossible. It’s important to set and work toward goals to help you stay on the right track so that your business can grow and thrive.
One area of your business that is especially important is your finances. While your services and expertise are what will make your business a success, you still need to make money to keep that business going.
Take some time to set financial goals that are realistic for your business and monitor them regularly to ensure your business meets its potential.
Set your goals
Be honest with yourself. Setting realistic financial goals will not work unless you know where you stand now. Analyze your financial needs and wants to get a better understanding of what kind of goals you need to set.
Now that you know where you stand, you can set some goals. Make sure your goals are SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely.
Here are some examples:
If your goal is to increase revenue:
- Specific: Increase revenue by how much? Example: I want to increase revenue by $50,000 annually.
- Measurable: How will you track your progress? Example: I will track money earned on a weekly basis and measure the percentage of revenue increase or decrease in comparison to last year’s earnings.
- Achievable: Is it possible for me to increase my revenue? Example: I am currently seeing 10 clients a month, do I have the time and capacity to add more clients in order to increase my revenue? If yes, move forward. If no, it’s time to reevaluate your goal.
- Relevant: Is this the right time for this goal? Example: If additional training is required to put this plan into action, do you have the time, finances, motivation to do take this on at this time?
- Timely: When do I want to achieve this goal? Example: I want to make an additional $50,000 by the end of December.
Determine your strategy
Now that you have a SMART financial goal, it’s time to put it into action. Ask yourself: what needs to be done to achieve this goal?
Start by evaluating your current situation and looking for gaps or opportunities to make strategic changes. Then, break your big goal into shorter-term goals, and layout your objectives (how you will achieve each short-term goal) based on where your business currently stands.
Going back to our example of wanting to increase revenue by $50,000 a year. You can break this goal into monthly, weekly, and daily earnings and then measure it against what you are currently earning.
To make $50,000 more a year I will need to earn:
- $4,166 / month
- $1,041 / week
- $208 / day (5 day week)
I am currently earning $24,000 a year:
- $2,000 / month
- $500 / week
- $100 / day
Breaking down your goal will also help you understand if your goal is actually achievable.
Is it realistic for me to make $208 extra per day? If not, do I reduce the dollar amount of my goal or, do I increase my timeframe for achieving t?
From here, determine what objectives and strategies will help you achieve these short-term goals. It may mean increasing your marketing efforts to get more clients, adding new revenue streams, decreasing your overhead costs, or increasing your margins. These tactics should also be measurable so you can track your progress and adjust as needed.
Example: I will achieve my goal of earning $50,000 by [insert date].
Objective: Increasing my clients
- Increase my social media presence
- Block out time to cold call client leads
- Market at local businesses who have a similar client-targets as me
Objective: Adding new revenue streams
- Offer online sessions
- Offer group workshops
- Offer corporate wellness sessions
Plan it out
Now that you have a goal and you know what’s needed to achieve it, bring it all together into a detailed plan. A good way to start is by getting out a calendar and laying out what you need to achieve, when and start working back from there.
For example, one of the objectives listed for increasing revenue was increasing clients. Figure out how many clients you need to secure each week/month/year to achieve your goal and how and when each of your tactics will support this.
One of the example strategies was to use social media. Ask: How will I use social media to secure new clients and what tools do I need to execute this?
- Set up a content calendar and organize what topics I will cover each day/week/month
- Use a social media scheduling tool, like Hootsuite, to pre-schedule my posts
- Engage with followers by commenting and liking posts once a day
- Track my engagements and followers each week
- Reach out to followers who may be interested in my services via direct message
- Track clients secured through social media
Stick with it and evaluate regularly.
Now that you have a plan in place, make sure you stick with it! Building and/or growing a business takes time and consistency is important to achieving success. Whether you do it weekly, monthly, or quarterly, it is important to evaluate your progress regularly to ensure you stay on track and see what tactics are working and which ones you may need to rethink.
Going back to our example, if you are relying on social media to increase your client load but you’ve only secured one new client in six months using this tactic, then it may be time to reevaluate this tactic. You want to make sure that you’re focusing your energy on strategies that work and that there’s a return on your investment.
In the end, having set financial goals will not only benefit your business’s bottom line, but it will also make your business be more agile and sustainable. You’ll know what works for your business and what doesn’t and you’ll be able to make strategic business decisions based on real data and facts, which is always a win!
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