3 simple steps to setting your business goals

3 simple steps to setting your business goals
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise NationEnterprise Nation

Posted: Tue 14th Apr 2015

Business goals play a vital role in shaping your marketing activities. Having clear defined business goals in place will help you to make important decisions about marketing budget and to plan your time efficiently. Having goals will keep you firmly focused on key areas of potential growth.

Let's get started

Firstly, schedule some uninterrupted time in your diary to plan business goals for the next 12 months. Your goals should be SMART:

Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time-specific. Then follow these steps as you work through the goal-setting process:

Step 1: Start with your main goal:

This is your biggest goal. What is it that you are looking to accomplish in your business in the next 12 months? This goal is usually financially focused - e.g., the level of sales you are hoping to achieve.

Here are some examples of what this goal might look like:

"I/we want to increase our annual turnover of children's clothing from £50,000 to £75,000 in the next 12 months, with at least £15,000 of this increase to be achieved from the launch of new product lines".

"In my second year as a freelance copywriter, I want to generate an income of £30,000. To achieve this, I need a minimum of 20 retained clients, each spending £1,500 per year'.

"I/we want to double our sales of our bespoke home-office furniture in the next 12 months. In order to achieve this goal we must attain 50 new customers this year".

Make a note of your main goal. Sense check it - is it a SMART goal?

Step 2: Identify your core objectives that will support this goal:

Now you need to note down your smaller objectives. From increasing your average customer spend to driving online traffic to your website, these smaller objectives will all add up to help you reach your main business goal.

Here are some examples of what your smaller objectives might look like:

"This year, we will launch three new product ranges that appeal to our target market, each supported by a focused marketing campaign".

"This year, I will start a monthly e-newsletter campaign to establish regular communication with my lapsed and existing clients".

"This year we aim to Increase our average customer spend from £50 to £75".

"This year we aim to increase our website conversions from 1% to 3%".

Step 3: Review, assess and stay focused

Make sure that you refer back to your goal and supporting objectives at regular intervals during the year. Review and assess how things are tracking. Are you on track to achieve your main goal or do some adjustments need to be made to your marketing activities?

Perhaps something outside of your control has hampered your plans and corrective action needs to be taken. Or maybe you've had greater success than planned and can afford to invest additional funds into your marketing activities.

Final thoughts

Remember not to let your carefully crafted goals sit gathering dust. Keep them at the forefront of everything that you do and use them to guide the marketing decisions you make.

Paula Hutchings

Printing out this section of your marketing plan and posting your goals on your office wall is a great way to make you feel accountable and inspired to stay on track. Simple yet effective!

Paula Hutchings is founder of Marketing Vision (@MarketingVC) and a Marketing Adviser on the Enterprise Nation marketplace.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise NationEnterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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