Goal setting has gotten a bad name of late because of the deluge of management experts and their seminars that tout running a small business with intuition, improvisation, and gut feelings. These so-called experts try to convince the struggling business person that goals are too restricting, too inflexible, and eventually lead to nothing but disappointment and a poor self image. Although there might be a smidgeon of truth in that kind of anti-goal setting philosophy, successful small business owners for the most part are adamant that having both short-term and long-term goals and then sticking to them is the only way to create and sustain a viable business of any kind.
Entrepreneurs who are just starting out with their own small business are always advised by their mentors to plan their work and work their plan. And yet the statistics show that about eighty percent of new business owners never set measurable and realistic goals for their enterprise. This flies in the face of one of the oldest and wisest of business dictums: “When performance is measured, performance improves.”
Some new business owners are afraid of setting goals because of past negative experiences with goal-setting. That’s understandable, but not a realistic attitude to have when starting up something as complicated and challenging as a new business. Usually people who react negatively to goal-setting are thinking of long term goals, the kind that take years to achieve and require tons of follow up and tracking — which is tedious in anybody’s book. The secret to setting achievable goals is simply to make them short term. Several short term goals successfully completed will inevitably lead to successful long term goal achievement as well — as the business leaders at small business loan firm Evolocity have always been fond of saying; “Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.”
So here are some short term goals that every small business owner should consider and implement, if they haven’t already:
Start with a small goal — something like a five percent increase in the coming fiscal year. And don’t be afraid to consult with experts on the best ways to do this.
Watch the profit margins
As the profit margins go, so goes the company. Just remember that profit margins don’t change in a twinkling of an eye — they are a gradual shift in most companies.
Customer retention is the name of the game
With the Holidays here, there’s no better time to keep customers happy and encourage them to increase their purchases. Studies show that profitability can skyrocket when customers enjoy their experience with a company. If repeat business is falling off instead of increasing, it’s time to start asking some tough questions.
Every business is now online
If consumers can’t find a business online they can’t look over the merchandise and order anything — so increasing a business’ online presence little by little is crucial. Driving website traffic is the key to both short term and long term business success. And that success can lead the way to physical expansion with investment partners and bank loans.