What do you want? There it is. One of these questions that usually stops you short, because you weren’t expecting that one. And it is not an easy one to answer. Most of the time at least – not taking into account that this question asked at the breakfast table by your lovely better half is usually easily answered by either ‘coffee’, ‘tea’, ‘toast’ or simply ‘more sleep’.
This question is what gives us direction in life as well as in business. What we want is very much at the core of our business whether we’re freelancers or managing our own small company. So let’s have a look at what this question means for us, our marketing and the success of our business.
The big picture
Let’s start with the general view of things: What do you want to achieve with your business? What is your goal in the short- and in the long-term? Do you want to stay a sole trader, work for yourself and set the rules? Or would you rather hire staff at the earliest convenience and build up your company from scratch?
Do you want to retire soon or are you planning on being the heart and soul of this business through thick and thin? Are you planning to work part-time or do you want to invest your expertise full-time? How much income would you like to have? (Ah right, wouldn’t we all? But now try again, and this time be realistic, please ;) )
When starting your own business you have to figure out what you want to achieve with it. And as the years go by, you will have to re-adjust these goals, adapt them as life around you and your outlook on life changes. But make sure you have them ready.
The soul of it
Another big part of your business objectives are your values: What kind of business do you want to be? How would you like to be perceived by your audience? What are your values and principles when doing business: Quality, sustainability, integrity? Do you want to be the shop in town with the best bargains? Or would you rather be the one that is always ahead of the curve and sets trends?
Another important part of this is who you want to do business with? Your values and niche will determine your customers because you will always attract like-minded people. So who is your ideal customer and what values do they share with you?
The heart of it
Last but not least, goal setting is of course at the heart of your marketing and sales strategies. So make sure to define what you want to see at the bottom line. Do you want more clients? Well, how many do you want? And what kind of clients to you want more of?
Do you want to make more money? Again, define how much more you’d like to make – and be realistic about it. And figure out how you want to make more money. Which product would you like to sell more for example or what strategies would you like to explore to make higher sales?
Is more brand awareness your goal of the year? Then find a market segment that you would like to conquer, what people you want to learn more about you. If getting more followers, likes or more web traffic is your objective of choice write down how many you want to have and by when (and again: who).
So when you set your goals for your business, make sure you are
- Specific – Define your goals as precise as possible for better focus.
- Realistic – Don’t lose your motivation through unrealistic goals.
- Measurable – Quantify your goals to keep track of where you stand.
- Timely – Plan carefully so your timing doesn’t get in the way.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
How to Tackle the Biggest Marketing Challenges for Small Businesses
5 Truths about Small Business Marketing
How to Stop Your Business from Running You
5 Steps to Make Your Marketing Work – Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses