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Business Bits- Developing Specific Goals

Monday, June 07, 2010

Topic: Developing Specific Business Goals

I love when a skill from my 'previous life' (before Jack  & Quiltish) translates over into running a small business.

One little knack I had was developing very specific goals. Not necessarily for me...but for my students.  As a teacher of students of special needs I was required to develop, document, and record progress towards very specific goals. At first, (at the tender age of 21 when I began teaching) I saw this process as a paperwork burden...but soon realized it was an invaluable aspect of my teaching - and the success of my students.

I see the same merit for business.

Why make specific goals? So you know where you going, where you've been, if you need to change paths, if what you're doing is making any difference at all.
Why specific? So you can measure them....you can actually determine if what you've set out to achieve has been accomplished.  It doesn't really mean anything to say, "I want to sell more stuff." or "I want a better site." what the heck does that mean?
How?  Make them measurable. Think:  how much, how often by when (e.g. 50 sales per month by December 2010)

I just wrote my business goals for this quarter. I'm sharing the chart I made & process I used.  I included a very hypothetical example.

Develop your own goals with the blank Goal Planner Sheet in this free Downloadable PDF .

step to develop goals:
1. Have in mind your big long term goal. Example:  Create a small business that allows me to work from home and contribute at least $2000 monthly to our family income.

{steps 2 & 3 done simultaneously}

2. Develop 3-5 short term goals that work towards achieving long term goal (measured in a short term period, such as 3 months)
Example: "Average 500 daily views for Etsy shop for duration of at least one week by Sept. 1, 2010" 

3. Determine where you are NOW- use Etsy data, Google Analytics, transaction records, etc. 
Example: "currently average 100 shop views daily"  (other examples: 50 sales monthly, or 1 blog post weekly, or $200 weekly profit)

4. Plan very specific, measurable strategies for each goal. Example:

- Promote 3 items daily on Facebook
- List or Renew 3 items daily
- Post new items on blog once weekly
- Upload 10 photos to Flickr weekly

**notice each strategy is measurable - how much & how often 

5.  Benchmark: set how often goals will be measured.
Example: start of each month

6. Follow through until set end date. Did you achieve your goal? I hope so!

This is an ongoing worksheet....take notice of your progress, do goals & strategies need to be modified? Think of an ingenious marketing idea? Add it to your strategy list! Didn't meet your goal? Analyze the how & when to help determine what can be improved or tried differently.  


Dream Big - Previous post on dreaming big & determining your overall business goals


Elle said...

Thanks for this blog post! I found it on the Etsy forums. Very sound advice here.

Allisa Jacobs said...

Hi Elle! glad it was helpful for you. Let me know if you use it & have any feedback :)