Your business can’t go accordingto plan if you have no plan.
What do you want to achieve thisyear? More new customers per week? Higher average orders? Bettercustomer-service ratings? No matter what you are shooting for, goal setting isone of the most important things a business manager can do. Here are a few tipsto help you set goals that will get you where you want to be:
1. Keep it challenging butrealistic.
Any goal you set for your companyshould be challenging, but don’t overdo it. For example, if you had an averageorder amount of $700 last year, you wouldn’t want to set your goal for thisyear at $3,000 per order. Unless you make drastic changes in how your companyruns or what you are selling, that goal is just not realistic. You know bestwhat you may be able to achieve in your particular industry, so be honest withyourself, and set your goals accordingly.
2. Write all your goals down.
You may say to yourself on Jan. 1,“I want to get 20 new customers per week this year." A few months later,you’ll say, “Did I say I wanted 20 or 30?” Or, more realistically, you haveforgotten that you even made that goal. If you have all of your goals writtendown, you will be able not only to go back and check them, you will also beable to go down the list every few months and check to see how many of them youhave completed.
3. Assess your current situation.
To set goals, you have to knowwhere you are at right now. In 2003, I wanted to assess our customer-servicerating, so we sent out a survey to all of our customers allowing them to rateus in each department of our operation. That helped us establish our base. Now,we send the survey to every customer after every order. This way, we can keeptrack of how we are doing, and if there is ever a hiccup, we can fix itquickly. Don’t assume anything. Always assess the current situation beforesetting a new goal.
It’s only going to hurt a little…
Now, in financial goal setting foryour business, one invariably comes to the question: “How do I decide on abudget when starting a marketing plan?”
This is obviously the firstquestion that you have to answer to get started on your new campaign and toreach the income goals you have set for yourself.
So, how do you figure out whatyour budget should be? Here is an easy method to help you find a number that isgoing to work for you and your business. Some might say that it is a good ruleof thumb, but I personally judge things on whether or not they work and get results that’s all.
Start with the amount of incomeyour company generated last month, and multiply it by 0.14 (or 14%). That meansthat if you had $50,000 in gross income last month, you should budget to spend$7,000 on marketing in the next month.
I know, it sounds painful, but itis just like a shot at the doctor. It might hurt for a minute (or in this casea month), but down the road, you are going to be glad that you went through it.Putting that much toward the right marketing will bump up your income the nextmonth and start you on a cycle of steady growth.
I know that some businesses runtighter than others, and it is possible that you won’t be comfortable with thatamount in the beginning. Don’t misunderstand me: Any marketing is better thanno marketing. Don’t get discouraged if your budget is lower than 14%. But, use14% as the ideal to strive for because, for me, as well as many other growingbusinesses, it has proven to give the best rate of growth possible. How do Iknow, you ask? My company has expanded 400% in the past two years. Now, pictureyour business at four times its current size!
The growth of your business isbased on three factors: quality products, great customer service and the properamount of marketing. If you know you have the first two, but you still aren’texperiencing healthy growth, then you need to take a serious look at yourmarketing budget.
So, sharpen your pencils, startcalculating, and decide how rapidly you want your business to grow.
By Joy Gendusa, founder and CEO,PostcardMania