The Ultimate Guide to Goal Planning - for your small business
If you haven’t heard me talk about goal planning within the last 7 days, you can bet that it’s not me you are talking to.
I’m serious, goals and goal planning is always on my mind. Why? Because it’s essentially the only way I know where I’m headed and how to get there. Sound enticing to you? Well, I put together this guide to help you plan out your goals to give you the ability to actually accomplish them. I know, exciting right?
Ok, here we go…..
Step 1: Brainstorm
At least once a year I want you to set aside some time (I’m talking about a large chunk of time - like a day) and I want you to write down everything you want to accomplish this year or next year (or whenever you are planning for). I tend to plan for a whole year, but you can try 3-6 months to help you get started. Take away any and all distractions because it’s important that you are super focused on what you want to accomplish for the year. This is the time to let your ideas flow, don’t hold back. Things on this list can include: Launch your own website, release a new invitation line, and work on my Instagram account. Don’t overthink, just write down what comes to your mind and whatever your heart desires. There will be time later to refine what you have written down. When you are starting to brainstorm your goals, I would suggest that you first start off writing them on a notepad like this. And then once you are done, you can move them over to a task organizer like this.
Now it's important to remember, these must be ACTIONABLE goals, not just "I want to make more sales". What the hell are you going to do with that? HOW will you make more sales? Here are some goals to think about:
Beginner: Branding of your shop, SEO, more professional photos, increase product line, expanding your product line, shop policies fully filled out, About section filled out, etc..,
Intermediate: Email Marketing, Social media marketing, Continually growing your product line, Google SEO, Building your own dot com, Opening a second shop, etc..,
Advanced: Wholesale accounts, Advertising on Facebook, google, etc.., Continually growing your traffic to your dot com, Hiring Staff (this could be intermediate as well), etc..,
Still need help with your goal planning? Then check out my blog post for goal planning 101.
Step 2: Personal Goals
I am a firm believer in having your business goals align with your personal goals. In order to do that, you need to know what your personal goals are. This may be different for everyone, but I want you to be 100% honest here. I am writing this as an update in 2018 to this original blog post and I want to be honest and share with you my personal goals for 2018:
- Have more free time
- start work at 9 am end at 4pm
- Build out my outdoor patio
- take 3 day weekends
- see my family more (mother, father, sister, brothers)
- travel more
There you have it! Now if you wanted to peak into my 2017 personal goals, they looked something like this:
- pay off my home loan (accomplished)
- pay off my car (accomplished)
You can probably tell that my personal goals were to pay off major debt, and now I am debt free!
I am sharing this with you because if you don't understand what you want personally, your business may work against you and your personal goals. Also understanding the WHY behind why you do all of this helps motivate you further into completing your business goals because you know it will help you achieve your personal goals.
Step 3: Business Goals
Now it's time to take the ideas you brainstormed and start making decisions. You have to go through and ask yourself some tough questions about each one of the ideas you have brainstormed:
- Does this goal align with your personal goal? In other words, by achieving this goal, does it help you achieve your personal goal or help you get closer to achieving it?
- Will this make me money? If it will not, cross it out. If you want to keep it on, please rephrase your goal so the outcome can be money driven. For example: Grow Instagram following (bad) vs. use Instagram to drive traffic and sales to website (winner!). This way, you can break that goal down into tasks ( ill show you that in an another step) and those tasks will lead to you actually making money with that goal instead of with just a larger Instagram following.
- Does it motivate you? This is a tricky one because sometimes we have to do the work that we don't want to do to become successful. On the other hand, if it doesn't motivate you, you just literally wasted your time writing it down because you wont complete it. Consider your skill set and desire to want to work on that goal to help you eliminate goals (because you can't do everything).
- Can this goal be measured for success? If you work to accomplish the goal, how will you know if it has effected your business positively? You need to make sure the goal can be measured for success and if it cannot, try to reword your goal or just cross it off the list if it is considered a stretch to be measured.
- Do you have 3 goals left? Great! That's the perfect number. Do you have more? That's okay as well. If you have more time to work on your business, then you may be able to accomplish more then 3. But it also depends on the type of goal you are trying to accomplish. I just recommend not trying to over achieve in fear of not accomplishing everything you set out to do.
After you are done narrowing down your list of business goals, you are now ready to plan out when they will be accomplished. Just remember, nothing is set in stone so if you need to remove or add something to your business goals later down the road, that's okay. It happens to me ALL THE TIME. Sometimes our priorities shift or things didn't go as planned and you need to make changes.
Step 4: Mapping Out Your Ideas
Now that you have written everything out, now take out a calendar that has 12-month blocks and map out each business goal in the corresponding month that it has to be completed by (or accomplished). So you have 12 squares (12 months) and you are literally placing these ideas into the month you want to accomplish them by. By the time you are done with this, you will have a sheet of paper with all your ideas written into the months on the calendar.
Step 5: Break Down Your Goals Into Tasks
Now I want you to create a spreadsheet or use my worksheets and write one major goal on the top. This can be the first goal you want to accomplish. Then I want you to list all the tasks you need to do (or someone on your team has to do) in order to accomplish this task. For example; let’s go going back to the goal of "Launching a New Website". The tasks you will need to do to get this goal accomplished are the following;
2. Find a web designer
3. Buy hosting and a dot com
4. Redo my product descriptions for all of my products
5. Create copy for my About Section
6. Create copy for my Custom order section
8. Do research as to what will go on the homepage
9. Figure out what categories my products will be in
10. Figure out the subcategories I want my products to be in.
You get the point right?
You can see I broke the ultimate goal down into smaller tasks. Now you just need to do this for all the big goals that you have mapped out for the year. You may have more ideas or goals throughout the year and that’s okay. With this type of document, you are able to add another category and tasks anytime you want. This is just the best way to keep track of all the little things you need to do to accomplish your goals so you never are stuck wondering what you have to do next.
The biggest problem I see with business owners and goal planning, is that they know they goal they want to accomplish, but they don't know the steps to accomplish them. Sound familiar? Well welcome to the life of an entrepreneur. We are usually trying to figure it out as we go along so don't worry. Here are my most favorite resources to help with figuring out the steps to accomplish anything on your goal sheet:
- My courses - duh! I have done a lot of the work you need to accomplish, so why waste time and try to figure it out on your own (which may take you 4 times as long). When implementing my courses, you will certainly see a return on your investment, given that you have a great product line to start out with.
- Google - If you have any question in the world, you can google it and probably find the answer, lol. However, I know your concern is how accurate the information is that you are getting. You also want to make sure that when you find some great knowledge, that it's leading you in the right direction. So if you google "how to make money from my Instagram following" or "how to drive buyers to my Instagram account", then you want to find actually step by step instructions, that will actually lead to a real result. Sometimes that isn't always the case. So search and try to put the pieces of the puzzle together to help you, but just know that it probably won't be handed to you on a silver platter like my webinars are. If you are having problems with your SEO for google, then I recommend that you get my Google SEO Webinar.
- YouTube: I love this place! You can find video training's on just about everything! It can help you with a lot of the tasks that you need to accomplish for your goal. So if you want to "sell products using Instagram" and one of the tasks is: post beautiful photos with text on my feed often, then you probably need to go on YouTube and search for "how to design an Instagram post, if you don't know the first thing about it. You can use YouTube to help you accomplish goals or tasks on your list that is out of your skill set.
Step 6. Take Action To Plan Your Week/Day
Now that you have your goals mapped out and you know the exact tasks that will help you accomplish them, I want you to pick a day of the week (preferably Monday or Friday) and start planning the week ahead - don’t skip this step, never skip this step. Schedule which one these tasks will happen on what day of the week. So you are literally pulling the tasks from that spreadsheet and placing them into this weekly planner. It’s important to keep in mind deadlines (the ones you set for your goals and when they should be accomplished) and the amount of time it takes you to do a task. You may also want to write down which day it’s due, and who is responsible for this task (if you work with a team).
Sure, in the beginning, you may find yourself over scheduling your workday but if you stay consistent, then over time you will learn how much is too much. I recommend picking 3 tasks to do each day to work towards your goal.
If you want to get started taking action on your goals, download my Goal Planning Worksheets that you can find in my FREE resource library! Be sure to also read my post on How to Plan Your Workday Like a Boss to check out what else I put on my daily planning sheet.
There you have it! Now you have no excuses, you must start planning right away. Please remember this can take a lot of time and a lot of work, so be sure not to stare at your task list in its entirety too often. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed knowing all the things you must get accomplished. Just focus on the goal that is the most important and attack it, task by task. Need help organizing these goals? Check out my Goal Planning Worksheets here:
- grab your favorite pen, here is mine
- go to a place where you focus much better (for me it's outside the home, probably in Starbucks)
- print out my worksheets ahead of time, or use your favorite notebook or digital task management software.
- get an accountability buddy to help you stay on track or bounce ideas off of. You can ask another business friend or find someone you connect with in my group
GOT ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? LET ME KNOW BELOW, I'D LOVE TO CHAT!
Oh and I also have a private Facebook group you can join and ask questions and my awesome members and I will answer :) JOIN THE GROUP
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