Goals = Growth. Without clearly defined goals new business owners often lack clear direction, get discouraged and quit. It isn't their lack of ability but rather their lack of direction that causes failure to succeed.
It wasn’t until I created a business plan and got clear on the direction I wanted to go that we saw exponential growth. My business plan is my guardrail. Every choice I make, every decision, every expansion we consider is measured for consistency against what we've created and the direction we outlined in that plan.
Here the seven steps I used to create my business plan, put guardrails in place to help guide decision making and give strategic direction to achieve my goals:
Start at your desired end result and work backwards. For example, if your goal is to sell $1,000 within your first month, what do you need to do to make that happen?
Write down 3-5 scenarios elaborating on who your audience is. Who is it that you are speaking to and would be engaging with your product/services? Start by asking “Who makes up 80% or more of my audience?” Put yourself in their shoes. How do you want your customers to feel when you’re talking to them? What is the language you’re going to use to engage withn them?
Understanding your bottom line will allow you to have a better understanding of what your profit margin needs to be in order to hit that target. From there, you can plan what your top line sales need to be in order to get to that bottom line.
Messaging. Try posting the same content and across all of your platforms to see which one drives a stronger reaction and a more enthusiastic response to your call-to-action. Keep track of who’s converting, who's interacting, and what behaviors you’re getting from each platform.
Customer Experience. Put yourself into the mind of the customer and test your user experience! Try navigating your website, make a purchase, register for your emails. Expand your testing pool by asking friends and family for their feedback!
The more you test, the more you learn, and the more you can go back to those mid-term and long-term goals to refine them and scale up!