How Clearly Defined Goals Translate To Success
It is surprising how often we run across business that have not taken the time to clearly define their goals before making a change in their business structure or launching a new marketing plan. That is not to say that said change or marketing plan won’t be successful, but if you aren’t sure exactly what you want to achieve, how do you know if you will be ready if you do? As an accomplished web design company and mobile app developer, we understand exactly how clearly defined goals translate to success and would like to share our insights with you.
Have you defined your true goal?
A small business owner who makes yarn at home was asking for some marketing advice. She said she wanted to increase her business because eventually she would retire from her 9-to-5 job and this was something she enjoyed doing part-time and hoped it could be more.
The first question I asked was, “How much do you want to increase your business in the next 30 to 60 days?”
That question actually stumped her. In her mind when she was considering increasing sales, she was looking down the road five years and not at the street right in front of her. Seeing this dilemma we started again with a few more basic questions:
- How much do you currently produce per week?
- What percentage of orders are repeat customers?
- How many hours per week do you spend to produce that?
- How many additional hours do you want to put in each week?
- How much more can you produce per week without taxing your workforce?
From that conversation we concluded that 50% of her current business was repeat business. She decided that between herself and the family members that help her they could comfortably add enough hours of work to sell 8 additional units per week. Beyond that there was a concern that it would lose some of the enjoyment and get in the way of existing work, school and family concerns but even if they sold 16 more per week they could handle it.
Based on those parameters the amount of marketing she actually needs to do is very small given the average units ordered by a customer. While this is a small business example, it does translate very well for larger businesses as well.
A clear goal defines the action
For the small business owner, by clearly defining the goal based on her existing parameters, the marketing actions that were then advised were fairly simple using techniques that typically help increase business 10% to 15%. She did not need a huge number of new customers as based on her existing retention rate adding a few customers per month would allow her to reach her goal in 2 to 3 months which she was perfectly happy with.
But what if she hadn’t clearly defined the goal?
Another business that sells men’s clothes had a goal of upgrading and overhauling their entire online ecommerce operations along with launching weekly marketing plans with specials and sales using social media. The wanted to increase sales, a fairly common goal; however they never defined their goal clearly at all.
The next month management was extremely excited because the re-launch of the website was very successful and combined with the marketing plans orders were up over 200%! However, the following month everything collapsed in spectacular fashion. All of the existing stock had been sold, manufacturing was on back order due to a factory issue, customer orders were not being fulfilled, customers were irate and calling for explanations and order statuses but the customer service staff was completely overwhelmed due to the large increase in calls and issues.
By not clearly defining the goal there was a lack of planning taken in regards to what the business infrastructure could handle. While the business managed to recover, much of that new business was lost because they ended up making such a horrible first impression in their inability to provide the product the customer wanted.
Goals must always be realistic!
Realistic means having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected; this is a must in business if you want to be successful. The yarn maker quickly grasped that it was important to understand exactly how much more product she wanted to make weekly and could make. While a rather simple example, the clothing seller could have learned from that as their infrastructure was not capable of handling a 200% increase in sales yet they launched a full marketing blitz.
The bottom line is that clearly defining your goals in business not only means understand exactly what you want to do, but also that it is something you can do which means delivering products or services to customers with the same ability you are now; that is how having clearing defined goals will translate to success.
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