Published by Guest Contributor Antoinette “Toni” Warren, Founder of women’s entertainment media and lifestyle news site, .
Becoming an entrepreneur and deciding to run a business is not a small undertaking, to say the least. Many people do not know what it takes to really start and run a successful business. I often come across individuals who aspire to be entrepreneurs and want me to share my insight on what I’ve learned about running a website. Here’s one thing I’ve learned, most business hopefuls fail to set measurable goals. It’s a common mistake that I, too, can relate to.
What are measurable goals? Measurable goals are goals that can be quantified and measured
Say you run a clothing boutique and you want to grow your customer subscription/mailing list from 100 hundred to 200. You have a starting point and a desirable numerical goal in mind that you’d like to reach, great. You also know that by increasing your subscription, it’s likely your sales will increase as a result from those subscriptions. That is another metric that can be measured to compare your monthly sales and how it correlates to the growth of your mailing list. You’ve now set two goals:
- Increase your customer subscription/mailing list (reach)
- Increase your monthly sales through marketing tools used to reach your subscription base and other potential customers.
In setting measurable goals, you also have to be realistic in your goal setting.
Setting Realistic Time-spans to Reach Goals
Let’s go back to that 100 customer subscription/mailing list. You desire to add an additional 100 subscribers to your boutique mailing list/newsletter etc. What is the likelihood that that will happen within the next 24 hours? Unless you’ve got unlimited resources and a huge advertising budget, it’s not likely to happen. And even if you did have the resources, building a subscription list is not likely to happen overnight. But, it may be more realistic to set reaching that goal in the next 30 days or more.
It’s important to know that while you are setting measurable goals, you want to give yourself a realistic amount of time to reach those goals and track your progress.
Track Your Goals & Progress
How do you track your progress? You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Compete.com, and Stat Counter just to name a few.
If you do have a boutique, it’s likely your hosting site (say Shopify) will have some built-in tools as well to help you track your growth, sales, subscribers, lost sales etc.
If you’re interested in setting goals to increase your social media followers and engagements, social sites like Facebook and Twitter already have built-in analytics tools to assist and measure your reach and growth (paid and unpaid). You can also use social sharing tools such as Hootsuite to track your social engagements and reach as well.
Setting measurable and realistic goals will also force you to hold yourself accountable in reaching them. It allows you to prioritize what tasks are more important than others.
Setting Long-term & Short-Term Goals
I suggest you make a list of your long-term and short-term goals. Making such a list will highlight which daily/weekly/monthly tasks should take precedence in reaching your overall goals. It’s likely you’ll want to attend to your short-term goals first, mainly because they’ll likely be a part of the day-to-day functions that ultimately impact your long-term goals and growth.
Changing Your Goals
Understand that sometimes your goals will change. That’s totally fine and is actually pretty normal. The idea is still the same, however. You can make an adjustment to your goals sheet, ones that best align with your business plan. Just make sure they are, again, measurable and given the necessary time. So, what have we learned about measurable goal setting?
- Goals should be quantified to motivate you in being proactive and a successful entrepreneur.
- Give yourself a sufficient amount of time in reaching those goals, whether weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. Quantifying your goals allows you to measure against your progress.
- Use analytics tools to help track and measure how well you’re doing.
- Make a list to distinguish your short term vs. your long term goals; prioritizing your goals and what to focus on first.
- Understand that your goals will change but make the necessary adjustments to stay on target.
Womeneur excerpt: Although Antoinette discussed measuring and the timing of goals, when it comes to goal setting, it’s always good a good idea to incorporate the S.M.A.R.T. strategy:
- Specific – Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction
- Measurable – Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success
- Attainable – Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set
- Relevant – Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take
- Time Bound – You goals must have a deadline
How are you progressing with your goals and have incorporated any of the above?
Ms. Toni is Founder of women’s entertainment media and lifestyle news site,
Facebook Page: Cotten Kandi