How to set goals for your business
You still don’t know where you want to get with your digital product? Read on and learn how to set goals for your business right now.
Where do I want to get with my business? How long will it take me to get there? You have definitely asked yourself one or both of these questions. Whether you have just started or if you’ve been on the market for many years, trust us on this: you will need to establish short, medium and long-term goals for your company.
Only then will you have the necessary information to improve your processes, thus maximizing your ROI (Return On Investment).
If you haven’t set your goals yet, you’re in the right place! Keep reading this post to learn some tips on how to do this.
Before you even set your goals, you need to know in which areas you need to improve.
Although you have a general idea of the aspects that impact your business the most, take some time apart to analyze your sales page and your promotion strategy.
We’ve compiled some tools that may help you with this task:
- SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) – Used to identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Use data from Google Analytics to find out which of your pages has the best performance, which posts generate more engagement with your audience and which word users research to get to your website.
- Benchmarking – Find out what companies in your niche are doing, this may help you to identify opportunities to improve your business. Search engines are your biggest allies in this undertaking. We’ll talk more about benchmarking further in this text.
- Market research – Besides analyzing your competition, you must be up to date with trends in your market, to know how to better satisfy your buyer persona’s interests. A good way of doing this is promoting satisfaction surveys with your users.
When setting your goals, focus on where you want to get, not how you will get there.
- Goal (What you want to achieve);
- Which actions you’ll take to reach your goal;
- Expected profits.
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Some companies at the Silicon Valley, like Google, for example, use the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) model, to derive their goals into components.
- Objective (result you wish to accomplish with your actions): it is usually quantitative and motivational.
- Key Results: a set of two to five metrics that show you are getting to your Objective.
Imagine a digital producer whose objective is to increase her business conversion rates during the weekends.
She can set as Key Results:
- Increase traffic on her page from Friday to Sunday;
- Decrease cart abandonment rate;
- Increase engagement in posts on the weekends.
When we talk about goals, the first thing on everybody’s minds is profiting, right? But, in the case of digital products, there are many variables that influence the success of the business.
If you want more people to know your brand, increasing the number of likes on your fan page or the number of people who subscribe to it are also important goals.
It’s not because the lead didn’t make a sale right away that you’ve lost that conversion.
Once on your email base, you have more time to create a relationship with those leads, until you convince them of the advantages of your offer.
And you can do this in many ways, one of them is delivering quality content and having a good email marketing strategy.
Remember: your goal is delivering the best user experience possible and, with that, increasing your ROI.
It might be that, in the beginning, you don’t make a lot of money with your business. But if you invest in continuously improve your processes, eventually the profit will come and it will be sustainable.
When setting goals for your business, remember to ask yourself these three questions:
- Is this growth possible in the deadline I’ve set?
- Is there a market for it?
- Is my page ready to get this many accesses?
If you’ve answered “no” or “maybe” to any of these questions, review your goals.
Your goals can (and must!) be bold, but it is important that they follow the maturity curve of your business.
Setting unrealistic goals will only make you unmotivated when you can’t reach your goals. And setting modest goals might put you in a comfort zone and prevent you from seeing the potential for growth of your product.
To know in which stage your business is in, you’ll need to know all its metrics, from your first sale until now.
In this report, it is also possible to find out the payment method used in each transaction.
Are you in doubt if your goal is possible or not?
This method we’ll show you now may help you to be more assertive in this process: we’re talking about SMART goals.
Basically, this method classifies if the goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Specific – Does it make it clear what you want to accomplish?
Measurable – Can you measure if your goal has been reached?
Attainable – Do you have the resources to put your idea into practice?
Relevant – Does this goal contribute to my business growth?
Time-bound – Is the deadline I have enough to generate the results I need?
General Objective: I want to increase the conversion rate of my online course by next month.
Specific: I want to attract at least twenty new users.
Measurable: I’ll measure my progress through the amount of access to the platform where my course is hosted.
Attainable: I have the budget available to create ads for my course.
Relevant: Attracting new clients will help to make my product popular.
Time-bound: I’ll improve my promotion strategy in the next two weeks.
Here’s a list of things you must document about your goal:
- Deadline – include a start date and a finish date to reach your goal.
- Actions – describe the actions you’ll implement
- Resources – detail your budget and everything else you’ll need to put your idea into practice.
Just setting goals is not enough, you must track how each action you implement performs.
Only then can you get to the conclusion if the change you’ve made had any results, or if your action is harming your business. (That’s why it’s so important to keep your processes well-documented!).
If you haven’t been getting the expected results, don’t panic! In the case of long-term goals, you’ll have time to review your strategies and find out new directions inside your own business plan.
- Set bold goals, but ones that can be attained.
- Constantly evaluate the goals you’ve set and change your strategy when necessary.
- Goals must have a definite date to start and finish.
- It’s important for goals to take into consideration the user experience, number of leads captured and not only the profit.
- Document your improvements. And also your failures.
If you have had a digital business for a longer period of time, it is likely you have gone through this stage. If you intend to start now, writing your business plan must be your first step!
A well-grounded business plan is a fundamental tool in order to you reach your long-term goals because:
- It shows you take your business seriously;
- It helps you sell your ideas to possible investors, in the case you want to expand the reach of your business in the future;
- It is a parameter for you to know if you’re getting the expected results.
Writing a business plan will help you to not only set your goals but also to identify the best strategies to reach them.
This means you can channel your energy and your resources into what you really need to do, instead of wasting your resources in actions that won’t generate results to your business.
Trend analysis is the process of comparing data throughout time, looking to identify any consistent results or the main trends in your business.
Through this analysis, it is possible to understand the main KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) of your business and “foresee” which actions might help you to reach the best results.
Spending time analyzing your results is fundamental to have insights, which will continuously help you to improve your sales performance.
- Spotting the areas where you are doing good, or strategies that can be replicated.
- Spotting topics that need optimization.
- Providing fundamental information for your decision-making process.
Use benchmarking whenever possible
Benchmarking is a way of comparing your performance to Producers and Affiliates in the same niche as yours.
Well-done benchmarking gives you a clear view of what you must improve in your business to increase your conversion rate.
Suppose you have accessed the website of the company that is the market leader in your niche, what can you observe?
If I had a digital business I would focus on the kind of content they write, the kind of image they use and the way they describe their own product/solution.
Here on the blog, we’ve already written a post talking about what a good sales page must have. It is a good starting point for you to check out your competition!
Using benchmarking you can find out that:
- You can improve your page’s copy;
- You’re not using images that suit your ads;
- You need to offer more valuable content to your lead;
- Among other factors.
But pay attention! Benchmarking is not only copying what others are doing. It is understanding which strategies work best for your market and then adapting them to your business.
And always keep in mind that benchmarking is a continuous improvement process.
After you make any changes, you must analyze your sales page again to know what’s working and where there is still room for improvement.
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