Is your small business ready for the holidays?
What do you want for your business this holiday season? Is it driving more traffic to your blog, increasing attendance at your events, selling more product, growing your email list or servicing more customers? Understanding exactly what you want out of this holiday season and putting a plan together to work toward that goal is crucial.
To achieve any goal, it needs to be a S.M.A.R.T. Goal. Trust me, I have failed at countless goals I've set for myself and/or my business. But, when I set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal, I have been able to be clear and specific, measure my progress, and have experienced more success.
When setting your holiday S.M.A.R.T. GOAL, ask yourself is it - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound?
Specific - What exactly are you trying to achieve?
Measurable - How will you measure your success?
Achievable - What steps will you take to achieve the goal?
Relevant - How reasonable and realistic is your goal?
Time bound - When do you want to have this goal accomplished?
Here's how this works. Let's say you want to increase sales this holiday season.
Specific: When writing out a specific goal be sure to ask yourself: who, what, where and when.
Not Specific: "increase sales this holiday season"
Specific: "increase overall sales on my website during the holiday season"
Measurable: Now ask yourself, can I measure my goal to track progress and see if I achieved it or exceeded it. For example, how much do you want to sell? How many views do you want on your blog? How many people do you want at your event?
Not Measurable: "increase overall sales on my website during the holiday season"
Measurable: "increase overall sales by 10% YOY (over last year's sales) on my website during the holiday season"
Achievable: Is this goal attainable for your business? Make sure you are setting YOUR own goals and not goals based upon someone else's business or success. It needs to be right for you business so that you can see the growth at your stage of business.
If you have been in business for more than a year, use last holiday's metrics/analytics to gather info such as - website traffic, sales and conversions, clicks, and page views. You will see what your sales were last year during the holiday, what sold well, and how much you need to make to increase sales by 10%. This will let you know what is an achievable goal for your business. If sales are down, then you may need to readjust your goal so that it is something that is attainable.
Relevant: Is the goal directly related to growing your business? If your goal is to increase sales, setting a sales goal is relevant. If your goal is to increase traffic to your site or grow your email list, setting a marketing goal is relevant. The goal needs to be relevant and worth your time and effort to produce results you want to see in your business.
Time Bound: Have a specific deadline to how much time you are allowing to achieve the goal. It helps to keep you focused, aid in better monitoring of success, and creates opportunity to adjust if needed to meet the goal in the specified time frame.
Not Time Specific: "increase overall sales by 10% YOY (over last year's sales) on my website during the holiday season"
Time Specific: "increase overall sales by 10% YOY (over last year's sales) on my website during the next 6 weeks of the holiday season"
With S.M.A.R.T. Goals make sure you are adjusting as you are tracking/monitoring the goal. This is why measuring the success of the goal(s) is so important. If you did not get the desired outcome, you need to adjust your tactics so that you can try again. If you succeeded, then increase what you are doing and see the results increase as well.
Setting goals allows you to see the vision clearly, create a road-map, and to see what worked and what didn't work for the next holiday season.
My challenge to you, goal getter, is to set a goal for this holiday season, make it a S.M.A.R.T. and go after it.
Your girl boss biz bestie,