It’s the time of year for setting goals. For many of us, the arrival of New Year’s Day prompts visions of a new start and ambitious plans. But in order to successfully set goals that will move your business forward, it’s important to start by looking back, into the past.
If you don’t know where you’ve been, you can’t tell if you are succeeding
The first step to successfully setting goals, is to review your income and expenses for the past year. Add up how much income you brought in over the year – if you have different categories of services, it’s useful to include subtotals for each category. Then review your expenses, including how much you paid yourself, other business expenses, and any profit that you were able to set aside. Taxes should round out the totals for how much came in and where it went.
Next, you will want to review other data you are tracking – lead conversions, website visits, ads, etc. How many new clients signed up? What did they buy? How did they find you? If you don’t have any of this information, your first goal of the new year can be to start tracking this information!
Make a plan
Now that you have figured out where you’ve been, you can set your sights on a specific goal. Do you want to increase your annual income by 10%? By $20,000? Do you want to earn the same amount, but work fewer hours?
Because you reviewed your past performance, you can see what seems to be working and what doesn’t. Do more of what works, and change what isn’t working. Nothing is a failure, just information and opportunity to try something different.
Set achievable goals
Setting goals is a skill. If the goals you set are too narrow, you will see no progress. If your goals are too broad, you will always feel like a failure.
Many dog trainers want to increase their income. There are a few ways to grow revenue: raise prices, add services, fill open lesson/class spots, add new lesson/class spots, or eliminate low-earning services. There are pros and cons to each of these, depending on your circumstances – write these out and compare them to your income and expenses from earlier in the post to see what your goal focus should be in 2023.
The final trick to successful goal-setting is to do regular review/check ins on your goals. If you are setting annual goals, then you may want to do quarterly, monthly and weekly reviews.
- Quarterly – (what needs to happen this quarter to get closer to your long term goals and how did you do last quarter)
- Monthly – check in on financials and other metrics. Are you on track?
- Weekly – plan your to-do list to move your goals forward
One way to ensure that you follow up on your plans and goals is to add some accountability. Schedule your reviews with a colleague or friend. Setting aside the time to review your metrics and check in on your goals will keep you on track.
If you need help making or sticking to a plan, check out our paid membership group, Trainer’s Growth Group.