The weather has created several delays this year, and while January may be the prime season for goal- and resolution-setting, no time is better than right now to take stock of where you’re at and figure out where you want to be.
When setting goals for your business, go back to our article on testing when you took your placement test, and figure out a good stretch goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, inspiring) for each of the following categories:
Traffic. Online, everything begins with quality traffic, and just about every business could use more of it. Think about ways you can double your traffic over the course of the next academic year (nine months), by paid sources (advertising), guest blogging, podcasting, social media, and search engine optimization. Then rank those efforts according to how difficult it would be to implement, and how much of an impact it would have on your business. Then pick the top two or three ideas and get moving!
Sales. If you’re not making the sales you want, you either don’t have the traffic, aren’t converting, or don’t have products and services for your target audience. We took care of traffic above, so let’s talk about conversion and products. Take a look at what you’re offering your audience. If you believe in the value of the products, then you need to convey that value to the audience in a way that resonates with them. Think about hiring a copywriter to make over your web page, or try adding a video or audio sales letter. Are your testimonials strong enough? Are you offering enough products? Again, pick one or two things you can do over the next few months and start them now.
Lifestyle. If you’re working too many hours, the number one thing you can do is to start outsourcing some of your less-critical tasks. Start with something you don’t enjoy, like bookkeeping or customer service emails, and find someone to help you out. Even a few hours a week will give you a taste of the freedom to be had when you offload all your unsavory tasks! Think about how much more energetic and inspired you’ll feel when everything on your to-do list is something you actually want to do.
Setting year-long goals each January is a great exercise, but there’s no reason to wait until next January to take stock of your business. Start now, and by next year, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your aspirations.