As Miranda Nahmias & Co. grows more and more, I’m really starting to realize how much setting goals in business matters.
I used to be someone who totally did not think that goal-setting really worked. Of course, like a weirdo, I’d still do it all the time, because everyone always told me to. And who doesn’t love a good New Year’s Resolution, right?
But I would only very rarely be able to actually stick to those goals. So, after a while, it became kind of depressing to even set them in the first place.
Why do something if it’s only going to make me feel like a failure?
Lately, though, I started to realize that setting goals in business was having different results for me than setting goals in my personal life. For some reason, my business goals were actually happening!
So, yeah, okay, maybe I still need to do some work on setting goals in my personal life.
But business goals? Girl, I got dat down pat.
(Just to be clear, throughout the rest of this post I’ll be talking mostly about how to achieve your financial goals in business. Although I still think this advice could work for other types of goals as well!)
4 (Literally Foolproof) Tips for Achieving Goals in Your Business
Tip #1: Use Your Past Success as a Benchmark
One of the biggest things that made me realize how much my goals in business were actually working is Megan Minns’ financial planning spreadsheets.
I purchased this $9 product at the end of last year and used it to make clear-cut financial goals for 2017.
Basically, how it works is it has you list out all the offerings you have. Then, you estimate how much of them you will sell over the next year. It sounds difficult, but Megan’s planner makes it so easy.
Even though it was super easy, and actually kind of fun, I can remember working through the spreadsheets and thinking “This is ridiculous, how am I ever going to reach these goals?”
Trying to see so far ahead can be really hard!
What worked best for me was to figure out what my best month was in 2016.
If you’re keeping good track of your income and expenses, this should be pretty easy (I recommend Wave Apps for bookkeeping!). I felt pretty confident that I’d be able to repeat my best month in 2016 throughout 2017 (if not even better), so I used the numbers from that month to make a rough estimate of what 2017 might look like.
At the end of my planning session, I had calculated that my goal for 2017 should be to make around $60,000 in total revenue for the year.
Initially, that was so hard to believe. $60,000???? Yeah, right!
But, lo and behold (do people still say this?), 9 months later (and 3 months early!), I hit that goal.
When I realized what had happened, it was such a surreal moment. I could vividly remember sitting down with those spreadsheets, making that $60,000 goal, and thinking it was absolutely insane. But I can look back on everything, and be like “Wow, I actually did that. It actually worked out!”
Let me tell you…hitting that goal felt so good. And that’s really what made me want to write this blog post. Because if hitting my goal felt amazing, I can only imagine how it will feel helping all of you guys achieve your goals, too!
Think ahead to one year from now….what’s YOUR goal you will achieve in 2018? I can’t wait to hear it! (Let me know in the comments below.)
Tip #2: Reverse-Engineer Your Goals
I kind of touched about this briefly a few paragraphs ago, but let’s dig a little deeper.
One thing that really helped me achieve my 2017 goals in business was using this reverse-engineer method.
When you’re setting a really big goal for yourself, it’s so easy to get held up on just how crazy it sounds. Just like I did, midway through the planning process, you’ll probably begin to think something like: “That’s ridiculous! How could I possibly do that?”
The key here is not to get too caught up on the big goal. It’s impossible to go from 0-100 when achieving your goals in business, and you’ll start to feel so overwhelmed. Instead, use that big goal to create smaller goals you can hit along the way.
Starting with that really big goal, work backwards and break it up into more easily achievable “mini goals.”
Let’s just say you have a goal that you want to achieve 1 year from today.
The first step is to figure out what mini-goals you need to achieve in order to accomplish that huge goal. The idea here is to break down that huge goal so that you have a smaller step you want to achieve each quarter, month, and week (or even per day!) along that journey.
So think — what actions do you need to take in order to achieve that big goal?
For example, let’s say your goal is to make $50,000 total revenue in the next year.
First, what are your offerings?
For the heck of it, let’s just say that you are charging $30 per hour for whatever service you provide.
When you do the math, this basically means you will need to work 1,667 hours over the next year (about 4.6 hours per day, or 32 hours per week). Keep in mind that this is purely time spent doing client work “on the clock,” not time spent marketing your business or anything else.
Second, how many clients do you need?
Let’s say your average client hires you for about 10 hours per month. If you need to work about 140 hours per month, that means you need to have 14 total clients.
If you’re starting from 0 clients, it’s obviously going to be hard to ramp up to 14 clients right away. So I’m going to assume that you already have a few clients. Let’s say you have 4 clients already booked.
This means that you will need to secure 10 new clients.
Considering that this 14 total clients is what you need for the whole year, let’s give you at least 1 quarter to go from 4 to 14.
Thirdly, set your goals for booking clients.
So, as we discussed, your goal for the next quarter is to get 10 new clients. This breaks down to about 3 or 4 clients per month, for the next 3 months.
Breaking it down even further, it basically means you need to score 1 new client per week.
Now, think about what you need to do in order to book 1 new client per week.
On average, when using discovery calls to book clients, you will probably book 1 new client per 1-3 discovery calls. Let’s just assume that you’ll book a client from a discovery call 50% of the time.
Sidenote: I’ve asked quite a few people, and this percentage tends to vary wildly and totally depends on your experience, niche, and how hot your leads are. But somewhere between 20-80% is normal. If you’re unsure about what your “closing rate” is, start keeping track and get a feel for what is typical for you in your business. Use that rate to help you create more accurate goals.
Anyway, again, let’s just say it’s 50%. This means you’ll need to book 2 discovery calls for every 1 new client. So if your goal is to score 1 new client per week, you’ll only need to book 2 discovery calls each week!
Lastly, put steps into place to take action on those goals.
You’ll really want to nail down what achieves the best results for you when it comes to booking discovery calls. How do you get your potential clients to book discovery calls?
Again, this is going to totally depend on you and your niche, but here are a few things that can help:
- Engaging in Facebook groups
- Consistently posting on social media
- Networking in person or online
- Cold emailing
- Using LinkedIn
- Guest posting
- Participating in webinars or summits
- Posting YouTube videos or Facebook Lives
Whatever works for YOU, figure out what you need to do on a daily or weekly basis to keep the discovery calls coming.
That may mean you need to send out 10 cold emails each week, go Live two times, spend 2 hours scheduling social media posts, engaging on Facebook for 30 minutes per day, or whatever else is involved in your client acquisition process.
But seriously — we started out at $50,000 per year and broke that allllll the way down to you simply needing to book 2 discovery calls per week.
Doesn’t sound so crazy now, right?
(Disclaimer: If the math isn’t working for you, or you want to make more than $50,000, keep in mind that you may need to focus on other parts of your process. Additional things that will help are: improving your closing rate on discovery calls, increasing your rates, booking more long-term clients, and getting clients to increase the average number of hours they use per month. Additionally, if you are selling packages or products, this process may look slightly different, but the concept is still the same!)
Tip #3: Put your goals where you will see them.
You’ve probably heard this before, but I just want to reiterate it for you.
Put your goals someplace RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.
The reason why I want to make this so clear is because I honestly never do it. Or, at least, I never used to! And time and time again, I would fail. And this is a huge reason why.
Just hear me out… Every month in my income report, I have a little section where I list out my goals in business. I set new ones for the next month and then go over whether or not I achieved the goals I set last month.
And every. single. month. when I write my income report, this is my least favorite section.
Because usually what happens is I write out my goals, completely well-meaningly, and then immediately forget them as soon as I publish the post. Then a whole month goes by, and suddenly it’s time to write another income report.
And , yup, I’m the dummy who’s sitting there like “Oh….right. What were my goals again??”
Seriously, listen to me.
It can be really hard to achieve your goals in business if you’re not constantly reminding yourself what your goals actually are.
Sometimes I’ll actually remember mid-month to go back and see what goals I made for myself. The months when I do this….guess what? Usually I actually achieve them! Because I’ve made an effort to keep them at the forefront of my mind. And because it’s so public, I hate feeling embarrassed when I don’t achieve what I told you guys I was going to.
So, yeah. Remind yourself of your goals. As often as you can. Write it on a sticky note and put that on your bathroom mirror, your nightstand, your computer screen. Just put it where you will see it and then do it.
Keeping those goals constantly in the back of your head just makes it way more likely that you will actually end up achieving them.
Tip #4: Focus on goal ROI
I guess my whole theme for this post is that it can be really hard to keep yourself on track when it comes to setting goals in business.
I want to make this whole “setting goals” in business thing a lot easier for you!
So another tip I have for you guys is that, when it comes to your bigger long-term goals, try to focus on the ROI (return on investment) of your goals each day.
If you’re anything like me, you have a million ideas running around your head of random things things and goals in business you want to achieve. It’s too much! What you need to do is streamline it for yourself.
Instead of having 8 million things you want to do, pick one main thing to focus on. Whether that’s a goal you’ve set for this week, this month, or even a whole year from now, have some sort of main thing you’re working towards.
Then, keep on top of yourself about it. Don’t let yourself get distracted.
When I’m really trying to achieve a goal, something that helps me keep on track is to be consistently asking myself: “Is what I’m doing right now helping me achieve that goal?”
This can be a tough question to ask yourself, because, let’s be honest… A lot of the time, your answer is going to be “Nope!”
Now, sometimes you may be doing other things that are important, like cooking dinner or helping a friend. That’s different. But if you keep finding yourself getting easily distracted by stuff like Facebook, other mindless activities, or even seemingly productive projects that aren’t actually going to help you achieve your goals (that’s my big weakness!), just keep asking yourself: “Is this helping me achieve my goal?”
If you don’t like the answer, it’s probably because either:
(A) Your goal isn’t the right goal for you, so it’s not really fitting with how you really live your daily life.
(B) You need to change what you’re doing. Maybe this means you need to structure your day differently, or you need to switch your focus, or you need to stop procrastinating, etc.
It could be a variety of things that are getting in your way, but if you’re constantly saying “nope” to that question…it could be a really good sign that you need to somehow do something different in your life so that you can actually achieve your goals in business instead of just letting them slip away.
Honestly, I couldn’t believe what a difference setting goals made to my business! I know — it probably sounds way too overwhelming and impossible to set such large goals. But with my method, you can easily break it down to manageable steps that will help you achieve success in your business.
And let me tell you…achieving goals you’ve set for yourself feels so. freaking. awesome.
(So does rewarding yourself for your accomplishments. Do it! It’ll definitely increase your motivation!)
So…what’s YOUR goal for your business in 2018? Don’t be afraid to dream big, you can rock this!