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Last Updated on May 6, 2021

10 Simple Yet Powerful Business Goals to Set This Year

10 Simple Yet Powerful Business Goals to Set This Year

We often think of the goal setting process as something done when we first start a business or a new job. However, the reality is that we need to be regularly setting new business goals as well as monitoring the progress of past goals.

I personally think it’s best to assess and establish business goals during the first quarter of the new year in order to stay motivated and commit to your goals. This allows for both you and your employees to have a clear understanding of what the expectations are over the coming year.

When deciding on what goals you will have for the year, don’t get bogged down in the minutia of figuring out every last detail of how you plan to get there. This is big picture stuff, your vision for what the organization should look like in a year.

This long-term goal setting will serve as an overall framework for your short-term planning. That short-term planning is where you will lay out the individual steps necessary for achieving the goals.

That’s a long winded way of saying that you first need to figure out where you want to go before you plan the trip.

While no one list could apply to all businesses or all situations, these 10 business goals have been a part of every successful business that I’ve been involved in.

1. Maintain a Healthy Budget

This trips up a lot of entrepreneurs, and I’ve seen many people start businesses without a financial plan.

Academics have coined a new technical term for this type of financial plan: they are calling it a “budget.” And if you don’t have one, then that’s your number one goal for the year.

Having a budget not only helps with tracking where your money is being spent, but it also allows you to analyze things, like what type of advertising is working best for you.

How do your payroll expenses compare to the industry average? Are you spending too much or too little in commissions and bonuses? Are you lacking funding?

Going anywhere for funding (Bank, Investors, VC firms) without a professional budget will get you booted out of the office without a second look.

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2. Hire a Certain Number of Employees

If you don’t have any employees, now is the time to consider hiring some as part of your business goals. Trying to do everything yourself is the curse of the entrepreneur. We all try being the Jack-of-all-trades, but we forget the rest of that saying: “but master of none.”

You can start by hiring someone to do all of the little tasks that have to get done but don’t contribute to the bottom line. These tasks take your attention away from growing the business, so delegate them out to others to save yourself time and energy.

3. Reduce Expenses

Running a lean business should be the goal of every entrepreneur. After all, every dollar saved in business expenses is an extra dollar in your pocket. The problems arise when you begin to cut into areas that affect the bottom line.

For example, it’s always tempting to look at payroll first because it’s such a big expense in most businesses. But will cutting sales staff hurt sales? What about the shipping department or customer care? You might not feel the effects of those cuts right away, but if you’re not giving the customer the experience they expect, you will feel it down the road.

Try looking for other ways to reduce expenses. Try new software, change the implementation of your processes, and most of all, reduce debt!

4. Refocus on Your Customer

You should always be re-evaluating your relationship with your customer when setting business goals. You need to know what areas are working right and what areas need improvement.

Look at the entire customer service experience. Are your customers happy with the product or service? Is your refund / exchange process easy to understand and use? If they have questions or need help, is it easily accessible? Are you delivering your products in a timely manner?

No matter how good you currently are, vow to make the customer experience even better with short-term goals and a detailed business plan.

5. Get More Traffic to Your Website

Even if you’re not generating sales from a website, increasing traffic is great for brand awareness.

If you haven’t updated your website recently, take some time to give it some attention. Make sure it’s pleasing to the eye, easy to navigate, and constantly updated with all the latest information and helpful hints.

6. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media Marketing

This dove-tails nicely with the previous suggestion. Social media marketing, when done right, will generate traffic, leads, and sales for your company.

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I see a lot of companies (especially smaller ones) using a shotgun approach to their business goals related to social media marketing. They end up throwing a bunch of stuff up on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and hope that something works.

You need to have a strategy for social media. Your posts need to be consistent and on-message. It can be a lot to handle all at once, and if you’re not sure what you are doing, there are companies and individuals that will set up and manage your social media marketing for you.

7. Conduct a Marketing Audit

Marketing, along with payroll and rent, are the biggest expenses most businesses have. You want to make sure you are getting the most bang for your marketing buck[1].

Analyze and evaluate every aspect of your marketing budget. Eliminate the worst performing (in terms of ROI) 20% of your marketing efforts, and use that money to expand the top 10% of your best performing assets.

8. Develop or Improve Your Employee Incentive Program

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Employees are the ones implementing the company’s policies and procedures. They are (usually) the ones interacting directly with the customer.

Keeping happy and motivated employees is the only way your business goals can thrive. Unfortunately, too many small businesses neglect this issue because of the perceived expense involved.

And while money is certainly a motivating factor for your employees, most people will respond to other types of incentives as well[2]. Things like public recognition, lunch with the boss, or flexible time off can all be used as incentives. Check out this article for 17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees.

9. Evaluate Your Company’s Mission Statement

This should be done on a yearly basis. Depending on how long your company has been around, you may have not have even looked at your mission statement in years (if you even have one).

Take the time to get it out, dust it off, and make sure that it’s still relevant. I’ve consulted with companies that, when asked to do this, discover that the original mission statement described a completely different organization!

Over the course of years, as the business climate evolves and technology changes, there’s a good chance that your mission statement needs to be updated.

10. Strive to Create a Better “Work-Life Balance”

Being a successful entrepreneur means making sacrifices. You sacrifice the stability of a regular paycheck, time with your family, sleep, and more, and while the rewards can be great, just make sure the costs aren’t too high.

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Things like stress and anxiety will take a toll on your physical and mental health. Time away from spouses and family can cause tension that only adds to the stress level. You need to take evasive action before it can cause irreparable damage. This is why including personal goals within your business goals is so important.

If you’re not eating right and exercising, start taking an hour out of your day.

Whether it’s one day a week, or an hour a night, your family needs to know that they are a priority. Have a scheduled “date night” with your spouse. Chances are you’re not the greatest company after working a 12-14 hour day, and making your spouse a priority is just part of the deal.

Making a conscious decision to prioritize your home life is like brushing your teeth. If you do it, they stay strong and healthy, if you ignore it, they go away.

Bonus Tip: Set S.M.A.R.T. Business Goals

When setting goals, we always recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. technique, as it’s a very efficient way to both communicate and monitor your organization’s progress in achieving the goals you set. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting stands for:

Specific

What exactly do you want to achieve? The more precise you can be, the better. When answering this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the end goal?
  • How will achieving that goal translate into higher profits, increased market share, a better customer experience?
  • What resources will it take to achieve the goal?
  • What is the specific number (or percent) that I want to increase sales, market share, profit, or productivity?

Measurable

You should be able to break down your goals into individual steps or milestones that are easily qualified. There should be a way to concretely measure the success or failure of the goal.

  • Goal – Increase sales in Q-2 by 10%
  • Goal – Decrease year end expenses by 5%
  • Goal – All employees will have completed training in “X” by June 30th

Attainable

Having unrealistic or unattainable business goals is just setting yourself and your employees up for failure. Now, if you are a one person operation, then by all means go ahead and set a goal to double last year’s sales. If you only increase sales 1.5 times, that’s still pretty good.

But putting unrealistic expectations on employees will only do one of two things. Either it will crush morale when goals can’t be met, or if you do this too often, your employees won’t take you seriously.

So, think twice about setting a goal to double sales every month for a year.

Relevant

Is the goal something that you really want? Will attaining the goal actually help your business? Is it really a good idea to double your business if you’re already struggling to service the clients you have, or would you actually hurt the business?

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Related to your personal life, will attaining a goal mean more time away from family? Are your relationships already strained?

Timely

Deadlines are important to motivation. I know from experience that if I’m not under a deadline to get something done, then I’m just going put it off as long as I can.

Setting deadlines solidifies business goals; after all, a goal without a deadline is just a wish.

Setting deadlines is really the only way to measure the success or failure of a goal. With that being said, deadlines must be reasonable, otherwise you’ll run into the same problems we see when goals are not attainable.

Without deadlines, you’re also prone to procrastination. If you find that this has become an issue, check out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination.

The Bottom Line

Setting, evaluating and reassessing goals is a constant theme in business. Knowing the right places to allocate the right resources will keep your business thriving in an ever-changing world.

Lou Holtz, the famous football player and coach said,

“In this world, you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.”

That statement is certainly true in today’s business climate. You need to be constantly on your toes looking for new and better ways of doing things.

Technology is moving a light speed, bringing new, better and faster ways to deliver products and services to the consumer. If you’re not innovating with specific business goals, you can be sure your competition is.

More Practical Tips for Entrepreneurs

Featured photo credit: Ruthson Zimmerman via unsplash.com

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Reference

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David Carpenter

Lifelong entrepreneur and business owner helping others to realize the American Dream of business ownership

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Last Updated on May 23, 2021

10 Best Free Job Apps You Need For Effective Job Hunting

10 Best Free Job Apps You Need For Effective Job Hunting

Seeking for the right job but not sure how to do it in a more effective way?

Try job search apps!

To make the job hunting process easier, I’m recommending 10 best job apps that can help you look for the right match anywhere at any time. The best of all? They’re all free!

1. jobandtalent

jobandtalent

    Great for browsing new jobs as you commute home via subway, bus or carpool, the jobandtalent app is like a Pinterest for job seekers.

    Easily browse, save and revisit job postings from your smartphone and receive notifications about jobs that match your professional qualifications.

    Download it for iOS and Android.

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    2. Jobr

    jobr

      This job hunting app is unique in that it lets you anonymously browse job listings based on your professional resume. If a company that you like also shows an interest in you, the app let’s you chat directly with a company rep. Great for getting your foot in the door and making a memorable impression.

      Download it for iOS.

      3. Monster Job Search

      monster job search

        I’m a big fan of Monster. It’s one of the first job sites employers think of when they want to list a new position online. The Monster Job Search app functions pretty similarly to the normal website, so it’s very easy to use for not-so-tech-savvy job hunters.

        Download it for iOS and Android.

        4. Jobs and Career Search

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        job and career search

          This is a good, simple app for browsing global locations for your next job. With a job index of more than 50,000 jobs listed globally, this app is a good choice if you are moving to a new area and want to line a new job up quickly.

          Download it for iOS.

          5. Hyper Networking Groups

          hyper networking groups

            This job hunting app isn’t so much a job hunting app as it is a connections hunting app. It’s great for learning who’s who in your desired field and forming connections. It also shows you how you and your industry connections are connected via your social networks, so you can follow up with them on your other social sites.

            Download it for iOS.

            6. CardDrop

            CardDrop

              CardDrop is an awesome job hunting app that let’s you digitally drop and pick up virtual business cards. This app is great for helping you make new connections at seminars, interviews, meetings and conferences. You can also attach social media profiles to the cards you pick up or send to enable easier connecting on social networks.

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              Download it for Android and iOS.

              7. Job Interview Questions

              interview questions both

                Okay, so this app looks kind of outdated, but it’s super useful for getting you into the swing of answering any kind of interview question that is thrown your way. The big benefit of using this app is that it explains to you what your interviewers motivations might be for asking you a specific kind of question. Learn what your interviewer is looking for in your answers and be more prepared for the real interview when the time comes.

                Download it for Android.

                8. 101 Interview Questions and Answers

                101 both

                  This app is great because it provides guidance about the kinds of answers you should give for each kind of question. Think of it as an essay rubric but for job interview questions.

                  Download it for Android.

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                  9. Job Interview Question-Answer

                  q and a

                    Feeling confident with your text-answered interview questions but concerned about doing the face-to-face interview? This app prepares you for interacting with your interviewer by simulating an employer asking you questions.

                    You can record your response and see what you look like to the interviewer to understand what movements, vocal pauses, etc. you need to work on.

                    Download this app for iOS and Android.

                    10. HireVue

                    hirevue

                      HireVue is a great job hunting app for those times when your interviewer wants to get some preliminary questions out of the way.

                      When an interested employer wants to interview you, they send you a request via HireVue and you can answer it in your free time, when you’re ready. Your interview might consist of a some FaceTime, some multiple choice questions or open-ended text answers and can be completed and sent to the interviewer when you’re finish.

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                      Download it for Android and iOS.

                      Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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