If you want to grow your business in 2021, now is the time to start making plans and setting goals. We’re a mere five weeks away from Thanksgiving and we all know the rest of the year will be a blur.
Take some time over the next few weeks to consider the kind of success you would like to see for your business in the coming year. It’s not enough to just say you want to increase your annual revenue or the number of clients.
Use the SMART method to help you get focused and increase your chances of achieving your goals.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Let’s take that goal of increasing your annual revenue as an example.
Make it specific by stating how you are going to increase it – by selling existing clients on added services? By actively promoting your business? By adding a passive income stream to your menu of services? Perhaps you would do it through a combination of steps including raising your rates.
Make if measurable by adding a dollar amount or percentage to it.
But don’t get carried away. Make sure that dollar amount or percentage is attainable considering the bandwidth you can manage as a solopreneur, the marketability of the passive income stream you are considering, etc.
Make sure your goal is relevant to your overall business goals. For example, if you are trying to grow your freelance graphic design business, setting a goal increasing your monthly income by starting a dog-walking side hustle may bring in some extra cash, but it’s not going to help you grow your graphic design business.
Set a timeframe to achieve your goal. If your goal is to increase your annual revenue by 10% for example, you would be working on that for the full year. But don’t wait until the end of the year to see how you’re doing. Set some monthly or quarterly milestones so you can track your progress, see what’s working to help you achieve that goal and tweak what’s not.
One last thing – don’t set too many big goals. Focusing on one significant goal will be much more achievable and have greater impact on your business than multiple goals that spread your focus too thin.