It’s January! The best time to set your business goals for 2022!
A new year is ahead, and with it comes the hope of a much better year for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, and as much as we would like to forget about it, it’s still going to be here for a while. The pandemic had, and still has, a huge impact on how we currently and how we will be doing business in 2022. Many people are quite reluctant to start a business this year with the recession and inflation rate so it seems unwise to take that leap and leave your secure 9-5 job. My advice is:
Don’t make risky decisions if you don’t have a plan B and plan C!
But then again, this is the same as having a baby. There is no perfect time to start. And when you do, you will manage to survive one way or another. So if you have already made up your mind and you are starting your business in 2022, then this article will definitely be helpful. Also, if you have a business and you want to scale it, this will for sure be of use to you as well.
Let’s move on to….. planning!
Step 1: Structure your plan for the year
That was so unexpected, right?
Ok, so planning doesn’t have to be complicated. What I’ve learned while working with start-ups and small businesses is that even if you created the most comprehensive plan with a detailed step-by-step guide and a gazillion micro-tasks, if it doesn’t follow the flow of how you like to work, then the plan will fail and nothing will be achieved. To create a plan that would actually work for you, you would first need to evaluate the way you prefer to work. Do you enjoy a bit more freedom and open space, where you can be creative, but still reach deadlines? Or are you the type of person that needs to know step-by-step what your next action will be? Either way, if you’re not serious about putting in the work any plan you have will fail.
My recommendation is to do a 3, 6, and 12-month plan and note all the goals you want to achieve for each period. But be realistic! If you are just starting out and you don’t have any data to analyze, then don’t say in the next 3 months my goal is to have made 10 000 sales, when you don’t even have your online store yet. My advice is to not try to achieve the final outcome, which in this example is sales, but to rather try to build awareness and trust, then traffic to your website, and finally focus on getting in sales. Also, try to avoid unrealistic goals as they will only increase your chances of giving up during the early stage of your business-building journey.
After you set your goals, now is the time to think about how to achieve them, right? Let’s look at the example with the online store. In the first 3 months, you need to have consistent monthly traffic and a growing audience on social media. You can be more precise and pick an exact number, such as 5000 visits per month (Read the article on Key Performance Indicators here). Try to be realistic when choosing your KPI and avoid just throwing numbers in the air.
Ok, 5000 visits per month, how can you get to that point? You have 500 followers in total and almost no content. So what to do? This is a bit more complicated, but the short answer will be a combination of organic and paid efforts. Your plan should look like something like this:
- Post regularly on social media sites
- Engage in groups and communities (without resorting to spam)
- Run paid ads
Decide on what you will post and which content you will share. Keep expanding to the point that you know exactly which steps you need to take to reach your goals. And of course, if you realize that you will not reach your goals within 3, 6, or 12 months, just change it. Your goals are considered a guide and are flexible. Try to remember that this is a journey so feel free to change direction at any time.
Step 2: Have a backup plan
Hate it or love it, it is required.
No one wants to think of a scenario where their initial plan fails miserably and now they are left staring at the ceiling trying to figure out exactly where they went wrong. Things like this happen, and that is why a wise man (or woman) came up with the “Backup Plan”.
My advice is, don’t spend hours thinking about it and planning for it, but rather have it in the back of your mind. It gives you the extra freedom of knowing that even if you mess up and fail, you have a safety net to catch you.
Step 3: Create a list with motivational triggers
The final step is the most important one. And you know what, if you are not ready to put your soul into what you are doing and to work hard to reach your goals, then any plan you have will be obsolete.
We are all human, and we all have our doubts. It’s a myth that motivation drives us all the time because motivation fades. The excitement fades when you’re stuck doing daily, mundane tasks that reflect little to no progress. It might not happen in the first month, but believe it or not, after some time you start wondering about whether you were crazy or not to have taken the risk. When that time comes, you need to reach for your list of motivational triggers. Your motivational triggers need to come directly from you, not from other people.
Start with this, list things that motivate you.
- Why are you doing this?
- Why have you started a business?
- What do you want to achieve for yourself within your business?
It’s only the start of the year so you have 11 months to shine, change, achieve and grow. Success will not come overnight, but believe me, if you stick to your purpose at the end of this year you will see how many milestones you reached.