How is a highly successful entrepreneur different than any other business? They plan the work & work the plan. Your plan will start by recognizing something that you want to accomplish in your business and getting crystal clear about how it serves your bigger why.
From there, all the wheels will be set in motion. For me, the creative process looked like this:
In July, I decided that I needed a major shift. I wrote the Ultimate Sales Copywriting Handbook, relaunched my website, hired a business coach, put together a group coaching program and started to offer free webinars.
The progression meant learning several new software programs, investing thousands of dollars, and taking a huge leap of faith that all this change was going to pay off.
Now that I had the mission in mind, it was time to learn how to become the ring master of this newly formed circus production.
How to Set Your Business Goals
The easiest way to set your business goals is to break them into three categories:
Do it today
For the clients that I currently work with, there are always tasks that need to be completed in a given week. These go onto my #MondayMotivation list as top of mind. I need to have “Do it now” goals planned into my week immediately as they are generating the income I need to live right now.
Short term goals
Short term goals are the monthly or daily actions you will take that add help keep moving your business forward. These are the “must dos” that you cannot put to the side if you want to regularly take on new clients. Mine look like:
Daily social media interactions, (1) blog / month, (1) webinar / month, (4) newsletters / month plus occasional guest blogging and guest speaking.
If you want to write a book, grow your list by 1,000%, make updates to a website, or become an authority on social media, it’s going to take time. These goals require slow, steady ticking away in order to be accomplished.
As you plan your week, if your income-generating client work is complete, and your ongoing work to create new clients has been finished, then you’ll have optimal time for a long-term goal. The second tactic is to put aside a few hours a week when you can do this as well.
Dealing With a Busy Schedule
Is your income fluctuating? Pay attention to the breakdown of the above three goals you’re setting for yourself. When we become too busy with income-generating work, we often skip over our short term goals.
Since we aren’t marketing regularly, our audience forgets who we are, leaving gaps in our sales funnel. How do we remedy it?
- Hire a VA to do the most basic tasks like programming social media posts
- Shut down all programs on your desk top and do the short-term goals after hours
- Raise your rates until you’re only working with your favorite clients
You may also have the option to automate portions of your business that you’re currently doing by hand. Automation is a double-edged sword. It frees up your time, but it also takes away some of the personal touch – so be aware where your business needs you in it.
New Business Models Mean New Goals
Every time you make a major shift in your business, you’ll need to be prepared to reevaluate how you serve your clients. What works for one niche might not work for another.
When I first started working as a copywriter, I would write a blog here and a blog there, applying to hundreds of freelance offers a week. I was a regular in job forums, content mills and freelance posting sites.
My second phase meant moving on to bigger contracts that lasted from a few weeks to several months in duration. My income looked a lot like a map of Everest it shifted elevation so much.
In year four, phase three took hold and I developed copywriting packages, redefined my niche and started to take actions towards building my brand. It wasn’t until year five, however, that I recognized the need to up level the look of my branding.
Take a look at your current business model. Ask yourself:
- How are you finding new clients?
- Are you happy with your growth?
- Do you work too hard for too little?
- How much time do you work?
- Do you work in your business or on it?
Unless you make changes in your business, you won’t be able to shift anything forward, Unhappiness is the first sign that you may need to alter how you run your company.
Do a little check in to evaluate if the money that you earn is equivalent, for YOU, of how much time you spend working and the lifestyle you lead.
A Day in the Life of …
At the beginning of this blog, I told you about my recent business growth phase. Let’s take the goal setting technique and apply it to my tasks.
I set the dates in my calendar around the NEPA Blogging Conference where I was speaking on September 12. My goal was to have everything ready to launch by that date.
I then set a date for a webinar of September 25, and October 7. I decided to see how much traction these actions gave me before deciding if I’d run a group coaching program for six weeks starting October 11.
Now the day to day stuff…
Before getting out of bed in the morning, I think about any client work that needs to be completed. This always takes priority.
I start my business day, however, by checking in on social media. I’ll spend about an hour engaging and writing a post or two for my Facebook page. Then I move on to client work.
If I received any messages from the web designers, I’d also look into the work they completed or provide feedback.
Since my short term goal had become to write a book, second priority was to spend a few hours in the afternoon reviewing at least one chapter of the book, and writing additional content.
If I wanted to continue working, I’d move on to learning the new programs I needed for my business. I would usually limit this to something small like importing a list from Mail Chimp into Aweber, as new technology can be overwhelming.
Whatever you decide is the right balance for you, make sure you keep your eye on the prize so that you can consistently manage your time. This is just one way to stay organized.
If you prefer to have everything scheduled, day by day – you can also take on a color coded Google calendar. But all that shininess is too distracting for me – so I just stick to my desk top calendar pad and keep the day-to-day details in my brain.
Elspeth Misiaszek is the innovator behind eMarketing Copywriter. She believes you deserve to profit from your passions & has dedicated her business to mentoring others to do what they love & love what they do. Grab your 10 Free Email Marketing Templates to really rock your writing.