Realistic Goals...How To Set Them And WhyWritten by Chuck and Sue DeFiore
So many people want to start a business today and be rich tomorrow. Sorry, people it doesn't happen that way. If it did, everyone would do it. There is no free lunch...it takes hard work, determination and realistic goal setting.
Think about businesses you have worked at, look at businesses in your community. I mean really look. When you go to dry cleaners, how many other people are there also. Think about what it takes for that dry cleaner to open every day. How many people he needs to come in with their dry cleaning in order to make a profit. OK, dry cleaning doesn't excite you. How about that specialty shop you want to open! You want to open a retail store that caters to people that buy Hummels, knick knacs, bric-a-brac. Will you only handle certain types? How many will you order of each type? What are best sellers? How many will you have to sell to make money for yourself, and to also keep that shop open, or will you sell them by mail order only from your home?
Want to do business on web? The same principles apply. How many visitors to your web site do you need to make a sale? How do you get them to visit? How do you get them to stay? You get idea. You need goals in order to measure any progress in your business.
Realistic goals come from a well thought out mission statement, which leads to a very good business plan, which leads to a well thought out marketing strategy. You should have short and long term goals. The short term goals will cover upcoming 6 months to 2 years. Your long term goals will go further out, let's say over next five years. Remember, you need to give a business at least two years in order to give it a real chance. Not all businesses make a gigantic profit immediately.
Let's say you want to start a house cleaning business. Your initial plan is to work it yourself, and add independent contractors as needed. You decide on your mission statement, you make up your business plan. You want to make $500 per week, working six days per week, 10 hour days. Your marketing will include advertising in your local paper, flyers, and mailers. You can clean 3 houses/apartments per day at $25-$50. You also have to decide your price points, what will you charge for a 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, or a house with 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms, etc. After all this is done you can better determine how many of each type you will need each week to meet you goal of $500 per week. These are your short term realistic goals. Your long term goals are to eventually hire independent contractors to do work. Obviously, more clients you market for, more independent contractors you need, but also more income you can generate. You will make up long term goals for third, fourth, and fifth years of how many independent contractors you want to add and how many clients you want. Your marketing plan will reflect what you need to do to get numbers you are projecting.
Getting Organized For The New Year - Part 1Written by Chuck and Sue DeFiore
The following procedures will insure an organized and well run office.
1. Have a daily To Do sheet. This is made up at end of day. You might have items left over from previous day, put those items first and work from there. If you make deposits on a daily basis, add them to list. Plan to file at end of day or before/after lunch breaks. Doing this daily will avoid "pile syndrome". This list should also include any marketing strategies you employ. This will insure you set time aside to implement them.
2. Have a weekly goal sheet that you review at end of work week and finish off any projects hanging, check supplies, make deposits, do invoicing, review goals you set up in your business plan. This sheet will also include phone calls left to make, marketing or mailings you need to finish.
3. Your monthly goals and routines should include: making deposits, invoicing, bank statement reconciliation, mileage costs, copier costs, postage costs, and income and expenses for month. Check your supplies and order, if necessary. Comparison of your income and expenses for month will indicate whether or not you need to make any changes or adjustments to your marketing plan for following month. Calendar any upcoming events. Make up new income and expense envelopes. Pull your tickle for following month and place materials in appropriate day. Make up your chron file for month.
4. At six month intervals check on your competition. Are they increasing their prices? What kind of marketing are they employing? Are they offering new services?
5. Do one of following things with each piece of paper that crosses your desk: act on it, read it, file it or toss it. Be sure you need it, before you file it.