How can business owners plan for success? Pop music aficionados may recall that “Dressed for Success” was a hit for Roxette in 1988. With all due respect to the Swedish pop-rock duo, and all well dressed entrepreneurs, success of late has been less of a look, and more of an ethic of strategy, hard work and dedication. When it comes to mapping out the success of your business, there’s no time like the present! Let these seven questions be your guide.
What Do You Want Your Business to Achieve This Year?
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want. Or at least tell yourself. Start out wide and fantastical, before narrowing it down. At Peak Ed Designs, we’re always setting goals that relate to the next month, quarter, and year. Is there a delayed project that finally needs to be tackled? Do you want to update a system, or increase the number of leads you receive? If you’re reading this over the holidays, get your wish list in place by year’s end. If not, do it anyway, it’s January 1 somewhere. OK, that’s not how the calendar works, but regardless, there’s no time like the present.
Are Your Goals Realistic?
This is the slightly less fun, but totally empowering part of the process. It is important that your goals are “stretchy”, so you’re invited to step out of your comfort zone and grow as both a person and company. You could even set up a good, better, best goal. When you raise the bar, you are more likely to shoot for the top and get further than you thought possible, compared to if you had just settled with the lower goal.
Be honest with yourself when assessing your goals. Overshoot and you risk burnout, failure, and lost hope. Undershoot and you leave potential unrealized. This is the A in the famous SMART goals acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). A true assessment of your business, your situation, and yourself is necessary. If circumstances change, recalibration is always an option. The good news is the true purpose of a goal is not necessarily to hit the target. The true purpose is discovering the person you become in the process of working towards achieving the goal.
Do You Have a Clear Path to Success?
A goal without a plan is a wish. Now that your goals have been deemed realistic and stretchy, it’s time to chart a map between here and there. Be specific. By breaking your journey down into a series of smaller steps, you’ll be able to track your progress.
If it is too difficult to determine every step, that’s ok. Instead of determining every minute step, make it simple and focus on the first step and get started. Using a running metaphor, instead of running the whole marathon, focus on putting your running shoes on. The most important part is getting started and not letting the details slow you down, as this can lead to analysis paralysis.
Is There Fat to be Trimmed in Your Business?
Time and money are the most valuable resources for many businesses. If you’re wasting time or money on one aspect of your business, you’re stealing it from somewhere else.
Are your expenditures working towards your goals, or are some frivolous? Are you prioritizing the tasks that are essential to your success, or is your to do list influenced by habit, or the fear of a shake-up? Chart your path to success, and make logical, data-driven decisions.
Ask yourself: which aspects of your status quo are moving you toward your goals, and which aren’t?
Does Your Business Have a Clear Brand Mission?
Do you have a clear handle on exactly what your brand represents? What is your true value proposition? What makes you unique? If so, congratulations, but don’t celebrate just yet. What’s truly important is that your potential clients understand your brand.
Obsess over your elevator pitch. Cut it down to size, rework it, leave nothing ambiguous. Since we’re not supposed to talk in elevators anymore, you’ll have to make sure your website and all other forms of communication spread your message directly and articulately.
Where are the Weak Points in Your Customers’ Journey?
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and trace the journey from interest to pulling out their credit card. Ask yourself: are there any misconception, confusion, unnecessarily difficult processes, or other sources of hesitation preventing people from procuring your goods or services? This will help you convert existing leads, as well as gain new ones.
It may be that you are so busy selling the broad strokes of your business that you’ve neglected a needling issue causing unnecessary friction.
Do You Have a Checklist for Achieving Your Goals?
Not a theoretical set of loosely sequential ideas in your head, but an actual written out set of steps that can be used as a means of tracking true progress throughout your journey. Sports card fans know that the dreaded “checklist” was the most useless card to pull from the pack. Entrepreneurs know that in business this could not be further from the truth. Create a checklist to determine what “success” looks like in achieving your goals. Consider printing it and placing it above your work station, providing you with a north star to focus on.
When Peak Ed Designs develops a website, we do so with your success in mind. If a compelling point could entice a sale, but remains unsaid, we haven’t done our job. That’s why our intake process includes a comprehensive questionnaire, and our internal copywriting strategy meetings are so thorough.
Likewise, we detest the idea that an interested party doesn’t pass the finish line because of an unavoidable complication. This fuels our passion for user experience.
Can we build a website that works to help you achieve your goals?
At Peak Ed Designs, we design and build websites that help you form strong relationships with your clients. Using fundamental user experience principles and clear copywriting practices, we strive to convey your value proposition and provide your visitors with a seamless experience. Our free consultation is our way of showing you our appreciation in advance.
I want a website that truly helps me grow my business and reach my goals.