Our Goal Is To Get 10 New Clients Each Month In 2015 – What’s Yours?
As another new business year begins companies are starting to make plans for the coming year and setting goals and targets for achieving your ambitions. By all accounts 2015 will be a very different business environment to 2014 with most businesses, but not all, setting their sights back on growth after many years of austerity and cost cutting. Economic growth is increasing rapidly and with it comes renewed opportunities domestically and internationally. The effects of last year’s budget cuts will be kicking in from January and consumers will have a little bit extra disposable income. Research conducted by Avid Partners, and others, suggests that over 80% of small businesses are planning on growing their business revenues in 2015. And why not? Who wants to be involved in a business that is contracting or dying a slow death? Nobody and neither do you so make 2015 a growth year for your business and set your targets now and outline how new growth is going to be achieved. Where to start?
1. Decide on what Level of Revenue Growth is Achievable in 2015!
This is a company specific answer based on the current circumstances of the company. To some services business 15%-20% is an ambitious target to strive for which if the business is a start-up with a decent level of support then 100% may be the growth target for the year. Make the income goal ambitious but achievable. Targets that will be near impossible to meet will be demoralising when they are not achieved while targets are too low wont motivate you to do better! If you like create an Ambitious Goal as well as a Targeted Goal for growth. That way once you have hit the standard target you are moving on to the ambitious one. Keep yourself on your toes!
2. Outline Your Specific Business Goals for 2015!
It may sound obvious but writing goals down makes them real and part of thinking. You would be surprised at the amount of business that don’t take the time to map out their plans. They have a couple of vague targets in mind and they stay hidden from any formal business plans. Keep your goals Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Based. Stay away from clichés like “our goal is to be the number 1 business in our market by the end of the year” or “our goal is to treble our turnover in the next 12 months”. Blind statements like those show that little or no effort has been put into the though process for the business. Be better than that and your team will believe in you a lot more!
3. Is It Time to Re-Evaluate Your Target Base?
Every business moves on year on year and with their changing stage of development comes a need to change their Target Market. That doesn’t mean you are going to dump your existing customers but it may mean that you are focusing your efforts into gaining new clients under different criteria. It may be you need a smaller base of larger customers or more profitable customers in a different business area than what your current mainstream client base consists of. Whatever the changing circumstances don’t stick targeting new customers that your business has outgrown as some of the most expensive words in the business language are “but that is the way we always did things”.
4. Evaluate How These Goals Are Going To Be Achieved?
This is where your marketing brain kicks in and outlines specifically the activities that will be undertaken to achieve your Growth Targets for 2015. Develop a brief but specific marketing plan or marketing calendar whichever you prefer. Highlight and briefly discuss the activities along with targets of customer acquisition, frequency, cost and allocation. For small companies on restricted budget stick to a smaller number of core strategies that have proven to work. Include the basic must haves such as: Content Marketing, Direct Mail/Newsletters, Events, SEO Campaign, Social Media, Public Relations, Referral Programme, Strategic Alliances, Advertising (online & offline), Networking, Promotions and Direct Mail. Also use the opportunity to have a re-look at your company website. After all your website is your shop winder so make sure it’s looking its best going into 2015!
5. Create Your Action Plan & Timelines
Here you will document when tasks are going to be completed, who is going to do them and when. Make sure everybody in your organisation is playing to their strengths and not assigned tasks based on the fact that nobody else wants to do them! Have regular review to discuss progress (monthly or every two months at the most). Also decide if you need some outside assistance with certain tasks as very few companies have expertise to do everything in-house (web developers, marketing experts, financial assistance). Be sensible when setting time lines for your activities. Over the Summer months many professionals take holidays so don’t schedule important promotional events around this time. Business start winding down in December so don’t leave any important communications until the end of the year. January is a very quiet month for businesses and can be cash flow tight for many so don’t have expensive time sensitive activities that month. Some common sense will ensure you get the most bang for your book from your efforts.
6. Implementation – Get Stuck In!
As soon as you set your goal and objectives start striving straight away and don’t leave it a week or a month to begin the growth push. If you do there is nothing more certain than momentum being lost and the good will of a New Year will have passed your business by. Keep in mind that you have to share your goals and allocate responsibilities to your team as nobody can achieve ambitious goals on their own in a team business. Make sure you manage your time effectively in 2015 and stay focused on the issues that are really important. Try to create the best working environment possible in your organisation and despite the setbacks you will inevitably encounter try to stay positive as often as possible and don’t be afraid to celebrate your successes along the way. Success breeds success and when you achieve something worth shouting about do so and let as many people as possible know how great your business is becoming.
2 Short Examples of Goal Planning to Consider
Case Study 1 - Consultancy Business
Broad Goal – We want to Grow our Company Revenues by 20% in 2015.
Financial Goals – €126,000 Revenue Growth
New Customer Acquisitions – 136 Small Businesses
Customer Base – Retain Existing Customers & Expand into Larger Customer Segments for New Business.
Marketing Activities to Growth – Monthly Business Seminars, Facebook & LinkedIn Online Campaigns, Online & Offline Marketing, Monthly Newsletters, Daily Social Media Posts, News Article Monthly Contributions, Referral Programme Targeting 10 Client Referrals Per Month, 25 New Strategic Alliances for 2015, 3 Blogging Articles Per Week, Twice Yearly Client Services Meetings, Website Development Programme in January and Ongoing SEO Campaign.
Monitoring Timelines – Monthly Management Meeting to Review Progress
Allocation – Team Based Initiatives with Individual Responsibilities for Delegated Tasks.
Case Study 2 - Legal Firm
Broad Goal – We want to become Well Known Experts in Our Field in 2015
Specific Goal – I will become an expert on the topic of employment law
Measurable – I will be successful if I am asked to speak on the topic once a month, receive interview requests every week and write one article per month for a top industry publication.
Attainable – I will achieve this by hiring the services of a professional marketing firm and launching a publicity campaign.
Relevance – Establishing myself as a small business employment expert will re-enforce my 20 years in the business and allow me to reach out to more small businesses looking for employment law advice.
Time Period – I want to be established as a small business law expert in 2 years with 2015 being the break through year.
Avid Partners is a specialist Accounting & Business Advisory Company. We are always delighted to hear from progressive businesses setting their 2015 goals and targets so get in touch today by calling us on 0818 303087, email us at email@example.com or fill in the enquiry form below. We look forward to hearing from you.
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