In The 7 Mistakes That Sabotage Your Success™ I talk about goals and the need for clarity. And it’s true. You do need to be clear on your goals as a first step. But there is more to goal-setting than just clarity. You also need specificity.
Specificity (which is a difficult word to pronounce properly, by the way) is about being specific in your goals.
It’s not enough to want your business to increase its revenue next year. You need to set a target amount for the increase. That amount could be in absolute currency amount (additional 50,000 dollars) or it could be as a factor (half again the revenue of this year).
Maybe you don’t care as much about revenue as you do about profits. After all, if you could make twice as much money on what you sell would it matter if you sold fewer units (as long as you sold more than half what you do now)? Probably not, since most people are looking for more money for less work.
(If you have a problem with the idea of selling less but getting more for it, you may be encountering Mistake 2 – Ignoring Roadblocks. Check out the 7 Mistakes Audio for more on that.)
But you don’t get to that (selling fewer units but making the same net revenue) by chance. You have to set that as a specific goal.
And, yes, it could be to have twice the margin on your units in order to meet that scenario. But it could also be achieved by increasing revenue, reducing overhead, improving your marketing to reduce customer acquisition costs…. You don’t have to know HOW you will achieve your goal. But you do need to be specific in the results you want.
Or perhaps your goal is new customers. In that case, just being clear that you want more new customers next year won’t be very effective for you. Would you be satisfied if you got two additional customers next year? After all, that satisfied the (implied) goal of more than one new customer.
If that isn’t what you really want/mean, then say what you mean. Say what you really want. Be specific. “I want 10 new high-dollar customers next year, each one bringing at least $100,000 in gross sales of business for me.” You are much more likely to see an increase in both customers and revenue with that goal.
But there can be a problem with a goal like that. We’ll talk about it next time.
What are your goals? Share them with us in the comments. You’ll be surprised what just writing them out for us will do for you.