Some people are just born with an entrepreneurial spirit. If that’s you, you may have thought about starting something or have already taken the leap and opened shop – virtually or physically. Starting a business is the first step, but once you get past that step, it’s time to think about getting established and maybe even business growth.
To do that, you need a strategic plan that includes big goals, smaller milestone achievements, and a business budget to get you from where you are to where you want to be. You need a way to measure achievements so you know the health of your business at all times. It can seem daunting when you’ve just started this new thing, but without a plan, your chances of long-term success dwindle. Here are a few first steps to take you from start-up mode to business mogul.
Begin by Defining Your Big Business Growth Goal
Goals help you focus. Saying you want a profitable business isn’t a goal. Sure that’s what you want, but how will you know when you achieve it. How do you define profitable? Here are three questions to help you identify your goals.
- What level of profit (income minus expenses) do you want to achieve?
- How many clients do you need to reach your goal?
- What is your ideal conversion rate for prospects turned clients?
When you start attaching numbers to your business’ success – be it a conversion rate parentage or x amount of dollars per month – you have a better idea of its growth and overall health.
But the key to defining and achieving these goals is that they must be attainable. If you’re bringing in $1,000 month in profit, setting a goal of making six-figures by this time next year, is not realistic. That kind of success is hard to create in such a short amount of time. So while it’s important to set goals, make sure they are possible.
We’re big believers in setting big, fat, hairy goals. Check out this episode of The Fiscal Fitness Podcast to learn about how you can achieve your biggest, most audacious goals.
Identify the Steps that Will Get You Closer to Your Goal
Your goals may seem big, but remember they always seem big at first. You’re at your starting point, and it will take time and work to get you to where you want to be. So you need to take your big goal and break it into smaller steps.
Let’s say you want to increase your profits by 50%. That’s likely not going to happen in one month’s time. But maybe you can increase profits by 5% per month for the next year and in order to achieve your goal. A 5% increase is far less daunting than 50%. Maybe getting one more client will help you meet your profit goals, or let’s say you can raise your prices slightly on all existing clients to get there. Sometimes entrepreneurs spend too much time doing administrative tasks. So maybe you need to hire an assistant to take care of administrative tasks so you can free up your time to work on business development and converting more leads.
Either way, once you’ve defined your goal, you know where you want to go. There are probably a few ways to get you there. Pick your path, identify the steps, and then starting tackling them one-by-one.
Create a Business Budget
You need a budget to achieve business success. Why? A budget is a measurement of the success and health of your business. We’re financial coaches so it’s probably not too surprising that we think a budget is important. But here is why it’s important: Your budget is your roadmap to success.
With a budget, you know how much money you made over periods of time (your income) and how much of that money was spent (your expenses). The difference between those two amounts is your profit. Most business owners want to increase their profits, and by having a budget, you can create a plan that will lead to more profit.
It will help you see what expenses you can cut and will let you project what is possible six-months, a year, or even 5 years out when your profits increase. If you know where you are financially today, you can plan for your future. That is what a budget does.
Use your business budget as motivation for getting more customers, creating new products, cutting expenses or streamlining processes you already have in place. You’ll begin to see how you can increase your profit incrementally. And when you increase your profits, those big business goals you have will inch closer and closer to reality.
If you’re not sure where to start, schedule a Power Planning Session today! We help business owners set goals, create budgets to fuel their growth, and provided our expertise and support along the way. As small business owners ourselves, we love to see other business owners succeed. Learn more about our Power Planning sessions here or book a Q&A call to see how financial coaching can benefit your business.