Happy new year! Now that we’ve started a new year, what plans do you have to make this your most profitable year ever? Here are some ideas for you.
Four 2020 Resolutions Worth Making and Keeping for Your Business
- Did you do an end of year business review? If not, that’s the place to start. See below for information on how to do an effective one.
- Set SMART goals for 2020. If you’re unfamiliar with SMART goals, see below the end of the year business review.
- Choose the most important metrics for your business and monitor them on a regular basis. If you’re unsure about what you should be measuring, see the section below on metrics.
- Invest in yourself. Decide to build your skills this year. Commit to regularly working on your business knowledge base and those skills that have the most potential for building your business. Regular professional growth is a necessity in today’s continually changing business world.
An End of the Year Business Review That Will Set You Up for Maximum Success in 2020.
Have you done an end of the year review for 2019? A year-end review can strike fear in the heart of many an employee and at least a few business owners.
If you’re an employee, it can be the most dreaded time of the year. But, if you’re running your own business, it can be one of the most beneficial times of the year.
As the boss of your own business, a year-end review can help you launch a new year in the very best possible way. So, how do you do a review that will set you up for success in 2020?
First, your mindset needs to be brutally honest. You’re doing this review for improvement and you can’t improve what you won’t admit needs improvement.
Second, put it in writing. There is something about writing things down, whether it’s a grocery list, a to-do list, a weight-loss goal, or goals for your business.
Your end of the year review can be the basis for a guiding document for the new year. Don’t let this be just a mental exercise that is quickly forgotten. Plan your work and work your plan to achieve your highest goals.
Start with the positives. What went right in 2019? What were your highest achievements? Where did you see real improvement over 2018? What were the challenges in 2019 that you overcame? What did you learn? To what extent did you achieve your goals for 2019?
Next, let’s move into areas of concern. What do you still need to do to complete what hasn’t yet been achieved? What are the challenges that persist into the new year? What can you improve upon in 2020 that was a roadblock for you in 2019?
Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them. Think about how your challenges can help you create a better plan for moving forward into 2020.
Don’t fixate on your weaknesses, but don’t ignore them either. This review is for your benefit – don’t sabotage it by leaving out what could be most helpful.
Setting Goals for the New Year
What goals will you set for your business and your personal performance for 2020? What will you continue to do that will help you meet your goals? What will you change that will help you meet your goals? What will you get rid of that is not contributing to your reaching your goals?
Use the Traffic Light Assessment
Here’s an exercise that can be helpful – it’s called the traffic light. Green stands for what went well that you want to continue. Red stands for everything you want to eliminate. Yellow is for everything that requires reassessment. So, looking back at 2019, what would you like to “green light” for 2020? What didn’t go well and deserves a red light? What needs a yellow light reassessment?
Finally, what is your personal development plan for 2020? What are the areas of your business that need most improvement and how will you build competencies in these areas? How do you intend to improve yourself to meet the challenges of this year? What do you need to do to put you in the best position to succeed in 2020? What would contribute to your greatest success in this year?
Take your year-end review seriously and it could be your greatest growth tool for the new year. Use it as a springboard for your 2020 goals.
Get S.M.A.R.T. for 2020
Now that you’ve done your annual review for 2019 for assessment and planning purposes, it’s time to set some SMART goals for 2020.
With your frank and honest look at 2019, you are in the best position to plan for 2020. Whether it’s resolutions or goals, your plan for achievement must be clear. Too many plans are vague (like I want to lose weight, make more money, spend more time with my family, be happier).
As the image above says, smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Vague generally doesn’t work, specific and measurable does. Make sure that your goals are attainable – nothing is more discouraging that stretching toward an unattainable goal. A question you can ask yourself is “what do I need to do to achieve this goal?”
If you can’t see the relevancy of your goals for your life, chances are good that you won’t have the passion or motivation required to achieve them.
Chart your goals in terms of time frame (short, medium, and long term). How long will it take to achieve your goals – a day, a week, a month, several months, the full year? Some of your long-term goals may be multi-year like graduate from college, complete grad school, get my business to $10,000 a month… You may wish to set one year, three year, five year, and ten year goals.
Your goals should be written down in a place where you can review them regularly, at least once a month. It is also good to schedule quarterly reviews to insure that you are staying on track. You may find it helpful to spend a bit more time at mid-year to assess your progress.
One way to break down your life could be work, family, spiritual, physical (healthy eating and exercise), financial (earning, giving, saving), and personal development (spiritual, intellectual, and emotional). How do you want to grow in each of these areas? What categories would you like to add to this?
Set specific, measurable goals in each area including a date for completion. Consider what additional training you will need to achieve your goals. What seminars, conferences, classes, books, or mentor will take you to the level of achievement that you have set for yourself?
Planning is work, but it’s smart work. Smart planning makes hard work a whole lot easier. With a plan, you will already be well on your way to achieving more in 2020 than you did in 2019.
Are You Using These 7 Metrics?
Running any business is hard enough, but if you’re not measuring your progress, how do you know whether you’re really making any progress? Here are seven key metrics for your business:
1. Conversion Rate
The bottom line is always the bottom line, and if you’re not making sales you’re not really in business. So, to convert an expensive hobby into a business, we need sales. The easiest measure is simple profit and expense – how much did you spend to create a sale?
Conversion Rate is the average number of transactions divided by total number of prospect visits. So, if you have 100 prospects open your emails and 3 buy, your conversion rate is 3%, which is the industry average for online marketing.
To dig a bit deeper into your conversion rate, what does it tell you about your marketing, whether it’s through your website, emails, or whatever means you are using to put your products and services in front of potential customers.
2. Average Order Value
This is very easy to track and when you measure this you can easily track the progress of your business. This is not just a function of selling more expensive products; it is a function of selling more products to your customer base.
Divide your total revenue by the total number of orders to get your Average Order Value. You can raise this number with up sells, down sells, and bundling products.
3. Abandoned Carts
How many people are starting to buy, but abandon the sales transaction? 54% is the industry standard according to Forrester Research. You can complete more sales by making more time-based offers, up selling, and cross-selling related products.
4. Page Views
Attracting more customers starts with visitors. Whether they come through a search engine, social media, your advertising, or some other source, page views to your website are a measure of how well you are attracting potential customers.
You can increase page views to your website through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), search engine advertising, social media, email campaigns, and customized landing pages.
5. Customer Acquisition
How much does it cost you to attract new customers? This is a simple metric that goes right to the heart of your bottom line. If you’re spending one dollar to earn two, three or more dollars, your customer acquisition costs are low enough for you to earn a profit. How much you spend to locate and secure customers is the very basis of your business.
Targeted advertising and marketing is one of the best ways to keep your customer acquisition costs low. If your website is set up as a blog and you’ve got a good lead magnet and landing page, you should be getting leads from it on a regular basis. Monitor all your efforts at acquiring new customers to determine whether your targeting is on target or far afield.
6. Page Ranking
Did you know that 93% of prospects start with a web search when investigating new products? 75% of those searching don’t scroll past the first page. You need to be on that first page!
How do you get there? First, one more stat: 70-80% ignore paid ads, so let’s eliminate this way of jumping to the top. This calls for SEO, which will increase your page views (see 4 above), and you need an effective content strategy to attract visitors to your website, which will also raise your page ranking.
7. Repeat Customers
Repeat customers save you money on advertising and marketing, and can talk up your brand to others. When you have loyal customers your bottom line will increase.
Here are two metrics on repeat customers: 1) 27% is the industry standard, and 2) 41% of sales from repeat customers is the industry standard. What this means is that 27% of your customers will buy other products from you and these purchases will contribute to 41% of your total sales.
Grow loyal customers and you will grow your business. Use these seven metrics to grow your business, and watch the final one grow as your business matures.
Here’s to you!
Here’s hoping that you have a great 2020. Creating the right goals, with the right plans is the best way to ensure that you will have a great year this year. To your success!
I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares.