It’s that time of year again; when setting goals for your design business rears its head, creates stress, and leads to sleepless nights. “What’s the point of goal setting?” you may ask. After all, you’ve been doing setting business goals for years and rarely achieve them so, maybe this year it makes more sense to simply “wing it”.If that is or has been, your default position about your business, it’s well past time for a refresher course in goal setting.Goal setting is not a talent we are born with but, instead, is a skill that must be developed. While goal setting for your business is not complex, it does require vision and focus: a vision for a large goal by the end of the year, with focus on incremental steps to get you there.Incremental Goal Setting: Small Steps Lead to Big ResultsAs an example, a realistic approach to goal setting might look something like this:
- Set a Big Goal for the year: Increase Revenue by 40% this year
- Set 4 Quarterly Goals for the year: Increase Revenue by 10% each quarter
- Set 12 Monthly Goals for the year: Increase Revenue by 3.5% each month
- Set 50 Weekly Goals for the year: Increase Revenue by 1% each week
Clearly, aiming for and reaching a Big Goal like increasing your business’ revenue by 40% for the year becomes far easier when you think of it as just one percent per week!That 1% per week quickly becomes more than 3.5% per month, which is more than 10% each quarter, which will easily surpass your 40% increase in revenue for this year’s Big Goal!Easy peasy!How to Get ThereOf course, all of this presupposes your design business is running smoothly and you have no serious issues holding you back. Since that is rarely the case, here are a few areas of your business you might want to look at in a bit more depth.
- Business website review – While your clients may love the services you provide, if they and new visitors find your business website difficult to navigate, you are losing both current and future business. It’s important to remember that your business website is often the first point of contact with potential clients; a virtual store where first impressions are critical to success.
It’s equally important to remember that you have literally seconds to make that first impression and, if you fail to hold your visitor’s attention and/or pique quickly their interest, your website is not serving its purpose. If your website design is more than 2-3 years old, it’s time for a review – and probably a revamp.
- Client satisfaction survey – Discover your strengths and weaknesses as an interior designer straight from the “horse’s mouth” (so to speak) – the thoughts and feelings of your clients. We’ve mentioned using a client survey before and it can’t be said enough: your clients are the best source of information about where you need to focus your time and energy to grow your interior design business.
- Online marketing review – Many entrepreneurs and small business owners spend countless hours trying to learn and implement a modern online marketing strategy. Yet, most of that time is wasted, with little return on investment – and even less return for the time and energy spent (wasted?).
If this sounds familiar, you should seriously consider outsourcing your online marketing efforts to an experienced virtual support team. At the very least, you should contract with one to perform a review of your efforts which will enable you to invest your valuable time more effectively. (BTW… here’s a post about how to create a content plan in 5 minutes!)
- Self-evaluation and assessment – Taking an honest and dispassionate look at yourself as a business owner (not to mention as a person) can be challenging. It’s very natural for individuals to over-value the things they’re good at and to undervalue areas that need improvement. (For some help, check out this post on self-awareness as a leadership tool.)
But, to grow your business (and to be a good boss if you have a team), it is imperative that you understand your own strengths and weaknesses – and begin working on the areas that need your attention. Otherwise, you will never reach your long-term goal of building the business you dreamed of when you began.Granted, there is more that can be said, and learned, about how to set reachable business goals but, these goal setting tips should at least get you started along the right path.If you're interested in learning more about goal setting for your design business, or the latest design trends and online marketing tips, feel free to get in touch with TD Fall today.