Setting Goals for 2009

As the New Year approaches it is that time to set some New Years Resolutions.  Apart from the typical New Years resolutions to lose that last 10 pounds of pregnancy baby weight, eat healthier, exercise more, spend more time with the kids (do you ever spend enough time with the kids), read more books and of course spend more time with my husband, it is also a good idea to set some goals for each of the businesses!

How to Set Goals for 2009

Start Backwards.

First step is to think about where you want to be at the end of 2009.  These goals can best be represented in dollar amounts but could also be represented in traffic, page views, rakings for keywords and so on.  Depending on how many different websites and businesses you are involved in, this might take a little work!  It is not enough to simply say that you want to make $1,000,000 in sales for 2009!  Take each of your profit generating websites or as I like to call them, “money sites”, and think about where they are at now financially and where you would like them to be at the end of the next 12 months.  Second step is to divide up the year into four quarters and to assign what goal each site or business needs to be producing each quarter in order to meet your financial goal for the year.  For example if I have a site that is producing $6K per month in sales now and I want it to go to $18K per month by the end of 2009, then for the first quarter, my goal will be to increase that from $6K per month to $9K per month.  The second quarter the goal will be $12K, third quarter $15K and by the end of the fourth quarter of the year, $18K.

Write it down.

Second step is to write down your goals in the most visual way possible so that they will always be in front of you for the next 12 months.  My new best friend are the huge white sticky post its.  Take one of the huge post its, write the name of the business at the top and then write down the financial goals for each quarter.  Stick this huge post it in your home or work office or somewhere where you will see it every single day.  You could write your goals in a business journal or in a file in your computer but I find it best if you actually print out your goals and then post them up somewhere you can look at them everyday of 2009.

Break it down.

Next step is to write out what needs to be accomplished to be able to reach your goals.  Don’t hold back here.  On the same huge post it that you have the goals written down on for 2009, write out all the steps you need to accomplish to be able to reach your goals.  Maybe that is add live chat to your website.  Maybe start a newsletter list.  Maybe blog 2 times per week.  Write down all of your ideas and be as specific as possible.  As you achieve and accomplish each of these tasks you can cross them off of your list.  As you think of more you can also add them to your list.  The most important thing is to keep pushing towards your goals.  Many times we have great ideas but they never get implemented as we are too busy with the day to day activities.  Having the goals or steps we need to accomplish written down in a highly visual place will help us to always stay focused to the bigger picture. Some tasks can be outsourced.  I even have a list of things I want to learn how to do for 2009.  Family goals can be written down as well as personal and spiritual goals.  Don’t just write down: Read 12 books.  Write down the names of the 12 books.  If you don’t know which books you want to read, keep adding to the list as you have books recommeded to you.

Plan it out.

Next step is to make a serious attempt to plan out how you will implement the steps to achieve your goals in 2009.  As you look at all of the steps you need to accomplish to reach your goals, it is time to plan out the calendar year of exactly when you will be focusing on and accomplishing each of the steps.  This can also be accomplished with a huge post it.  Write down the first date of each week for 2009 and write out next to it what you will be focusing on for that week.  Take into consideration holidays, family vacations, and so on.  You will soon find that the year 2009 is quickly becoming filled!  A saying we learned in college was “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.  Take time to plan and you will soon find that as the months pass you will be accomplishing much more than in years past.

Keep Track

Last step is to create one final chart where you can record your progress.  Again, a huge post it comes in real handy here.  You don’t have to be fancy here.  Fancy takes time. A simple chart where you can record the monthly progress of each of your businesses with each of your goals.  You want to be able to quickly look and see if your efforts have been working.  You don’t want to get to the end of 2009 and realize that you worked the whole year but the strategy was not as effective financially as you hoped!  Keep track of what works and focus on the most profitable strategies first.  If something is not working, don’t wait six months to change direction.

Now go set some goals!

(PS next year I will be selling huge Post Its!)