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Remember back to January 2020? We were all thinking – Wow 2020 is THE YEAR that has success written all over it.
Fast forward to the 2nd week of March, and the whole world is facing a global pandemic.
Now the initial shock, contingency planning and ‘working from home’ is firmly bedded in for most people, this is a prime opportunity to revisit and redefine your goals for 2020.
Helen Plumridge, MD of King Recruit comments:
The important factor, is to redefine your personal and business goals in a very realistic way. How can you feasibly set and achieve these goals, in the next 3 months, 6 months and for the remainder of the year?
Goal setting is one of the most important activities you can do in your business, regardless of how old your business is, where you are located, how profitable it is, or what you sell. Not only do you focus but you also become accountable and although not much business is being done at the moment at least you now have the time to readjust to the changes in the market but also realign your business for the coming months.
To help you get started with your small business goals this year, here is a list of goals that have the potential to change your business for the better. Pick one or two that are fitting for your small business, turn them into SMART goals (more on that at the end of this article!) and create a plan to tackle them in the coming months.
Reduce Ongoing Business Expenses
This is probably the thing you have focused on most due to Covid-19 and rightly so. The stress of the last few weeks has seen dramatic cutbacks across the UK. As you set this goal for the rest of the year, be specific about how you will reduce business costs — using more technology, reducing debt, or changing up your operations. The businesses that make these changes now are far more likely to survive in the long run.
Ramp Up Proactive Productivity in Your Business
The keyword here is ‘proactive’ productivity. Although it feels like the entire world is ‘tools down’ we are all looking to Linkedin/ social media for inspiration and ways to keep productive. Nobody wants to be sold to in times like this but you can keep your brand alive by offering services/ products at reduced prices or even free! You can become more productive by eliminating distractions during the workday, improving the way you use business tools such as email and incorporating the use of productivity apps. These things are habit-forming and we all need to try and retain some structure at the moment.
Create a New Customer Service Process
With time on our hands it’s the perfect time to reflect on your services. How do you communicate with your customers and ensure their satisfaction with your business and products and services? Set a goal that focuses on making your customer service process exceptional, handling customer complaints more effectively, or incorporating customer service into your social media practices. And don’t forget about the power of asking your customers for feedback to identify what your business can be doing better.
Increase Traffic on Your Business Website or Blog
More website traffic often translates into increased sales and customer loyalty, making this a great goal. There are many ways to get more eyes on your website or blog. People have more time to read online content that is relevant to their business but also current given the circumstances at present. Start by creating a plan to ramp up your content marketing strategy. Then, once you have relevant and engaging content ready to share on your website or blog plan a timely strategy that will reach out to your target audience.
Create a New Product
Although this sounds unrealistic right now. It could be the ideal time to let those creative juices flow. If you haven’t changed up your product line in a while, one way to give your business new life is by creating a new product to add to your offerings. Consider the feedback you have received from customers and their buying behaviour as you get started with this goal. It could be something for the future that you have done all the groundwork on during ‘lockdown’.
Improve the Financial Health of Your Business
Do you have a handle on what money is coming in and going out of your business every day? Do you have an ongoing budget to guide your expenditures? Make this year the year you put down your spending and improve the fiscal health of your business. It could be in the detail where you can make additional savings and take these forward.
Conduct a Marketing Audit
Sometimes we get caught up in the “doing” and forgot to check if what we are doing is worth the time and money we are investing in it. When was the last time you took stock of all of the marketing activities you are doing and measured the level of success of each of them? Commit to doing a marketing audit over the next few weeks to improve the effectiveness of your marketing.
Do a Thorough SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a tool that helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business, a new product offering and the competition. It can be used in any stage of business to help you determine what makes your business unique, identify potential new areas of the market that are untapped, and explore what your competition is doing better than you are. Do a SWOT analysis over the next few weeks as part of a larger process to improve your decision-making ability.
Create a New Employee Incentive Program
Keeping up the morale and motivating your employees to work hard in your business can be a challenge. Especially true for small businesses that do not always have the resources to offer financial incentives. The good news is that employee incentives do not necessarily need to be financially driven. It could be that you now have time to offer some 121 mentoring, or utilising services that companies are offering for free or reduced rates at this time.
Find New Opportunities for Networking
Networking is now online. This is a great opportunity to schedule networking events around your day. If you are not actively networking, set a goal that gets you in front of more people and expands your business network. You can set-up your Zoom events covering topics you feel are relevant. People are receptive to advise and sharing in these tough times. Now is a brilliant time to join the tech networking groups and be more visible.
Use SMART Goal Setting
This year’s goals will undoubtedly have changed. It could be that you’re just trying to stay afloat in these unprecedented times. Trying to retain staff or strip back costs wherever possible. Goals can help refocus your mind and look at how things may have different outcomes. Turn each goal into a SMART goal. A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. For example, a goal to increase your market share could become: Increase market share by 3% before the 4th quarter of 2022. This version of the goal meets all of the SMART criteria.
King Recruit is an independently minded recruitment and search agency, covering Exeter and the whole of the South West. For ambitious companies and professionals alike – the core of our mission is to help drive your success.
If you’d like to speak to King Recruit by video or telephone interview advice, please call us on 01392 790725 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a convenient time. There is no obligation. King Recruit is making a Covid-19 pledge to help anyone who needs advice, support and guidance.