While many business owners use this time of the year to plan the 12-months ahead, I thought it would be a good time to share some insights into planning successfully… to maximize your chances of reaching your goals in 2018.
Often, I see business owners either skip this exercise, or do it all wrong by setting arbitrary targets and not setting themselves up with the right “tools” for success. Let’s have a look at the essentials.
In essence, you need 3 ingredients: a realistic goal, a strategic plan to reach it, and a focused motivation to get going.
Where do you want to be at the end of 2018?
Okay, I need to clarify one thing first: we’re talking about planning your marketing, sales and revenue for the year; hence, goals should be quantifiable targets, measurable and traceable throughout the months.
The goals are your destination, and before deciding on them, understand WHY you want to “go there”. Your target sales and revenue numbers for 2018 have to make sense in the context of your overall business goals. Clarifying your WHY will allow you to focus your motivation after you have set your plan, your roadmap.
While constant growth is not a must for private companies, usually a business that drives controlled growth every year sets itself up with more means to thrive in the marketplace, and is less likely to be bounced around by the competition. Don’t forget: we live in a world of constant change, so it’s probably better to be ahead than trailing…
Your roadmap: start with the end in mind
While revenue targets are your destination, and the WHY your energy or drive to get there, if you focus that drive in the wrong direction you will not reach your goals in time. So how do you come up with a realistic plan?
The best way I know of planning how to reach your year end goals is to reverse-engineer them: start with the end!
I had written a more detailed blog post a while ago about How To Create Your Roadmap To Successful Marketing. If you don’t want to go too much into detail, read on as I have summarized the idea below.
If your year end goals call for +30% of revenue, start with that number, then break it down by month, week, and possibly day, so you know exactly how much revenue needs to be generated on a smaller time-frame to give you a chance of reaching your yearly targets.
Let’s pick an example: if you made $1 Million in revenue in 2017, and your 2018 target is to grow that by 30%, we’re talking about $1.3 Million by December 31, 2018.
That means that monthly, you need to generate $108,333 in revenue, or $25,000 every week. If you are operating 5 days a week that’s $5,000 per day.
If we assume your revenue is generated by new clients only (no recurring revenues), and your average client earns you $10,000 in revenue, then your marketing and sales need to generate 2.5 new clients every week, or one new client every 2 business days, on average.
While reality will probably make the actual revenue figures look more like the french Alps or the Rockies, with spikes and dips along the timeline, these calculated averages give you a reference to aim for to set yourself up for success. A sound marketing plan will also help level these dips and peaks to make for a more consistent client acquisition.
If your company is selling recurring services to “customers” (patients, clients) as well as products, such as in an optometry practice that also sells opticals, then your equation looks a bit different of course. There are just too many scenarios to get into the details for all , so you will have to do your homework and adapt your goal setting and roadmap definition to your specifics.
Defining your strategic roadmap
Now that you have a numbered roadmap with milestones, you need to find the right “bike” to get there.
Focus and perseverance alone are not enough to ensure you will reach your goals. When has focusing on the wrong elements & strategies, even with perseverance, helped somebody reach their goals?
“The right plan” will hence be a mix of a roadmap of quantitative milestones and the right marketing and sales strategy.
Selecting the right marketing strategies that will allow you to reach your goals is very specific to each local marketplace and industry, and there is usually more than one way to “get there from here”:
Should you reinforce your Pay Per Click campaigns to get more clients, or should you super charge your SEO efforts to drive more prospects to your webpages, or should one invest in developing a higher converting website and sales funnel to achieve your targets? What about leveraging social media more?
The answers will depend on your specific situation. If you want our help in setting up a marketing roadmap to maximize your chances of reaching your business goals in 2018, contact us.