Start as you Mean to Go On – Goal Setting
Start your new year as you mean to go on – goal setting – you will hear everyone talking about goal setting and I have to say this is where for me is the only way forward for any business – no matter how small – to be able to make progress and productivity and ultimately money for you and your business.
What I have found over the years is that the more I do this the better the business and my own goals are for that year ahead – I have sat down and really thought about it and then put it down on paper. Lots of people and many of them crafters often go – “nah its all in my head, I know what I want to do and anyway, I haven`t the time for all this goal setting nonsense, I just want to make.”
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”― Benjamin Franklin
And sadly this simple but of high impact quote by Benjamin Franklin is exactly that – in my early years in my Creative Craft Business I was just coasting along – hoping to make some money and hoping that it would get better and better and grow – but planning and omg setting goals, targets – that just felt too much like hard work.
Sadly though what happened is that I did not grow, get better or make money – all that I wanted for my business just did not happen. What did happen is that I just looked like I was `playing` at having or running a business and it was becoming a very expensive hobby – nothing more.
Thats when the change occurred for me and since then things have changed and that includes me as well – I want to take my business seriously and no matter how passionate I am about my craft and what I create – I have had to get my business head on and stop seeing it as a glorified hobby and make it into a wonderful super Creative Crafty Business for you in 2016 and begin this week – by setting down goals and plans for the future. Plus can I also say or add – and it still be as creative, as fun and make as much of the wonderful things you want to make as before – but being able to turn your hobby, your craft, your passion into a business that can still make you money as well.
Start by Reviewing the previous year.
Start as you mean to go on – goal setting – then start by review the previous year.
Looking back is a good way to start to look forward – for me there are 8 questions you want to ask yourself to review your previous year.
- What worked in 2015?
- What didn`t work in 2015?
- What things do you still need to complete?
- What new ideas do you have for 2016?
- Who/what helped you during 2015?
- What was the best thing you did in your business during 2015?
- In 2015 your business made £ – write it down, approximate if you have to.
- In 2016 you want to make £ – again write it down, no one is going to hold you to it but its good to have a goal of how much you would like to make for the year ahead.
Recognise what you have done well – recognise it and then celebrate it and now begin to look at how you can do things better and grow in this year ahead.
Seeing things written down is key – and its often the reality check that we need – and I find that often talking to creatives and crafters/crafty people – this part is the area of neglect – as per response previously – “I haven`t time for all of this” – but you need to make time. When I started to see how little I was making and how much I wanted to do and grow my business – it was this reality check that made me sit up and go – dear me Sharon, what are you playing at, want a serious business get your head out of the clouds woman and stop playing and start making changes – and thats what I did and I am doing. I am not saying I know it all or have it right – but believe me I am no longer repeating the mistakes I made in the past and I am making my business work for me and my what I want for my family and future. And you can too.
Don`t over complicate things – keep it simple.
Please don`t do this, or over think it – just make the decision now to make changes and do the tasks and actions in hand and do it – get organised (another blog another set of tasks lol ) and get planning but keep it simple. The more complicated and convoluted you make it, the harder it is to achieve and the easier it is to get disillusioned and give up – so KEEP IT SIMPLE and straightforward.
One of the biggest things for me in the early days was that my goals where just this – not big huge dreams or goals to take over the world or leave legacies for generations to come, make millions £`s etc etc etc – and that made me think that maybe my goals were too small. Your goals are your own – they are no one elses and for no one else to judge or interpret – they are yours – so make them to the level you want – once you get into the goal setting area you will find as your confidence grows that it works, your goals and dreams will grow – you will adapt them to grow with you as well as you and your business grow and do well – so do not be afraid to start small, but start SMART.
Being S.M.A.R.T in your goal setting
First of all you need to be specific with your goals. Don’t just say that you want to have a good month – what does that even mean? Be specific.
Then you want to make sure your goals can be measured. If you decide to have a goal of having 10 sales this month then you can measure it. If you say you want just to make sales you can’t really measure it so well.
You must also make sure that your goals are attainable. Don’t set something that you’ll struggle to pull off. By all means push yourself, but keep it achievable.
It needs to be relevant to your business. Don’t set goals about things that don’t mean much to your overall plan for your business. Thats why in the Goal Setting Task Sheet – Quarterly I have put in Me, My Family and My Business – I seen this in a networking event attended and loved it – means if you are just in the early stages of starting out – you can set small goals for yourself as well and get used to it all.
And finally it needs to have a time focus. That means you know when you want to achieve the goal by. By the end of the month, or by the end of the week or by a certain date. It doesn’t matter what your date is except that you aim for it!
What next? Goal is SMART – what next?
Once you have your goals worked out you now need to make sure that you achieve them.
An idea of a goal is nothing without action steps. So whatever your goal is work out what you need to do in order to get there.
In the Business Support group I have put some task sheets that you can use to help you set your Goals and set out an action plan on who to achieve your goals – print them out or save to computer and put in a file and then you can review them either monthly, or quarterly or in 6 months time to make sure on track.
For me I like to see mine – so I have a white board in my craft room/ office and I put them there – its visual and a constant reminder of what I need to do to achieve each of my goals and keep me on track.
I will also have an email sign up for my Starting a Crafting Business – Creation to Cashflow Questionnaire and Check list – available soon that will be really useful to anyone thinking about starting their craft business or already up and running but need a little reminder to help you grow and develop.