Monday, January 7, 2008

Strategies: Set goals to make things happen in 2008

Your list of things to do is still 2 pages long and you still haven't gotten that well deserved vacation after the holidays, have you? Ah, the life of a retailer is never easy.
But no matter how busy you are, to be a truly successful retailers, you MUST take some time out to set some business goals for 2008- AND DO IT TODAY!

Now these goals aren't written as full fledged business plans (hopefully, you already have one that guides your business decisions on a daily basis, right?) but they are the steps that should help you achieve your business goals for 2008 and make the planning of your daily business a bit more strategic- even when it gets crazy in your store!

So where do you start? What should your goals look like? I propose this:

Ask yourself and answer the question "What do I most want to accomplish this year for my business?
Now-- write down the answers.
  1. Make your goal specific. Be very clear, "I want to make more money this year" is nice, but how are you going to get there? Instead of "Send emails to customers" how about writing your goal like this? "Create an effective email marketing campaign each month that generates an additional $2,000 in retail sales for my store and gather 20 names each week to add to the email distribution that I am sending it to." This goal clearly defines the goals for distribution as well as sales that will come from this effort. It also clearly states the message so that all of your employees know that collecting email addresses will be a priority this year.
  2. Make it positive. It's usually easier to add something good to your life than to remove something bad. State your goal in positive terms. "I am excited and looking forward to creating new and unique marketing messages for my customers via email this year."
  3. Set a time frame. Even the smallest task has a deadline. Shouldn't your very important business goals have deadlines as well? Don't give yourself too much time to achieve the goals. Make it realistic, but push yourself and your employees to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible. The sooner it gets done, the quicker you will see the measureable results you are looking for.
  4. Make it achievable. Choose a goal that you have a realistic change of being able to reach. Don't set a goal that has continually not been achieved; start fresh and give yourself a chance to succeed.

Wha'ts next? After writing down your goals, choose three of the goals you have written down and COMMIT to achieving them in the first quarter of this year. Seeing yourself achieve these goals so early in the year (and reaping the business rewards because of it) will give you energy and momentum to set out achieving the others on your list just as quickly.

And what to do if you finish the list of goals mid way thru the year? Add new ones! Continually pushing yourself, and your business to new heights will bring financial and personal rewards for everyone involved!

Start today, set goals for your business, and go out and make it a great 2008!