With 2014 just around the corner, you’re probably thinking about setting some goals for your business. If you’re anything like me, you might have some big ideas about where you’d like to see your business go in 2014.
And while having goals and dreams and plans can certainly motivate you to take action, having too many goals can actually backfire. With so many things to work on in your business, where should you start?
If you have too many choices, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and simply do nothing. (Or just do more of what you’re currently doing.)
That’s why, for 2014, I’m advocating FOCUS.
Instead of trying to do everything, I’m picking one area of my business that will be my primary focus for the year.
(Now, this doesn’t mean I’ll be abandoning the other areas of my business. Far from it. But I’ll be focusing on one area that I really want to GROW in 2014.)
To help you with your 2014 planning, I’m sharing the same questions that I’m using to establish not only my focus for 2014 but the action steps I can take to make that happen.
Then, grab a mug of your favorite hot beverage, a pen or pencil, and read on for help in answering the questions for yourself!
What is the one area of my business I want to focus on growing this year?
There’s lots of things you may want to improve in your business for 2014, but the goal here is to think about the one area you want to focus on growing this year. It could be something like your online sales, wholesale accounts, or perhaps launching your first e-course.
Why do I want to focus on this area?
Once you’ve established your focus, it’s important to articulate why you’re focusing your energy here. (This will help keep you on track when things aren’t going exactly the way you like.) Why is this area important to your business? Why is it the best area to focus on for 2014?
What are three things I can do to make that happen?
When you think about your goal for 2014, what are the main things you’ll need to do to make that happen? This is another area where it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so the goal here again is to focus on three main things that you’ll be focusing on. For example, if your goal is to grow your wholesale accounts, your main focus areas might be improving your line sheet, store outreach, and exhibiting at a trade show.
For each of those three items, what can I do each week to make them happen? (Or if not a weekly activity, what are the major things that need to happen?)
This is where you turn each area of your focus into very actionable steps. These action items will give you something to focus on each week as you try and grow your business. The goal here is to be specific and actionable, so don’t be afraid to go into a lot of detail here!
What can I measure to ensure I am working towards my goal?
To be certain your making progress towards your goal (of growing your focus area) it’s important to set some measurable goals and track your progress. If your goal is to increase your online sales, some measurables might be Instagram followers, website visits, email subscribers, and your actual sales. If your goal is to increase your wholesale business, measurables might include number of stores, average dollars per wholesale order, percentage of reorders, and of course, your actual sales.
Try to focus on 3-5 concrete areas that you can measure and list your current stats and your goal for the end of 2014. (It may be helpful to create an additional spreadsheet or chart for yourself where you can chart your progress from month to month!)
What areas of my business do I need to maintain while working on this new goal?
While your goal is to focus on growing one particular area of your business for 2014, you don’t want to let other areas slip. By listing the other revenues streams for your business, you can keep tabs on those while putting more of your energy on growing your focus area.
What do I need to do each week to maintain those areas?
Remember, the goal here isn’t to try and grow every area of your business. So just list the key tasks that have to be completed to maintain your other revenue streams.
Who can support me (or give me guidance) as I’m working on my 2014 focus area?
When the going gets tough, it’s helpful to have support. When you’re having a bad day or just need someone to bounce ideas off of, who will you turn to. Your list might include fellow makers, friends and family, or a mentor or two. The goal here is to find people who will be positive, but objective. (Because that’s what you need to help you reach your goals. No negativity allowed!)
What resources can I use to help me work on this area of my business? (Books, courses, coaching, conferences, etc.)
When it comes to growing your focus area, you might not have all the answers. Are there books you should put on your reading list, an e-course you might want to take, a conference to attend, or other resources you need to budget for?
With a little planning and a lot of effort, 2014 could be the best year yet for your business. Once you’ve filled out your worksheet, post in somewhere in your studio or workspace so that you’re reminded of what you’re focusing on and working towards.
And please, share in the comments – what area of your business will you be focusing on in 2014?