Each year around this time, my team and I discuss business objectives for the coming year. The way I personally like to do it is to pick a theme for the following 12 months. This theme is usually centered around a big project or idea that needs to get done. By setting the objective early on, we know where our focus lies.
Which business objectives you choose to follow depend entirely on the stage of business you are in. For example, my business objectives now are completely different than they were a few years ago. That being said, here are common business objectives you may want to consider for the coming year.
Create a solid sales funnel.
A sales funnel is a sort of map. This map shows different purchasing options for your customers depending on what stage they are in. Here is a very basic one from my business:
- Phase 1: Grow email list
- Phase 2: Market to list
- Phase 3: Consults
- Phase 4: Group Coaching Program
After the group coaching experience, I can either upsell to private coaching or downsell to a membership site.
The reason it’s important to map out sales funnels for your business is that it can help you better predict cash flow. For example, I know what percentage of consults I can convert to paying students. From there, I know what percentage of students I can convert to private clients. This allows me to better plan my cash flow and my finances.
Increase your visibility.
In order to get people into your sales funnel, you need to be visible. This looks like increasing your social media following, getting media attention and running ads.
Where you decide to increase your visibility depends on what’s working in your business. For example, I know I can convert Instagram followers into email subscribers and customers, so that’s where I focused a lot of time and money in 2017.
Improve your systems.
Another way to create more predictable cash flow is to upgrade your systems. For example, make sure your payment systems are working in order for you to actually get paid. In addition to that, you may want to reconsider some of your payment policies to ensure you can better plan finances.
Other systems you may want to consider improving include email marketing and client relationship managers. Or maybe it’s as simple as updating policies for your team.
Improve communication with your market.
I can’t even tell you how many business owners I talk to who think they only need to do market research once. The truth is you need to be in constant communication with your market so that you can continue to improve your products, marketing and ultimately, sales.
In fact, if you only implore one of these business objectives for 2018, let it be this one. Truth be told, this is the one objective that will help you determine what you need to do with all the others.
Choosing your business objectives now can help you plan for a better 2018. The only word of caution is that you don’t try to meet too many objectives at once. These things don’t happen overnight, so focus on the one or two objectives you know you need to focus on in the next 12 months.