Realistic Goals To Focus On In Your First Year Of Business
Your first year in business can be exciting, exhilarating and exhausting. That's why it's important to focus on setting realistic goals. But how do you know what a realistic goal is if you've never been a business owner before? I got you! I'm here to share with you three realistic goals for your first year of business.
Goal One For Your First Year Of Business:
↣ Find and Maintain Harmony Between Life and Business ↢
Your first year of business is filled with lots to learn and lots to do. It's easy to get swept up in working till 2am. You'll work long hours either because you're excited about what you're doing or because your to-do list feels 3-miles long. But, working till 2am and not taking time off will throw your life out of balance, and create overwhelm. You'll be burnt out before you even get your business off the ground.
Which is why setting a schedule is one of the top goals for your first year of business.
Set a schedule and then tweak that schedule to find the right harmony between life and business. Mark out time blocks on your calendar for marketing, service/product development, business finances and client care/service. Then create a list of projects for each of these categories. When your calendar says it's time to work on a category, grab your project list and start checking things off.
This way you are setting yourself up for balance and harmony now and as your business grows. Sure, the categories may change and some new categories added. And yes, the amount of time for each may grow or shrink. But you'll have made working on and working in your business a routine. You'll have a set your schedule up to avoid burnout while maintaining momentum on your projects.
Goal Two For Your First Year Of Business:
↣ Develop Detailed Systems ↢
When starting a business, there never seems to be enough time. But, if you creating systems is one of your goals for your first year of business, you can save time.
If you're going to do it more than once, it needs a system. And, it probably needs a checklist too.
From client onboarding to blog writing and accounting you can save yourself tons of time and stress with systems. Imagine using a client on-boarding checklist to add your new clients information to your customer tracker and their payment to your accounting sheet.
Not only will this checklist/system save you time because you're not having to reinvent the wheel every time. But, you're also going to build your confidence. There is less room for self-doubt to creep in when you have a system to follow. And, once you follow your system a few times, you'll be able create consistent results. Then you can tweak the system for even better results with future clients.
So, how do you create these business systems?
You take action and track your actions. Let's say you're going to write a blog, what are you going to do first? Maybe you're going to brainstorm some topic ideas, great, write that down as step one: brainstorm. Next you might pick one topic and outline the main points, write that down as step two: outline main points. Continue on until you have edited and published that blog. Now you have a checklist/system for your next blog AND you've written a blog. You're rocking it! Now move on to another task and as you go through the process, write down the steps you're taking.
Soon, you'll have systems and checklists for every "task" in your business. And, when you learn something new, pull out the appropriate checklist and add that step. You don't have to waste brain space trying to remember things, just pull out your checklist and follow the steps. Time saved, stress avoided and project completed. YOU GOT THIS!!!
Goal Three For Your First Year Of Business:
↣ Figure Out How To Believe In Yourself ↢
Starting your own business and becoming your own boss is bound to rock your confidence. In fact, confidence is the number one block to business success. Honestly, believing in your capabilities and abilities should probably be the top goal for your first year of business. And it's easier said than done.
From clients not hiring you to subscribers dropping off your list, there is always something rocking your confidence. And because everything is new, if something doesn't get the result you expect, you're going to assume it's because you.
The truth is that every business and every business owner experiences failures.
There is no business owner who hasn't had a client reject them and hire someone else. There is no business owner who hasn't had someone unsubscribe from their email marketing newsletter. It's just not possible to succeed in business without failure.
So then, how do you continue to believe in yourself ?
I'm glad you asked. Here are my top 4 tips.
- Focus On What You Are Doing More Than What You're Not Doing. Keep a TA-DA List. Read and re-read your client testimonials. Take the time to recognize that your skills are improving. The key is to make it a habit to record and reflect on your wins.
- Keep Your Self Talk Positive. For me, this has been the most challenging. I can go months where my mindset is spot on. And then, my inner critic jumps in and usually it's at the most inconvenient of times. Two things I've found helpful are affirmations and talking to someone. Sometimes I just need them to listen because what I really need is to hear my own self-talk. Other times, I need them to remind me of the progress I've made.
- Build Relationships With Other Solopreneurs. Isolation as a solopreneur is a real challenge. And, when we're alone we can quickly believe that no one else is having the problems we're having. Having fellow business owners to chat with honestly and openly helps you see that you're not the only one. In fact, you're more likely to see that what you're experiencing is what everyone experiences. It's not something you lack or something you did wrong.
- Test and Tweak. Having the mindset that your first year of business is about experimenting will be a protective barrier for your confidence. If everything you do is an experiment then you never fail. You only gather data upon which you can make new decisions and take new actions. Now, every experiment starts with a hypothesis. So, make your best educated guess, go out and test it. Then review our results, tweak your hypotheses and test again.. Repeat until success is consistent and continuously monitor to ensure the experiment is still working.
Now, are these the only
goals for your first year of business? No.
But, focusing on these will strengthen your business core. And a strong business core allows you to create more success in potentially less time and with greater ease.
What can you do today, this week, or this month to work on these core business goals?
Hello! & Welcome
I'm Coach Erin. I help new and emerging business owners
↣ organize ideas
↣ design authentic brands
↣ systematize business
↣ create and implement strategies
↣ improve productivity
If you want to start, grow and manage your online service business with more confidence, consistency, and control, let's meet.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin Garcia, Business Coach
Coach Erin has been guiding new business owners through the process of starting, growing, and managing a service business since 2003. Between coaching, brand design, and website development you might catch her strolling the beaches of Western Washington, visiting family in Arizona, or enjoying a glass of iced tea creekside on her back patio.