Published October 14, 2020
The way you’re setting goals is wrong. It’s not just you, it’s how we’re taught. And we’re not just setting the wrong goals in business, but everywhere. According to The Times Tribune, 92 percent of people don’t accomplish their New Year’s resolutions.
So we’re clearly not doing something right. To find the solution, it’s important to start with recognizing the problem first.
The problem with how we set goals isn’t that we’re being too ambitious, or not ambitious enough. It’s how we’re framing the things we want to accomplish in the first place.
Take the most common non-business goal for example, which is “I want to lose weight” according to parade.com. Who doesn’t want to feel better about their physical appearance? But let’s make it more specific and “better” by changing it to “I want to lose 10 pounds”.
For your business, you might set a target of a 40p percent increase in sales by the end of the year. This is a good, specific goal right?
But “I want to increase sales by 40 percent” has the same core problem as “I want to lose 10 pounds”: We can’t control them. They’re output goals.
To set goals that are more easily monitored and attained, the key is to set input goals.
An input goal is one where you can directly control whether or not it is achieved.
For example, let’s use “I want to lose 10 pounds” again. Without any real clarity of the work you’ll put in, it’s hard to measure the amount that you’ll get out. You might start a killer workout regiment with a healthy diet, get in great shape, and feel great about your body. But if you “only” lose 8 pounds at the end of it, you’ll feel like you’ve failed when you really haven’t.
An example of a good input goal for getting in shape is “I want to exercise for 30 minutes every day and eat vegetables with two meals per day”. These are two clear and measurable actions that you can control that will almost certainly lead you to getting in better shape.
The same goes for “I want to increase sales by 40 percent”. If you launch effective marketing campaigns and get great customer reviews, but your sales numbers only increase by 35 percent, you’ll feel like you fell short of your goal.
In your business, don’t set output goals you can’t control. It’s great to have targets and milestones to shoot for along the way, but focus on the actions that will take you to where you want to go. If you want to increase sales, set goals that are within your control.
For example, set a goal of requesting 70 percent of your customers to leave a Google review, or reaching out to 40 new potential clients per week. Just like with personal goals, it’s important that your business goals are a good fit for you, and focus more on creating healthy habits than swinging wildly for an end goal.
Here are a few more tactics from LocalIQ that have proven to increase your sales on a budget.