Unlike what most people think, Entrepreneurship is so much more than just having a creative idea and thinking up a creative name.
According to an SBA (Small Business Administration) report even though 79.9% of all startups have been successful in their first year, it also reports that only half of these startups will reach the 5-year mark and only 33% will make it to the 10-year mark. Now it is up to us to make sure that we are among that 33 %.
This can only be achieved with one goal in mind: a goal. The first year is the most important year as this is where you get your initial feedback and devise your goals and plans according to that feedback. If your goals are achievable and realistic, you will easily reach the 10-year marker.
WHY IS GOAL SETTING IMPORTANT?
I’m sure you’ve heard the famous adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
The above sentence describes the failed startups succinctly. Doing something just for the sake of it is okay for a while, but if you don’t have a specific route and destination in mind, you will only go so far. With goals in your mind, you will always know that you’re working towards something, for something.
Once you have a plan and you start working towards it, you will see that every small victory will motivate you to work harder and give you and your team a sense of achievement. This will not only increase their passion but also their productivity and everyone will achieve more.
Once you specify your goals, you will be able to make all your decisions based on your goals. This will help you prioritize your decisions and learn where to focus your energy more. Once you are in the practice of prioritizing your tasks according to your goals, you’ll easily handle all your long-term goals and hard to do tasks.
ACHIEVING YOUR VISION
For most businesses, vision is a statement written on the wall of the office, or maybe hanging on it. But if you have set your short term goals and long term goals, they will ultimately take you towards the achievement of your vision. Every step will bring you closer.
WHY DO SO MANY STARTUPS FAIL?
Here are some of the reasons why even brilliant startups fail:
- Not needed in the market: 42%
- Ran out of capital: 29%
- Wrong team: 23%
- Strong competition: 19%
- Cost/Price issues: 18%
- Product not user-friendly: 17%
- Company doesn’t have a business plan: 17%
- No marketing plan: 14%
- No customer service plan: 14%
- Product-related issues: 13%
The statistics presented above clearly show that not setting the proper marketing, finance, sales goals was the main reasons why most of these startups failed.
Read on to find out how you can ensure survival through the first years of your business and hit the 10-year marker.
SALES AND MARKETING GOALS
Coming up with goals doesn’t take a lot of cash. In fact, it doesn’t make any money at all. All you have to do is to sit down, do lots of research, and come up with realistic and achievable goals based on your research.
If it’s easier for you, make your way backward. Come up with a sales goal for 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years and then walk back to the present to find out how to reach those goals in a specific time.
Find out your Target Audience
Customers are the key to a business’s success or failure. Find out who your customers are and where they are. Come up with a marketing plan according to their needs.
Once you’ve found out who your target market is, start connecting with the right influencers. Try across all channels like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and others. One mention from an influencer can gain you a lot of customers.
One of the major reasons why most startups fail is because of their finances. Because finances are so important, make sure that you plan ahead so that you don’t have to stand somewhere in the middle and tell people that your pockets are empty.
Make a budget
Making a budget can really help you find out where the money is coming from and where is it going. This way you will always be in the know about what’s going on and what might happen. Your plans will also help you find out if an activity is taking you closer to your vision and goals or not.
For example, if you have just opened your trendy and chic restaurant, you can plan ahead for all the finances you need for necessary elements like getting a good location according to your target audience, furniture that attracts them, custom upholstery design for the perfect look, staff, and other things. This will help you allocate your funds to these elements according to your goals.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Once you’re done with your financial, sales, and marketing goals, you need to focus on your development goals. Growth is absolutely necessary for any business. If a business becomes stagnant, it will start losing its market share and finally, it will wither away. Focus on adding new locations, expanding your team, customers, or enhancing customer support.
For example, if you’re a restaurant, you should focus on adding more items on the menu, hiring better chefs, making more room for customers, and adding a hall to host birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, as well as corporate functions.
SO WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?
Many businesses fail in their first year, or some businesses close shortly afterward not because they didn’t have enough money or customers, or because their product cost was greater than the price, or because there was no proper distribution. These businesses fail because they didn’t plan ahead and got stuck somewhere in the middle.
After reading the points above, you will not only be able to come up with your goals easily and effectively, you will also be able to achieve them in the right time frame. So, whether you’re starting a business or you have already started; it is imperative that you start making your goals now and start turning your direction towards them.