The first time I created a business plan, I knew I needed to establish specific goals beyond simply “make some money with writing.”
My first business plan was intended to last five years and while I had many so-called “real” goals, I had one that I’ve rarely, if ever, shared out loud with anyone.
My goal was, that by the time Jamie’s Notebook was five years old, I would be able to afford sponsoring a Jamie’s Notebook float in the local Christmas parade. I had it all planned out in my head, too. It would be a flatbed truck with a giant notebook on the back with cute kids dressed as elves riding along. The theme would be “Making a List and Checking it Twice.”
My other business goals were much more common
One goal was having enough regular clients that I not only would be able to provide full-time income for myself, but would be able to afford an office outside of my home. Another goal was that I would need to have a team of freelancers who provided writing, design, website and photography skills for clients as needed.
Fast forward about six years and that goal has shifted. What I considered important and a sign of success back then doesn’t necessarily apply anymore. Let’s first look at those goals I mentioned:
As the economy soured, more and more people started their own businesses and worked from home. Instead of being something to overcome, it’s become somewhat the norm. I no longer have the goal of operating an office outside my home. If anything, working from home (and local coffee shops!) is a sign that I’m frugal and not wanting to pass on unnecessary overhead to my clients.
So what about the goal regarding having a freelance team? I actually tried it in a small way and realized it wasn’t for me. I had a small team of writers to whom I outsourced client work that was overloading me.
Although I liked the people, I realized I was spending time managing and not writing. I’m a writer, plain and simple. So I’ve made sure that my workload stays within my capabilities so what my clients are getting from Jamie’s Notebook is Jamie.
But what about the other team members? I have no need or desire to run a full agency. Instead, I have lists of referral partners to whom I can recommend people for graphic design, website design/development, social media management, and photography.
Setting short-term and long-term goals
Any business needs goals, both long-term and short-term. I believe this is especially true for entrepreneurs because it keeps the business on track, keeps the entrepreneur focused and ultimately, provides opportunities to celebrate success.
What I usually do is determine my overall “big picture” goal then establish steps that I need to accomplish to reach that big picture. Those steps are turned into goals.
What’s your story?
What kind of business goals do you have? What do you think makes a goal a good goal? Share in the comments!
As you’re looking at your business goals, if you find that you need help expressing your vision through a blog, advertorial, or a press release, give me a call. I’d love to help.