Goal setting. Some people *love* reading and writing about it; but to others, it can provoke a sure-fire rolling of the eyes.
Indeed, this whole ritual of “goal-making” can feel very cliche, but look — we all need little “nudges” to help us actually make changes in our lives.
I see it as my role in your life to not only provide authoritative and actionable advice for your situation, but also to play the role as a friendly “coach”. I get to be someone in your business life who says: “You can do this. You’re not alone.”
I have goals as well. The difference being that I seek to attach measurable results to these goals — making them a bit more specific to my business and my life. I’ll keep the particulars to myself, but for my own business they fall into some broad categories:
2) Foundational Financial Growth
3) Marketing Effectiveness
As you set your specific goals, I’d love to be a resource to you. It’s my great hope that our relationship will continue to grow into this summer and beyond. And not just for “business purposes”. We love our Frederick business-owner clients … you’re like a family to us!
And now for more specifics about the “measurement” issue I alluded to…
Goal Setting For Your Frederick Business
“The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage” – Peter Senge
Many businesses have a wide variety of measurement tools in place for a host of variables, from payroll efficiency to profit margins, to inventory controls. But there’s usually a huge “missed base”, and that’s advertising ROI.
You see, many Frederick business owners look at their advertising in terms of “response rates” or “raising awareness”.
But it’s hard to measure “awareness”. And while you *can* measure response rates, it’s actually the wrong way to think about your advertising.
A better way to look at small business advertising results is actual Return on Investment.
Now, this necessitates a couple things:
1) A measurement mechanism. This can be a coupon/gift certificate with a tracking code. It can be a dedicated phone line or web address to quantify leads. It almost doesn’t matter HOW you do it… just that you do it.
2) Advertising which incentivizes for a specific response. This rules out certain forms of “image-building” marketing, unless you’ve got a bunch of dumb money to spend. (Do you? I’ve got some beachfront property to sell you then.) Rather, you should focus on “response-oriented” marketing which will help you know if the advertising you’re paying for works.
And I want you to remember this: any media sales person, any ad agency person, any consultant, anyone in your own firm who is anti- direct response does not have your best interest at heart. The person who opposes having the results measured accurately already knows that the results are inadequate.
Unfortunately, the agency business can be very much a smoke screen and sleight-of-hand business. You’ll be presented with demographic statistics from a given media that are just great. Unfortunately, the listeners or readers all lied when they responded to the survey in order to look good and feel good. They inflated their incomes for example.
Print media loves to snow you with its pass-along figures. They’ll talk 100,000 readerships with 20,000 subscribers.
When you have to write out the payroll checks, pay the other bills, pay for all the advertising, pay the taxes and then see what might be left for you, you cannot deposit pass-along statistics or image in the bank account. You can only deposit dollars, which come from real results.
So keep this in mind as you formulate your marketing and RESULTS goals for 2017.
Look, I’ll say again: I don’t pretend to be a “guru” … but I see what works for my clients, and I want you to have the best year you’ve ever had, this year.
Feel very free to forward this article to a Frederick business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Frederick families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.
J Allen & Associates