The arrival of a new year often comes with the tradition of setting resolutions or goals. When it comes to your business, the value of goal setting is creating a clear direction for your company’s growth—but determining what goals to set isn’t always easy.
Business strategist Tony Robbins says
“you’re always managing two businesses: the business you’re in, and the business you’re becoming.”
So it’s no surprise that it can be intimidating and time-consuming to establish your goals. However, taking the time to reflect, plan, and document your goals can make them even more achievable.
Our 5 Business Resolutions for 2022 will help you create a brand strategy and consistent communications, update and maintain your website, get the most out of partnerships, and more.
1. Focus on the fundamentals.
It’s easy to skip over brand strategy—the foundation for your business—and skip ahead to the fun stuff like logo design, color palettes, and typography, or even jump into marketing. However, it’s important to invest the time upfront to understand what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and who your customers are.
Branding helps you understand who you are and acts as a blueprint to help you communicate with people you want to hire and people you want to sell your goods and services to. Branding impacts everything from your marketing strategy to content to culture. You may achieve success without branding, but the path will be far easier and success more substantial if you resolve to focus on the fundamentals and build a solid foundation for your business through brand strategy.
Brand strategy should include:
- Your brand’s core
- Your brand’s purpose: why do you exist?
- Your brand’s vision: where are you now and where do you want to be?
- Your brand’s values: what are your guiding principles?
- Your brand’s position
- Target audience: who is your customer?
- Market: who is your competition?
- Your brand’s persona
2. Conduct a design audit.
- Your business has experienced growth or a change in market
- Your organization’s visual style is becoming muddied
- You’ve hired new team members that are contributing to the brand
- Your team members are receiving the same types of questions from customers
- Your website conversions are unusually low
- Your website is 2 or more years old
Brand inconsistencies can lead to consumer confusion and distrust. By implementing a partial or full design audit, you can catch inconsistencies and make a plan to remedy them before they get out of hand.
3. Invest in your website.
Why should you invest in a business site if you don’t already have one?
- A website creates trust. 84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible than companies that only have social media profiles.
- A website builds brand awareness. 76% of consumers look for a company’s online presence before visiting in person. Start building a relationship with customers right away through your website. It’s a convenient and cost-effective way to let potential customers know who you are, what you do, and how you’re different from the competition. Plus, you have complete control over your content and the user’s experience, unlike social media platforms.
- A website encourages in-person business. 80% of major purchases start with online research, even if the purchase itself happens in a store. And nearly half of consumers (45%) are likely to visit a company’s physical location after finding a strong online presence on a local search page. Those are some pretty impressive, bottom-line-impacting stats!
- A website positions you for growth. Your website can grow as your business grows. If you’re just starting out and your budget is tight, a simple one-page website is enough to establish your online presence and provide you with full control. As your business and marketing budget grow, you can easily add to your existing site.
- Review the visual appearance and user experience. You can be the best in your field, but if your website doesn’t reflect this, there will be a disconnect, loss of trust, and potential customers will move on to your competitors.
- Make sure it’s mobile-ready. About 54% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices. Search engines have started to selectively present users’ results based on their device type, so if customers are looking for you on their mobile devices and your site isn’t mobile-ready, then your site may not show up in their search results.
- Check your site speed. Google and consumers like websites that download quickly. Depending on your site, you may or may not be able to improve speed. It’s worth checking every so often in addition to your site analytics and making plans accordingly.
- Update your content. We mentioned earlier that your site is a living breathing thing. It’s meant to be updated. Make sure your website design and marketing plan includes a method for introducing new content to your site. This can be a blog, news updates, or weekly announcements like product updates or service specials. A site that’s consistently updated will keep the attention of frequent visitors and rank higher in an internet search than one that’s not. A site that sits stagnant for too long risks poor search engine ranking results, an increased likelihood of outdated content, and people may question if you’re actually in business.
- Invest in routine maintenance. Maintenance happens behind the scenes and is different than content updates. Maintenance focuses on keeping the site healthy and operating optimally. Plans vary based on providers and the level of support you want. Our basic maintenance plan includes monthly reports with basic Google traffic analytics and updates to plugins, themes, security features, technical issues, and site backups.
4. Set SMART goals.
Establishing a goal to create goals may sound a bit silly, but it will pay off in the long run. Goals help you make focused and consistent decisions when it comes to your business and your marketing efforts. If you haven’t already reviewed last year’s accomplishments, this can be a good place to start when setting new goals.
- What worked and what didn’t?
- Did I prioritize correctly? What efforts will matter the most this year?
- Did I collaborate with the right people?
- Did I set clear expectations?
- Did I track my progress?
As you reflect and jot down notes and goals for the upcoming year, revisit them to make sure the goals you set are “SMART.” SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. When your goals include these five criteria, you’re more likely to set yourself up for success.
For example, a typical business goal might be “I want to increase sales.” Turn that goal into a SMART goal and right away you’ve developed a realistic plan for how you will achieve it—you just have to implement it.
Here’s an example of what that goal might look like as a SMART goal:
I will invest 20% of my profits in a 3-month Facebook campaign focusing on a 90-mile radius from my business starting July 1. On September 30, I will review our sales and determine the next steps.
- Specific: Clear and focused on one target
- Example: I’m going to invest 20% of my profits in Facebook ads.
- Measurable: Quantifiable with an attached metric
- Example: My goal is to increase sales by 30% in 3 months.
- Attainable: Realistically able to be achieved
- Example: My team can manage that increase before we need to consider bringing in help.
- Relevant: Tied to a broader business or marketing goal
- Example: I want to do more business within a 90-mile radius to reduce time away from my family.
- Time-bound: Attached to a deadline
- Example: I’ll start the campaign the first of July and reevaluate at the end of September.
5. Get a little help from your friends.
- How long will it take you or a team member to accomplish the task?
- What is the expense associated with that time? (don’t forget to factor in overhead)
- What are the opportunity costs—what won’t be done because we’re doing this instead?
- Will the work be completed by someone with experience or a novice?
- Could we incur unexpected expenses to fix mistakes?