How to set the right milestones for your business
What’s the difference between a goal and a milestone? A goal is the jump shot and each milestone is every game play step before.
Goal setting is an important skill for any startup team to master, not only because it helps you track your progress from one achievement to another, but because it helps you break down the vision. Startup visions can be difficult, especially if you haven’t yet decided to do what it takes to become a startup visionary.
You can say, “the future I see is one in which every young African has access to quality education that will enrich their lives and give them the tools they need to succeed in the workplace.”
Accompanying that vision could be a mission that goes something like this, “we train teachers across the continent, providing lesson plans and other education materials so that they are equipped to better teach their students.”
That mission example is a little bulky, but you probably catch my drift. You can write a much better mission statement for your real life company when you read this guide.
The vision and mission work together to paint a fantastic picture that will appeal to customers and will get your community energised.
However, I know from personal experience, without the guidance of the trifecta, mission, vision and the right goals, set for your business, you’re heading for a crash. You can read my sob story here.
QUICK NOTE: You’re the realest at being you.
Don’t think too hard about what other businesses are doing.
Focus on your unique strengths and weaknesses.
In this post, we’re focusing on setting goals for the next 365 days.
We’re getting comprehensive with it.
Get the goal setting framework we’ve developed to help you complete this exercise to max levels.
GOAL NUMBER ONE: Think of a number. Any number.
This isn’t a magic trick, but its going to help you set everything in motion.
The number is money, and it represents how much revenue you want to earn in the next 365 days.
WARNING: Don’t let wishful thinking get the best of you. Be hopeful, yet realistic.
The amount you choose is going to be your frame of reference for the rest of this 1 year goal setting exercise.
GOAL NUMBER TWO: Your customers.
Another frame of reference is your ideal customer.
Your business should be geared at attracting your ideal customers. They are people you created your business to help.
They’re also the people that you gear all of your marketing, branding and comms strategy towards.
If you haven’t created a real schematic of who that person is, do it now, before you ruin the future of your business. No pressure.
Come back to this when you’ve finished the 30-day workbook.
How many unique ideal customer transactions will it take for you to reach that revenue goal?
You’ll need to use your GCSE math skills for this one.
Here are a few scenarios to help you out.
- If you run a product/service based business. What’s your average price? Divide the revenue amount by the average and you’ll have the number of unique customers you should aim for.
- If you run a monthly subscription based service. What’s your subscription fee per month? Multiply that by 6. Divide the revenue amount by the number you get. We’re multiplying by 6, not 12 to factor in any cancellations.
- If you run a yearly subscription service. Divide the revenue amount by your annual fee.
- If you have another business model, and you need help figuring it out, leave it in the comments below.
CATEGORY 3: YOUR SCALE
So in one year, you’ve made that much money and you’ve processed that many unique ideal customer transactions.
How’d you do it?
You had to expand your operations in one way, or another.
What does the scale of your business have to look like to accommodate that many customers and that many products?
If you provide a service, how many clients can you handle personally a year?
So how many people like you will you have to hire to make the cakes, while you’re handling the business. The assumption here is that you’re a baker.
What equipment will you need? How about the space to accommodate that many team members?
Think about it in a much detail as possible. Have a look at the operations of companies that are further down the startup journey than you. What is their setup like?
When you know what you should be aiming for in terms of scale, you’ll have to start thinking about how you can manage that scale.
When it comes to team building, the buck stops with you.
Some of you may already have teams. They’re either good or bad, but your management skills are the only thing that is going to stop a bad team from sinking your business.
What are you like as a leader? If you’re a micro-manager, scaling up isn’t for you.
When I talk about leadership, these are the 10 characteristics, that I’m referring to:
A good team leader, is
- confident in their vision
- a great listener
- able to communicate clearly and effectively
- able to manage time appropriately
- liked and respected by their team
- able to do all the jobs, of the team members (not expertly, necessarily, but they know enough)
- not a micro-manager and does not do the jobs of their team members
- empowering team members to become leaders
- able to take days off without worrying about the business
A good team leader, according to the characteristics I’ve just given, can handle the scale up of their business.
It’s not impossible, to get a perfect leadership score on that list. In fact, it was designed, to be approachable, and achievable.
For this goal, you’ll need to write about yourself as a leader and the company you will be leading. What do both look like in 365 days?
GOAL 4: YOUR KEY TEAM
Your key team is integral to the success of your startup.
I once heard someone say that first 5 permanent hires of your business will mark it for the remainder of its existence. I’ve found that to be true.
Your hires make or break your expansion plans. Hire the wrong people and you’re stuck cleaning up their messes. Hire the right people, and you’re free to innovate and elevate.
Your team will be the defining factor on whether or not you can sustain a business with that much revenue and can handle the customer service of all of those ideal customers.
To set up this goal, list the 4 key roles that you’ll need to fill in your company, to keep you financially sound, attract your ideal customers, keep them happy and provide a product or service that they value.
Workable has a job descriptions resource that’s really helpful when it comes to knowing what the different company roles are and what they should be doing to help you grow.
When you know what your goals are, go to the mat for the milestones. You can get this framework to format your milestones so that they’re the right ones for your business.
That's all folks,
Thanks for reading,
You can also apply to take part in the Grow Everyday Accelerator. I planned the entire FREE program around all the issues I know you're probably dealing with.
Its 6 weeks to change the course of your business for the better.