One responsibility every small business owner eventually has to tackle is developing sales goals. However, at times, this process can be tricky.
It can be challenging for small business owners to determine where to start when creating these goals. They must be careful not to overestimate or underestimate their small businesses’ abilities.
Here is a 6-step formula for small business owners to use to develop sales goals:
1. Narrow the goals down and get specific.
The first step to developing sales goals is making them specific. Small business owners need to take time to specify what they want to achieve and set parameters for doing so. Instead of just saying they want to increase sales by 5% this month, a small business owner could say they want to increase online sales by 3% this month and in-store sales by 2%. Getting specific with sales goals helps small business owners narrow down what they are trying to achieve and determine where to place their efforts.
2. Make goals that are not too easy or difficult to achieve.
Another critical step in developing sales goals is ensuring they are neither easy nor difficult to achieve. If these goals are too easy to achieve, they likely will not benefit the small business. However, the company may struggle to reach them if they are too difficult to achieve. Therefore, when creating sales goals, balance is essential. Small business owners should start by defining goals they know their businesses can achieve and then cautiously heighten them. For example, if a small business owner is confident they can increase sales next month by 1%, maybe they should make their goal to increase sales by 3%. However, they likely would not want to jump directly to 5%, which may be difficult for their business to achieve immediately. Small business owners must ensure they create goals they have to work for but not goals they have to exhaust themselves over.
3. Ensure these sales goals will work to further overall business goals.
When developing sales goals, small business owners also need to ensure these goals will work to further their overall business goals. They do not want to create sales goals that will deter them or lead them astray from accomplishing their other goals. Thus, they need to ensure these goals are inextricably linked. A local soap-making business, for example, would not want to make a sales goal to increase online sales by 5% if its overarching business goal is to increase in-store traffic and customers. Instead, they would want to increase in-store sales by 5% to help further this overriding goal. However, once they have achieved their broad business goal of growing in-store customers, they could reconsider increasing online sales. Therefore, small business owners must ensure their sales goals support their overarching business goals when creating them.
4. Determine how you will track progress toward achieving goals.
Once small business owners have created specific sales goals, they need to figure out how they will track their progress toward achieving them. They must determine what numbers or metrics they will examine for growth. If a small business owner wants to increase sales from their business’s Instagram account, they need to ensure they can identify which deals come from this platform. Furthermore, they must document the current sales coming from that platform, so they can quickly determine if they increase over the month. It may also be helpful for this small business owner to see how sales fluctuated on a week-by-week basis to understand their customers’ buying habits better. Small business owners must identify how they will measure their progress toward achieving their sales goals before implementing them. If they do not, they will never be able to determine if they have achieved them.
5. Set deadlines.
Another critical step to developing sales goals is setting deadlines. Small business owners must clearly define when they hope to reach their goals. This will help them strategize and plan their steps to achieve their goals. Furthermore, having a deadline keeps small business owners motivated. If they do not define a date by which they wish to reach their goals, they will unlikely move forward and achieve them. Therefore, small business owners must take the time to create a deadline for each plan.
6. Don’t be afraid of failure.
Lastly, when small business owners are developing sales goals, they cannot be afraid of failure. They must be prepared to stumble and make mistakes toward achieving their goals. If they fail the first time they attempt to reach a specific purpose, they should not be afraid to try again. Failure is a necessary step toward success.
Developing sales goals can be a daunting process for small business owners. However, if they keep this formula in mind, it should be more seamless. When small business owners take time to develop their sales goals thoroughly, they also put their businesses on track to achieving their overall goals.
PaySmart is a payroll provider in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, supporting small businesses in the Central PA region with payroll solutions for businesses as small as one employee. We are dedicated to helping small businesses take care of their payroll needs. To learn more about how PaySmart may provide payroll solutions, please get in touch with us at 717-766-1777. Our New Client Concierge is waiting for you!