Here at Alexandria Professional, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our reach. Without aestheticians, salons, spas, beauty schools and distributors, we would have no company. Our goal is to bring education, quality products and our love of sugaring to as many of the above stated as we possibly can. This can’t happen without goal planning for growth. This past week we had a marketing meeting and the information acquired from that will pour into the manager’s meeting in order to project our business goals for next year. This got me thinking about the many companies I’ve worked for and the common goal planning they’ve done in order to expand their reach. Turns out there are quite a few commonalities regardless of industry!
Goal Planning for Growth: Setting Goals
Start with a big idea or two. Pick a couple of the big goals you’ve set for yourself in the long run.
An intuitive blogpost over at Dummies used this infographic to showcase how to set your goals by using your mission statement.
They suggest that a good mission statement will have goals already written into it that are continuous and actionable.
Once you have your big destination written down, you can focus on your smaller goals for the year ahead. The key is to make sure they are achievable. Inc. Magazine suggests making S.M.A.R.T. goals.
“Specific. In order to work, objectives need to be concrete (not as abstract as your long-term aims) and highly detailed.
Measurable. Put a figure or value, such as a dollar amount or percentage, to the objective.
Action-oriented. Lay out which actions need to be taken by which people, and when.
Realistic. Make goals challenging, but consider your resources so that you can actually achieve them reasonably.
Time specific. Set a deadline to keep things on track.”
Under this model, life doesn’t seem so daunting! But how do you decide which goals are worth the effort? Wanderlust Worker (and almost every other business model around) suggest using the 80/20 rule. Find out what the top 80% of your success is (Ie: income, clients, followers or productivity). Typically 20% of your effort led to that. You can then analyze what efforts worked and use those to build up that demographic. For instance, if social media ads led to 80% of your new, regular clients, but Groupon and print media only got you 20% of your new, regular clients, you can now spend more time or creating intriguing content for social media and grow those platforms as a goal for 2017.
Goal Planning for Growth: Measuring Goals
Now that you have a couple of goals set, you need to figure out how to measure your success. I am a big fan of spreadsheets, specifically Google sheets! For 2016, AP Corporate had a multi-page spreadsheet by month. The first page is “Year at a Glance” with milestones on that primary page. On the subsequent pages are each month individually. Each month listed our specials, our dedicated content theme, and campaigns as well as individual assignments each team member had that month with due dates. It was a home base for all of us to see and remain accountable on.
In addition to that, sheets can also be used to compile metrics. You can do it monthly, weekly or semi-annually, depending on how you prefer to collect data. If you use social media, be sure to collect that data regularly in order to make the best of your efforts. Facebook (as well as every other platform) have user-friendly metrics, but there are tons of ‘how to’s’ on google as well. Ensure SEO on your website is enabled. This will offer you the opportunity to receive metrics on your company’s visibility on the web, as well as give you the opportunity to have a further reach.
For any campaign you create, always make sure to review your results afterward. Compare those results with your expense (both effort and monetarily) and see if you’ve met a goal or at least gained any lessons that lead you towards your goals for 2017.
Goal Planning For Growth: Tie it all Together
These daunting metrics are pointless without comparison to revenue. While you are planning your big goal for the year, list how you want to measure the success of the steps you took to reach that goal. If your goal is to have a 30% increase in Social Media presence how can you keep on task? The important thing here is flexibility. If you hold a “Brazilian Bikini Blitz” in Spring and offer incentives on hair removal below the belt, keep track of those metrics on your spreadsheet. How many new clients came? How many of those new clients were because of social media? In summer (and again in fall) go back through your books and see how many of those clients are still with you. These numbers will help you decide whether the campaign was successful as well as which medium was most successful in promoting it! You can use all of this information to tweak future campaigns, if necessary.
Lastly, but probably most importantly, remember your employees! Ask for their input on creating your plan! What trends are they noticing from their patrons? And how can those trends help you meet the needs of your customer base? During our AP Corporate marketing meeting, Lisanne (Director of Education for AP Corporate) brought to the table many of the comments and questions she’s heard from our educators and schools. Social Media ‘how-to’s’ as well as an increased presence on a couple of our platforms were in the top two. Lisanne bringing her experience from working with schools and educators nationwide is one of the necessary components to our growth. We wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the schools, educators, practitioners, and distributors; so it only makes sense we apply this knowledge to our goal setting going into 2017!
Do you have input on what you’d like to see from AP Corporate going into 2017? There is always room for goal implementation! Leave a comment below or message us on facebook with any of your suggestions. Can’t wait to hear from you!