Talk to any founder and they’ll tell you that setting goals is an essential part of running a startup. Without having a roadmap in an already unpredictable environment, founders run the risk of wasting their precious resources.
The problem is that goal-setting for scaling can be a daunting task – especially when there’s much to be done (and let’s face it, there’s always much to be done). Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can optimize the goal-setting process and ensure you come out with clear targets in mind.
In this article, we’ll outline a few things to consider when you’re planning to grow your business. Read on if you’re ready to meet your scaling goals in 2022.
Aim high, but remain agile.
If the last several years taught us anything, it’s that no single plan is entirely foolproof. Pandemic conditions have driven founders to become more agile in the way they approach their goals. Always consider what will happen if your environment or circumstances shift drastically. It’s wise to have a plan B and be ready to go in that direction quickly if the need arises.
Build your team, but also nurture and support them.
In the early stages of growth, your team members are often wearing many hats. They may be performing tasks that are out of their comfort zone. It’s important to provide extra guidance and support when necessary, so that they can perform at their best. Ultimately, this will help your business reach its targets faster.
Automate when you can.
While you’ll still want to leave the complex or difficult situations to human ability, you should always consider how automation tools can optimize your processes. From HR and payroll, to financial reporting, to funding – automation exists in just about every aspect of growing your business. It’s worth exploring all those options, so you can focus on innovation, building relationships or other key tasks that require your specific vision and expertise.
Learn how and where to connect with your customers.
It’s important to pay special attention to where your marketing and business development efforts have the most ROI. Are you consistently testing your channels and adapting accordingly? For example, maybe you’ll find that you’re sourcing plenty of customers from Instagram, but not on LinkedIn. Or perhaps you’ll determine whether or not your email drip campaign is succeeding in converting freemium subscription sign-ups into paying customers. In 2022, it’s time to refine your strategy and only put resources in places that are bringing you returns.
Evaluate and plan your funding.
In 2022, early-stage business funding has never been more accessible. Whereas in the past, most founders had to spend countless hours and energy on coming up with plans to wow investors, they now have more options – and ones that don’t require them to give up equity.
If you’re starting a business with repeatable expenses, you should consider exploring revenue-based financing – a non-dilutive advance that’s paid back as a percentage of your revenue each month. More founders are turning to revenue-based funding as a friendlier source of capital, and one that functions alongside their business through convenient, automated processes.
The S.M.A.R.T. criteria
Once you’ve gone through the above suggestion and have your goals in mind, you can refine them using the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. This is a tried-and-true methodology that allows founders to stay on the right track with their goals.
Ensure that each of your goals has the following characteristics:
Specific. Can you list the who, what, where, when and why?
Measurable. Will you be able to effectively measure progress?
Attainable. Are you willing and able to work to meet this goal?
Relevant. Does it serve a real purpose for your business growth?
Time-based. Does it have a time-frame, and therefore a sense of urgency?
Focusing on SMART goals helps you tune out the noise and avoid unnecessary hurdles on your path toward sustainable growth.
For more information on how to reach and fund your online business goals, drop us a line at [email protected]