Setting goals is always a big topic during this end of year spree. So how do you set earnings goals when the economy is in the tank and the talking heads are all saying something different?
Setting goals is usually done in January but with an eCommerce business I recommend sitting down with your Outright account at least twice a year to look at overall goals, as well as scheduling a “special” session in August devoted to holiday plans. The rate of change in our industry comes so rapidly that the eCommerce world offers new opportunities and options nearly every day. Keeping up and seeing where an opportunity fits into your long-term plan versus whether it is simply a distraction requires more than yearly re-evaluation.
So here we are in December – is it too late? While it’s never too late to improve or even bring in some spiffy new items to your inventory. But we are pushing the edge here so you must move quickly!
Evaluate the opportunity you are presented with and see if it fits into your long-term goals and then act immediately if it does.
For that August 2013 planning session what would I recommend for your Holiday Earnings Goal Setting?
I’ve come up with an easy three-step process to help:
First, get all the data from your last Holiday season sales in front of you. You can’t plan when you don’t know where you are coming from. This may be the one requiring the most time but since we are talking about this now, in 2012, you have the perfect opportunity to set up some simple record keeping options and have all this info ready for next August.
Next, be realistic. Do you have more money to invest this year? More time to invest? Or are you limited? Face those limitations and work around them. Of course money is always a limiting factor for business expansion, but the smart use of time can accomplish a lot. Time is required for research and time can be traded for many things, even merchandise. So lay out your strengths, talents, and limitations and find a way to make them work FOR you next year.
Lastly, make S.M.A.R.T. goals. I’m sure you’ve heard the acronym and here is the example from Wikipedia.
Many people make goals every January first and by February they are lost, forgotten and never made a real difference. But S.M.A.R.T. goals are different. They are meant to be a part of your daily routine. In fact, setting out the goals for the Holiday Season back in June is recommended. Then you can break up the steps to get where you need to be into smaller chunks, then add them to your daily list.
I hope this short article encourages you to make some goals now for the next month of your business and also to begin thinking about those S.M.A.R.T. goals you will make in January. Until then, happy holiday selling!