The most successful business owners have one thing in common. It’s something that is free, and can take as little as 5 minutes a week to implement.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering what this amazing secret is and why haven’t you heard about it.
Well, you probably have. It’s not such a secret after all.
But you might not realize how powerful it really is.
It’s goal setting of course!
Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuk, Marie Forleo — all these business leaders are committed to goal setting. But is that all there is to it?
To grow your business, not all goals are created equal. Some goals will take your business further, faster.
An Example of an Incomplete Goal
You are trying to increase your profit – the money you take home at the end of the day.
So you set the goal to be at the office 40 hours per week in order to increase your sales.
That could be a good goal if you are able to bring in more customers by being at the office. But it might be an ineffective goal if you’re working efficiently while you are at the office, and adding more time at the office means you spend more time surfing Facebook, and NOT increasing your sales.
How to Set Goals to Make More Money
When you’re working on increasing the revenue in your business, there are 3 goals you should set:
1. A Revenue Goal
Revenue is all the money your business takes in. You could also call this number your sales.
When you measure how much money you’re taking in, you’re bound to increase that number. And when you increase your revenue, you’ll be a step closer to having more money in your pocket.
But don’t stop there. It’s possible to increase your revenue and have less money in your pocket at the end of the day.
For example, let’s say you sell cars and you buy those cars for $15,000. You could quickly increase your revenue by selling all your cars for $10,000, but it’s easy to see that would be a bad move on such a big scale.
On a smaller scale when you are putting many parts together, it’s hard to tell if you’re increasing your revenue AND putting more money in your profit.
That brings to our next goal.
2. A Profit Goal
Profit is how much revenue you made, less how much you spent to make that revenue.
Tracking your profit will allow you to identify when you’re selling $15,000 cars for $10,000. It will also tell you when you’re overspending on overhead, or if you’re priced too low. A profit goal is a must.
3. A Savings Goal
What’s all this for, anyway? That’s where your savings goal comes in.
Seeing your savings account increase month after month is an excellent reminder that you’re working towards something. Whether that something is a vacation, an instant pot, or a lump sum towards your retirement account, getting closer to your goal will motivate you to keep on going.
A Final Word on Goals
Goals only work if you work them. Many a goal has been written down only to be forgotten at the bottom of a desk drawer. Review your goal regularly and track your progress for best results.
Let’s Hear From You
What are you saving up for? Let me know in the comments.
Setting a goal is a sacrifice.
When you set a goal, you’re committing your energy to work on achieving that goal. And that means sacrificing work on other projects.
That is, unless you’re following Liv Tyler’s character in Empire Records’ lead: doing all the things and secretly addicted to speed. But let’s assume you’re not.
Performance enhancers aside, you want to make sure your goal is worthy of the sacrifice you’re about to make to achieve it.
With so much at stake, how can you be sure your goal is the right one?
1. Start with the End in Mind
What do you want to achieve? In business and in life?
What do you want to be? What do you want to do? What do you want to have?
Is your goal, in its current form, going to afford you all you want to be, do, and have? If not, adjust your goal!
This is not just for revenue goals – this goes for lifestyle goals too. If you want to be available to pick your kid up from school every day, don’t set a goal that will require you to travel.
But do remember that most goals can be adjusted to suit your desired lifestyle with a little out of the box thinking, so keep brainstorming!
2. Make it Achievable
Now that you know what you want, refine your goal so that it is achievable.
Achievable is the A in SMART goals for a reason. You have to believe you can make your goal, otherwise you’re going to get discouraged and quit.
Whether a goal is achievable is subjective. That means you get to decide what’s right for you.
Many people will go for an incremental goal. If you’re making $4000 a month, you might set a $5000 per month goal. It’s a 20% increase which is still fairly big, but it’s not an unbelievable amount.
Some people will go for the big stretch goals.
For example, I took an online course with Kimra Luna when she was just starting out. Her husband was working at FedEx and they were living paycheque to paycheque.
Very quickly she made enough money in her business that her husband could quit his job. The next month she made $60,000. Reflecting on that $60,000 month, she set a goal to make a million dollars. And within a few months, she reached that million dollar goal.
A big, stretch goal was motivating for Kimra, but it won’t be motivating for everyone.
That kind of big goal could be just what you need, or it might be a soul crusher if you don’t believe you can do it.
Choose your goal carefully and be sure it’s perfect for you.
3. Be Accountable
Being accountable means being responsible for reaching your goal. The trouble is, as humans, we tend to let ourselves slide on our goals.
Studies show that telling someone about your goal can double your chance of reaching it. That’s pretty good odds.
Finding yourself a business or goal setting buddy could mean the difference between achieving your goal, and letting it fall by the wayside.
When setting your goal, keep the end in mind, make it achievable, and hold yourself accountable, to set yourself up for success.
I know what you’re thinking.
You think I’m going to tell you the #1, top secret, worth its weight in GOLD tip to do your own bookkeeping is…
Or self motivation.
Having a great mindset.
I bet you’re thinking it’s too simple to actually work.
But simplicity is an ongoing theme of successful strategies. Henry Ford knew it.
Whether you think you can, or think you can‘t — you’re right. -Henry Ford
Henry Ford was a favourite of my engineering professors back in my Uni days. And why not? He revolutionized the automobile industry by making a car for a third of the price of his competitors. It took guts and a great mindset for him to be so successful.
When I first learned to do my own bookkeeping for the sign business I owned with my brother, I was completely lost. I spent nearly a month staring at Quickbooks trying to figure out what to do, thinking that bookkeeping was so hard and complicated.
I took bookkeeping and accounting classes in university, but I had no idea how I could translate that seemingly random knowledge into ‘doing the books.’ The theory of bookkeeping looks nothing like a Quickbooks program, and to be honest I don’t think Quickbooks was even invented when I was sitting in bookkeeping class.
Eventually I ran out of time to figure out my books, and I didn’t have extra cash to hire someone. I was stuck, so I told myself I was smart and capable and would figure it out.
And I did!
And it was easy.
And it didn’t take me 437 years like I thought it would.
All that changed was my mindset.
I’ll let you in on another little secret that will help you out heaps with your do your own bookkeeping mindset.
Learning to do your own bookkeeping isn’t very difficult.
I might get kicked out of the Bookkeepers’ Club for revealing that one. (If the bookkeepers’ club was a real thing.)
Most places (Canada included) don’t even require any training to be a bookkeeper.
And if you do go to school, it’s only 3 courses.
And the courses are only 2 days long each.
That’s 2 seven hour days. Not even long days.
You could become a fully trained bookkeeper in under a week!
You CAN do your own bookkeeping.
You’re smart. You’re capable. And you run your own business. (How cool is that?!)
I’m betting on you!
If you’re ready to set yourself up for do your own bookkeeping success, check out The Bookkeeping Prep Course. It’s the simplest way to set up your bookkeeping without learning boring theory or second guessing yourself.