With the new year approaching, many people like to review how things have been going and make resolutions or set goals for how their business will go in the new year. It’s as good a time as any to do this; in fact, reviewing your progress and setting new goals for your home business is best done a few times a year in my opinion. You need to be aware of how things are going to make sure you’re on the right path.
I’ve been doing a lot of this lately. This past year did not go as well as I wanted it to, but some things I’ve been working on are showing signs of life. My income dropped this year, and that simply will not do.
You have to adjust your goals when things like this happen. It may not be only your goals for your home business that change, however.
Take a look at other things happening in your life, especially if they make it harder for you to work on your home business. Find the parts of your life that are making it more difficult to reach your goals for your home business, and try to change them too. Ask for more help around the house. Tell your family you need more work hours and come up with ways to make that happen.
Balancing a home business with your family is a team effort even if you’re the only one who works on the business side of things. Get everyone on board to make things happen. And always remember that there are a lot of quick tasks you can do for your home business even when you don’t have a lot of time.
Keep Goals For Your Home Business Realistic
Your home business goals must be realistic. Goals that you’ll never reach are only so motivating. Lesser goals that take you in the direction of your greater goals are necessary so you know you’re making progress. You may have a goal of becoming a millionaire, for example, but what are the intermediate steps. If you don’t have realistic goals that take you in that direction, eventually you will get tired of that goal and give up.
Let’s start with something simple, say, earning $5000 a month from your home business. It’s not an excessive goal, but it’s one many of us would love to reach.
Depending on where you’re at, that may be too distant a goal or it may be a perfectly reasonable one. For this example, I’ll treat it as a distant goal, something for someone new to running a home business might be dealing with. Most of us aren’t going to hit that goal quickly – in fact, most home businesses earn much less. You need goals you can achieve so you can really feel your progress.
There are many goals you can set that will help you to know that you’re making progress toward that $5000 a month goal. They aren’t all financial, although having a goal of even $100 a month to start isn’t a bad beginning if you’re still at $0 a month. Here are some goals to consider:
Most home businesses require a lot of writing. There’s a reason why blogging is such a huge part of many online home businesses. Creating new content is often one of the best things you can do for your online business.
Setting a writing goal is not as simple as deciding that you will write 2000 words a day or whatever. Sometimes you will need to do more research than writing. Sometimes a quick post will be more effective than something long-winded.
The most important thing to remember is that quality is more important than quantity. A reputation for incorrect information is hard to shake. Show your website visitors that you care about giving them the right information by doing your research when it’s needed. Cite your sources. This builds trust, even when you aren’t doing academic work.
Website Traffic Goals
How much traffic would you like to generate? Keep it simple at first, then increase. You may also want to measure this goal by increases, such as increasing your website traffic by 10%, 25%, etc.
There are a lot of ways to generate traffic to your website. Social media is extremely popular these days, as it gives you an audience that has chosen to follow you. Done right, it’s incredibly effective.
But social media is not your only option for building up traffic. You should also consider how to get links from reputable sources in your industry.
There are lots of ways to increase your website traffic. You’re usually best off focusing on no more than a few methods at a time. You can’t master them all, and you probably don’t have the time to work on all of them at once. You certainly don’t have the time to master several different traffic generation strategies at once. Taking the time to learn each one properly will make your efforts more effective.
Social Media Goals
Social media is one of the best ways to bring traffic to most websites. You have a lot of power over how people see your home business on social media, and you should try to make the most of that.
The first thing to remember is that your social media goals should be about more than numbers. Look at what you’re accomplishing with it.
Your social media goals for your home business will vary by the platform. You should look professional on LinkedIn. Twitter is often better for building relationships between a customer and a business. Instagram is about building an image, and it doesn’t let you add links to posts, making it more challenging for traffic generation.
Pinterest is highly visual, and many find it one of the best social media sites for generating traffic. People often use Pinterest for inspiration and to remember things they want to buy.
Any social media website will require time and effort to build a following. Getting to the point where things take off is difficult for most people. You can experiment with the different websites, but there are two basic things I recommend. One is that you find a good quality course to learn about the social media sites you want to try. Udemy has a good range.
The other is that you use the right tools to make scheduling your posts easier. Social media can eat up much of your day if you let it. While you should still visit the sites you use regularly so that you can interact with people and posts there, appropriate automation can take care of the basics for you. I like Hootsuite because it handles a good range of social media sites.
Social media is important for traffic generation and reputation management, but it can be so much more than that. It’s an opportunity to network with potential customers as well as other people in your industry.
Other people in your industry aren’t only your competition. Sometimes you can boost each other. Odds are that you are not offering the exact same thing to your visitors or customers. If you have networked with others in your industry through social media, you may know when to refer people to them, and they can refer people to you.
You can also network in person, of course. Go to local events, especially if they relate to your industry. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce. Talk to people about what you do.
Don’t be that obnoxious person who talks about nothing else, of course. Overdoing your in-person networking can drive friends and family away.
What do you need to learn to run your business better? Set a goal to learn and apply that new skill. Learning a new skill is nothing if you never apply it. Don’t set a new goal in this area until you’re actually using the information or have consciously decided that the new information or skill is not something you want to apply to your home business.
Check out Udemy and other online education websites to see what you can learn. Pick courses carefully and commit to finishing them. Then apply what you have learned before you move on to learning something else.
As you can see, none of these on their own is about earning $5000. However, they should help you get on the right path toward that more difficult goal.
Analyze Your Efforts
Whether you reach your goals for your home business or not, you should be analyzing what went right and what went wrong. This will help you keep from making the same mistakes over and over again.
You may find, for example, that in doing your research you tend to skip the step of applying the new things you’ve learned. That’s a lot of time and very possibly money wasted. It’s a very common issue for people running any sort of online business.
You need to figure out why you aren’t applying things you’ve learned to your business. Are you too quickly attracted to bright and shiny product launches? Do you always think they’re too hard to do? Are you really trying to learn the right skill sets for what you’re willing to work on?
Once you know your mistakes you have a better chance of not making that same mistake in the future. That improves your chance of success.
Sometimes things will be beyond your immediate control. You may fail to generate the traffic you hoped to gain because your site fell in the search engine rankings for your best keyword. You can work on that problem once it’s noticed, but it may take time to fix. Knowing where the fall happened will help you figure out what to do about it.
Be sure to hold yourself accountable for your failures as well as your successes. It’s important to acknowledge both.
Even when you aren’t reaching your goals as quickly as you’d hoped, it’s vital that you set some sort of reachable goal. It’s one of the things that can motivate you to keep working on what is probably a very challenging business.