There’s a lot to do as a new business owner. There are orders to handle, costs to balance, and marketing to do. With so much to keep track of, it can be easy to get stuck in the finer details at the expense of the bigger picture. Setting goals can be a good way to help you stay on track and progress your business forward. So what are some goals that you should set as a new business owner?

Get to Know Your Customers

Knowing who your customers are and what they need is crucial for a business to succeed. This can and should be used to customize your interactions with them and guide your marketing efforts. There are lots of ways you can get to know your customers. Customer surveys, reviews, and data analysis can all be useful tools that can help you become familiar with who your customers are. For a more personal touch, take some time out of your schedule to talk with them. You can set a goal for how much time you want to spend interacting with customers yourself, or how many people you want to contact on a weekly or monthly basis. Customers will appreciate your time and the more personal approach in interactions. It helps them feel like you care about them, rather than just their business.

Pay Off Your Debt

Most businesses accrue debt at some point in time, whether it’s for startup costs, company expansion, or to get through times of economic hardship. It’s something of a necessary cost of doing business. Debt can be useful, but it’s important to pay it off when you can. This is an important step in becoming financially secure as a business. It can have a significant impact in your ability to balance your business income and expenses. Additionally, debt has a nasty tendency to accrue interest. The longer you hold the debt, the more interest you’ll have to pay. Have a goal as a business that outlines when you will pay off the debt and how you intend to go about doing it.

Expand Your Digital Presence

If you were wondering whether or not it was really necessary to have a digital presence, the events of 2020 probably confirmed that you do. Having a strong online presence was what kept many businesses from completely going under during shutdowns. Have a goal to expand your business’s digital presence. There are a lot of ways you can go about doing this. You might work on strengthening your social media presence or claim business listings relevant to you. Blogging for SEO can help you achieve your digital marketing goals. You can even guest blog on other sites to expand your online presence.

Create New Products

Once you’ve established your base product line and gauged consumer reaction to them, you might consider making a goal to expand your product line with new products. Your goal might include how many products you want to add and a timeline for doing so. If you’re not sure what to add to your product line, talk to your customers. Find out what they would like to see from your business. You can also study your competitors. What are they offering that you aren’t? What can you offer that they aren’t? It’s important to find unique ways to fill customer needs, as this will help attract more consumers to your business.

Build Up Savings

Times of economic difficulty are inevitable. What isn’t inevitable is your business succumbing to them. One of the things that will help your business survive economic hardships is having savings that you’ve set aside for just such an occasion. When setting up business savings goals, consider how aggressively you want to be saving. Determine how much you want to set aside every month and how much you want to end up accruing. Consider that you may want to have savings equaling or exceeding a certain number of months’ worth of expenses. That way if you don’t have anything coming in you’ll still be able to continue business operations for that time period.

Increase Customer Retention

One of the signs of business success is having a loyal customer base. To build that loyal customer base, you need to successfully retain at least a portion of your customers. Your goals for this might include a percentage of customers you would like to see retained, a timeframe in which repeat business is expected to occur, and for how long. Personalized marketing efforts and delivering amazing customer service are just two of the things you should be doing to help increase your customer retention.

Perform a SWOT Analysis Regularly

Performing a SWOT analysis gives you a chance to discuss and analyze your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Doing so regularly will help you keep your business relevant and competitive. Your goals for this might center around how frequently you perform such an analysis. If you do it too frequently it is likely to turn into something of a waste of time. Conversely, if done too infrequently you’ll be missing out on opportunities that you could use to your business’s advantage. Figuring out how frequently you should be doing this may require some experimentation and flexibility until you get it just right.

Increase Website Conversions

Having a website for your business is important. Having a website that generates leads is better. Even more important though, is having a website that converts those leads into sales. You might focus your goals for increasing your website conversions on a percentage of overall site visits that turn into sales. To increase your conversions, you’ll need to analyze your site. Look at things like how strong your CTAs are, how navigable your site is, and how effective any popups you use are.

So much goes into making a business successful, especially when it’s brand new. Setting goals for your business can be a great way to guide your actions as a new business owner to help position yourself for success. Consider your industry and business structure and design your goals for your business to fit within those parameters.

Read this next: How to Drive Down Business Operating Costs

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