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Essential Steps to Setting Your 2024 Business Goals

As the New Year is upon us, as small business owners, we have a unique opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for a prosperous future. Taking the time to set up clear and achievable goals is a critical step in steering your small business toward success. Whether you’re a startup or an established small business, strategic goal-setting can provide direction, motivation and a roadmap for growth. Let’s explore the essential steps to setting up goals for your small business this coming year that our agency is also using!

Let’s take a Stroll Down Memory Lane: Think of your business and the last year as a personal highlight reel. What made you want to do the Happy Dance? What was more of a facepalm moment?

Take a few minutes to reflect and evaluate each of these successes, challenges and area that require improvement and list them here. This isn’t about patting yourself on the back or giving a little sigh over what didn’t pan out. This is about taking all the experience of the last year and gearing up for an even better year.

Now – Let’s Craft our Dream List: Brainstorm, throw all your thoughts on a paper to determine your goals and then take 5 minutes to look over these. But wait – we aren’t just throwing darts here. We want our goals to be SMART goals. This means each goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

For example – Instead of saying “I want more business,” our goal should be “I plan to increase my business by 30% by the end of June, 2024.” See- this goal you are able to measure and you have assigned yourself a timeline.

On to – Finances: Let’s be realistic and remember that old saying, “Money makes the world go around”. Whether it’s boosting sales or being more budget -savvy, take a few minutes and review your financials. I like to review areas I can trim to start, then look at boosting sales, improving profit margins and even reducing costs. Make sure that your financial goals align with your business and plan for 2024.

Create an Action Plan: We have the review of the last 12 months, we have the goals, we know where we need to be financially – now its time to create an Action Plan. I like to work with no more than 5 goals at a time but this is up to you and what will be best for your business.

Take five minutes here and review your goals, make sure your goals and financials align. Once we confirm the alignment we will move to the Action Plan.

Be prepared, this can become very detailed. I’ll walk you through a version of my plan for a goal. REMEMBER, this needs to be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

For example - my goal for 2024  could be to grow my business in premium (I’m in insurance sales). I’ve reviewed the goals of my team members and of the agency and I know the amount of premium each team member and the agency need to complete for the year, for us to reach these goals. I then break down these goals by month and then working days. Since I’m in sales, I take it even a few steps further, I know the average of each policy our agency writes, how many policies we need to write and then I know that in order to write this amount of policies we need to have a certain amount of quotes. In order to get a certain amount of quotes we need a certain amount of leads which requires a certain amount of phone calls from each team member daily.

For round numbers I will use the following formula: 50 calls = 3 quotes. 3 quotes = 1 customers. 1 customers = 1.73 policies. 1.73 policies = $4066.00 in premium. There are on average 21 working days in the month. If my team member completes 50 calls each day they will average $85,386 in monthly sales.

I then know how the number impacts my agency and our bottom line. By diving deeper into the steps that need to be taken to reach our goals we can really see what makes a difference. One day of not making calls reduces sales by $4066.

Take each of your goals and really dive deep into the steps you need to take to reach them! I promise you will not regret this!

Keep a Positive Attitude: Change isn’t easy and if you aren’t familiar with setting, meeting, missing and/or exceeding goals this could be hard for you. Remember to stay optimistic and persistent. Challenges and setbacks are part of the process. Also, remember why you set these goals- was it to hold you accountable, to reach a hard target. Remind yourself why you started this and stay on track!

Monitor Your Progress: Take the time to regularly review what’s working and what isn’t. Be open to modifying your approach. Adopt new technologies and be innovative. I like to set time aside at the end of each month to determine where we are on goals. Our office has a team meeting and we discuss what how we did each month. This is a great opportunity for team building and Constructive Criticism.

Setting goals for your small business in the coming year is a crucial step toward achieving sustainable growth and success. Reflecting on the past, defining SMART goals, creating Action Plans, Keeping a positive Attitude and Monitoring your Progress regularly will create a roadmap for a prosperous future for you and your business.

To learn more about Laura Crain and Crain Insurance Group go HERE!

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