September already. Did you think 2013 would fly by this fast? Maybe it’s a side effect of the nose-to-the-grindstone-24/7 approach, but it’s a bit of a shock to find ourselves with three and a half months left in the year – three and a half months left for us to achieve what we set out to achieve back in the early days of January, to check those last business goals off of our lists before looking back on how we did from quarter to quarter.
That’s when the cold sweats start. Where we expected to be at this time of year and where we actually are often two different things, usually due to a number of factors we didn’t foresee and couldn’t control. But it doesn’t mean we need to panic: there are some methods we can use to re-organize and get a big start on our final push towards the end of 2013.
An article over at the Intuit Small Business Blog by Sheryl Nance-Nash entitled How to Get Back on Track to Meet Year-End Goals offers a short and sweet, yet detailed, look at some ways we can put our businesses on the right path towards meeting the goals we set out at the beginning of the year. Here’s a look at one:
Calculate Your ROI
Your year-end prep should also include analysis of whether you’re getting the results you expect in the areas where you’re investing money.
For example: Are you getting the most for your marketing dollars? Diligently track the sources of leads for all sales. Note which marketing channels consistently produce new and repeat customers. Calculate your return on investment for each one and reallocate your resources accordingly, Crossland suggests.
Don’t overlook the need to plan marketing and PR strategies for the coming year. “[Small-business owners] often commit what I call ‘random acts of marketing.’ This can lead to an inefficient use of time and money, both of which are scarce,” says Kevin Aschenbrenner, a senior vice president for Jaffe PR.
I’m probably biased in choosing to highlight a tip that focuses on finance, but it’s a solid point. Our ROI is an incredibly significant – probably the most significant – indicator of our overall success, and if we’re looking to measure where we are in terms of meeting our goals then our ROI is the first and most important place to look. If we aren’t getting what we wanted or expected out of where we’re putting our money, it might be time to start considering what needs to change for next year’s goals.
It came fast, but it’s time to take a look at where we are in terms of milestones for this year. Some may have been met the way we wanted them to; others may have hit unexpected roadblocks that threw things off course. This article from Miss Nance-Nash offers a look at how to determine which were successful and which weren’t, so we’d recommend giving it a read when you’re ready to starting working on your next steps.
What do you think? Have you successfully met your goals for this year so far? Are there any you aren’t quite on track with? Did you find these tips helpful for re-organizing? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!