7 Ways to Get Your Business Goals Back on Track

It’s March as we write this and yes, like most years, the first two months of 2016 have just flown by.

Most business owners start a new year full of optimism and a fire in their belly about what they’re going to achieve. Things don’t always go to plan though, and it’s probably not your fault.

This article is about taking a fresh look at 2016 whether you’re reading this in March, June or even September (maybe a wee bit late).

So, how can you get your 2016 business goals back on track? Well, clearly we don’t know the ins and outs of your particular business, but the advice below should help spark some ideas you can put into place.

#1 — Review your goals

If you’re already someway short of reaching your goals for Q1 of 2016, perhaps it’s a good idea to re-evaluate them to see if they’re realistic.

We’re sure you’ve heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals before, but did you really apply this framework in the best way at the start of the year?

Things can change quickly in business and maybe some of the time you set aside to work on your business in 2016 is now being spent working in it instead.

Many of your goals may still be achievable during the remainder of the year, but reviewing them now will help you see what you need to do. Sometimes the goalposts move a bit and you need to readjust.

#2 — Where have things gone wrong (and right?)

As part of point #1, you need to drill down a bit deeper into where your goals have stayed on course and where the wheels may have started to come off.

In order to do this, you can’t just focus on each goal as a whole. There may be parts of it that are delivering and others that are not. For example, the content you’re creating and promoting may only be aimed at the top of your sales funnel and not filtering down into new leads and customers.

In this scenario, saying “our content marketing strategy” is a waste of time, would be a mistake. It may be that the content you’re producing is great at getting people to your site but you’re missing a piece of the jigsaw when it comes to creating engagement with people atdifferent stages of the customer journey.

# 3 — Embrace content marketing

And we mean really embrace it. There are lots of reasons why content marketing strategies failbut don’t let yours go the same way.

Your business goals should be aligned to your content marketing strategy and when the two work in tandem, you can build a highly effective lead generation machine.

All the information you’ll need on content marketing can be found in our recent post (and links within it): 31 Short and Snappy Pieces of Content Marketing Advice

You don’t have to do it on a grand scale, but putting a strong plan in place at the start can help you overcome many of the common obstacles that trip up other businesses.

#4 — Make sure everyone is on board

Everyone’s busy these days (maybe it’s always been that way), but a cohesive team is far more likely to achieve its goals than a fragmented one.

One of the common mistakes we see a lot in terms of content marketing is internal departments operating almost as businesses in their own right.

When you’re serious about achieving your business goals in 2016, everyone needs to be singing from the same hymn sheet. None of this “I’m not helping them out, I’ve got enough to do” kind of attitude.

Employees that are involved in the process of defining the goals for your business and understand the reasoning behind them, are far more likely to stay engaged as the days, weeks and months tick by.

#5 — Go back to basics

Remember that your business goals can only be achieved if you attract enough of your target audience. Many companies still bypass the stage of getting to know their potential customers as well as they should.

Simple tasks such as interviewing people who represent the type of people you’re trying to appeal to can be a real eye opener. When you combine these insights with an understanding of consumer psychology, you’ll be better placed to win new business and achieve your goals than many of your competitors.

#6 — Don’t try to reinvent the wheel

An all-too-common reason for goals going AWOL in their infancy is because they’re overwhelming. Trying to do everything from scratch and ‘reinvent the wheel’ when you’re looking to grow your business is a false economy.

All the advice, expertise and information you need already exists, so get smarter with your time and learn from the mistakes other business have made and where they’re doing well.

If you’re trying to implement a consistent content marketing strategy for example, you cancurate and improve content that’s already out there to create value for your audience. Trying to think of new ideas every week or month is unnecessary and time consuming.

#7 — Focus on smaller sub-goals (and test them out)

Having a number of large goals can seem daunting when things start to fall by the wayside. How do you get from where you are now to where you want to be? The answer is by breaking your goals down into smaller, more manageable mini-goals.

Once you have your mini-goals firmed up, you can set about testing the steps needed to achieve them. Perhaps some will work better than others, but by testing, you can see where the weak links lie in the chain that make up the overall goal and take the necessary steps to improve your processes.

Summary

These seven tips are by no means exhaustive, but hopefully they’ll give you a platform for getting your 2016 business goals back on track.

We’ll finish up with a quick recap:

  • Start by reviewing your goals and why you set them
  • Assess where they’ve gone wrong
  • Consider a content marketing strategy
  • Get all relevant stakeholders on board
  • Find out more about your audience
  • Use your available time more wisely
  • Set smaller goals and test your processes

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