Welcome to episode 2 of Her Online Business podcast. Today we are talking about the foundations of your online business meaning setting up your goals and planning your weekly schedule even if you are still working a 9 to 5. Ready? Let’s dive into it.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why do you need business goals?
- 2 1. Administrative and business management
- 3 2. Income/revenue goals
- 4 3. Content/brand awareness goals
- 5 4. Lead generation
- 6 5. Vision/long-term goals
- 7 How can you schedule your week?
- 8 What actions or tasks should you focus on?
Why do you need business goals?
You need business goals to know in which direction you are going with your business. You want to make sure that you only do things that are absolutely necessary and not waste time trying to figure out what your next move should be.
Business goals are basically like your compass. They will enable you to set a clear strategy and also to analyze your results, what is working and what is not and adjust accordingly. There are different categories of goals that you need in your business. I am going to give you 5 categories of business goals that I believe are essential for every entrepreneur.
1. Administrative and business management
These are the administrative tasks that need to be done on a regular basis in order for your business to keep running but also to comply with the regulations of the country where your business is registered. These often involve filling for taxes, registering your business. Legally securing your assets with trademarks registrations, compliance policies on your website and probably getting some legal and financial advisory as your business grow. As a business owner you are probably not thrilled about doing all this but you have to make sure that your business is protected, registered and follow every laws related to your industry before even going into the next steps.
In order to be able to handle this side of your business effectively you need to set goals in this area. How often are you filling your taxes, are you outsourcing the administrative and legal side of your business to a third party or are you going to do it yourself? Once you’ve chosen how you want to deal with this, you will be able to allocate a specific time maybe each month or every quarter to administrative and business management related tasks.
2. Income/revenue goals
These are the money related goals. How much money to you wish to make ideally with your business? Are you looking for a side hustle and a new source of income to support your lifestyle or are you looking to be a full-time entrepreneur and have your main source of income coming from your business?
Whatever the case might be, it is crucial to set your money and income related goals from the beginning. It is going to drive and motivate you to achieve these goals. You will then be able to break down these goals to know exactly
- How much you should price your services?
- How many clients do you need to have each month?
- How much should you save in your emergency funds?
- How much should you make to be profitable aka exceeding your average expenses?
Here you should not only focus on your turnover but also on your expenses. Many entrepreneurs are facing hardships because they don’t take into account the fixed and variable fees that comes with having a business regardless of you making money or not with it. That’s why you should not be afraid to charge for what your services are worth but also for all the time and money you spent to be able to deliver these services.
3. Content/brand awareness goals
Now that you have your admin set up and your income goals, you know need people to know about you. This is where content creation and brand awareness come into play. The best way to make people know about your business is by showing up consistently on the internet. Social media are an amazing tool that can change your business tremendously when used properly.
Also, content marketing is not to be neglected. That’s how you are going to show your expertise and what your business is about. Strive to always give value to your potential customers even with your free content. The 3 things you need in marketing to find clients is for them to:
- And trust you.
Nobody will buy from you if you just say: ”Hey here is my product or service, it is X bucks buy it.” It simply doesn’t work like that. You need to build that trust first. You need to know your people: what they need, what are their daily challenges and how you can help them solve them.
Having a business is not about you. People don’t care about your business. They care about how you can help them. So focus on serving your people and showing up consistently.
4. Lead generation
The next important step is to focus on lead generation. Having visibility is great but it amounts to nothing if you are not capable of converting your audience into leads and then customers. There are several ways to do that and ultimately you are the one who knows your audience the best. Make sure that you focus on adding value to them in everything that you create in your business. Give them an incentive to engage and know more about you and reward their loyalty.
5. Vision/long-term goals
These are the last but maybe the most important goals that I wanted to talk about. Without long-term goals and a vision for your business you might not survive the first year. Building a business is a game of patience. You need to trust the process and know where you want to be in 1, 2, 5, 10 years from now. In the future do you want to:
- Hire a team?
- Outsource some tasks?
- Reach 5 figures? 6 figures?
There is no right or wrong answers. Before entering the world of entrepreneurship, you need to have a strong vision and a Why that will help you navigate through difficult times. Successful businesses are the ones which are solid enough to overcome financial, social crisis. And you want your business to be one of those, so work on its foundations before anything else.
I find that having a yearly vision for starters is very helpful. And your business year doesn’t have to start from 1st of January. You can simply ask yourself where do you want to be exactly 1 year from the moment you are listening to this episode? Then break these yearly goals into quarterly, monthly, weekly goals.
Now let’s talk about How you can actually choose your business goals.
To make things easy for you, here are the 5 things that you can implement right now as business goals, according to the categories I have discussed before.
- Decide your monthly Income goal.
- Have a long term vision for your business? Even if it may change over time as you grow and evolve it is important to have a vision right away. Ultimately what we want is a business that will still be thriving 10 or 20 years from now.
- Choose 1 type of content and be consistent with it.
- Work on building a system to generate leads thanks to this content.
- Schedule your typical work week.
How can you schedule your week?
Use idle times meaning finding times of no activity. I personally woke up earlier and use 2 hours before going to work to learn new skills and build my online business. After coming back from work I would also work for 2 hours on my business. I had 4 hours per day dedicated to my business so a total of 20 hours a week. I have created a routine from Monday to Friday and a routine for my weekend which was more chilled. During the weekend I would for example write a blog post or interact on social media with my audience.
There are many Apps that can help you schedule your week. I personally use Trello. I have a Trello board to schedule my work week, especially the projects I am working on with my clients and I have a social media content board where I put all the content that I have to create for my different platforms. I think it is a great tool because it is easy to use, you can also add team members and synchronize it with your own calendar. My Trello boards are available on my website if you want to purchase them and save time. You will also get a quick tutorial on how to use Trello for your online business.
What actions or tasks should you focus on?
This matrix contains two axes or parameters: the vertical axis allows to evaluate the level of importance of the task to be performed, the horizontal axis allows to evaluate the level of urgency of this task. In the end, we obtain 4 dials in which the different tasks will be classified.
The level of importance of a task
It is a question of judging whether or not the task is indispensable. Or is it possible to skip this step and go directly to the next one? Depending on the answers to these questions, you can first determine the importance of a task.
The level of urgency of a task
The question here is whether the task in question must be completed as quickly as possible, otherwise the progress of your project will be blocked, or whether it can be postponed.
You now have the means to classify these different tasks according to their respective level of importance and urgency.
What to do
The tasks that are both urgent and important. They are the ones you must start and finish quickly and well. They should not be rushed or taken lightly, as they determine how well you can move forward with your project and the quality of your work.
To be decided
These are important but not urgent tasks. So you have time to do them and that gives you flexibility. You have to decide when you will take care of them. But beware, they are still important, so don’t forget them and use the downtime in your schedule to do them, for example.
Whenever possible in terms of time and budget, you can delegate or postpone tasks that are urgent but not important to your online business. This can be for example administrative tasks that are mandatory and therefore urgent but very time-consuming and which do not bring any added value. The objective is to have as few tasks as possible in this part of the matrix in order to liberate time for the most important and urgent ones.
To be deleted
This one includes all the tasks that are neither urgent nor important and that you can therefore cross off your to do list. It is also useful to prioritize the tasks on the same quadrant. Thus, you will proceed in the order of the To Do, then To be Decided and finally To Delegate quadrants and prioritize in each of them the tasks to be done.
Income generating actions/activities (IGA)
Sometimes we get lost in creating content that we like or spending hours trying to solve a technical issue when really this is not what is going to help you build your business right now. It will vary depending on your business industry. So, ask yourself is this action going to help me attract my ideal clients today? If the answer is no then you should probably postpone it to later.
Okay now are ready to crush your business goals? If all of this still sounds abstract to you I have created a free workbook to help you set your business goals and schedule your week for your online business. In this workbook you will find questions that will help you determine your business goals, the Eisenhower matrix and its 4 quadrants to help you prioritize your tasks and an empty weekly schedule that you can fill out. I will also put the link to access my Trello boards on my website. As always, I wish you a nice week and a successful journey as an online entrepreneur.