Did you achieve everything you hoped to in 2021? Did your studio move systematically closer to your annual goals each month, or did it feel like you were throwing ideas out each week and hoping something stuck? As business owners, we have big dreams, but it's much more difficult to mold those indistinct dreams into realizable goals and systematic action steps. This year, challenge yourself to sit down and plan out what, exactly, you're going to achieve in this new year and how you're going to make it happen. Let's break it down.
Considering it's January, you are likely inundated with New Year's resolution rhetoric in your inbox and social media feeds right now. But, what makes the difference between a clear goal you can strive for and a dream? You already know that goal setting helps you move your business from where you currently are to where you want to be, but did you know that goal setting has been linked with improved self-confidence and motivation? Research also shows that people are 33 percent more likely to actually achieve their goals if they take the time to write them down. So, if you've been feeling a bit stagnant or lacking direction in your business lately, setting new, exciting goals is exactly the energy you need to dive into a new year with fresh enthusiasm.
Setting goals is a great place to start, but if you're going to make the most of them, make sure they're "SMART." For clarity's sake, let's use the example of increasing profits as our working goal.
"I want to make more money" is probably not going to move you closer to your goals this year. Be specific, so you know what exactly you're working towards and, later, you know if you've achieved it or how close you are to checking it off. A better goal could be, "I will make $200,000 in revenue by transitioning clients into a recurring revenue model" or "I will increase my revenue by 20% in 2022 by selling my teacher training program that will earn $10,000."
If you tell your business coach, "I want to make more money," they're going to ask you, "how much more?" or "what does 'more money' mean to you?" If you want to reach it, you need to put a number behind it. Peter Drucker said, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it," which should be one of your cornerstones when setting successful goals. Using the above example, $200,000 in revenue is measurable because you know how close you are to achieving it each month. From here, you can give that figure quarterly or monthly targets to keep you moving forward, so you always know exactly where you stand. Creating and measuring your goal can be a sticking point if you haven't consistently tracked your metrics up until now. If that's you, don't throw in the towel. Now is a great time to start- keeping track of your numbers can even be the entire goal. Long story short, if you want to improve a specific aspect of your business, you need to measure it.
Your goal should be something you can control and take steps towards completing. Winning the lottery is a dream; earning 10% more revenue by raising your prices is a goal you can direct (but you can still add winning the lottery to your vision board).
If you earned $10,000 in revenue in 2021, your goal probably shouldn't be to make $1,000,000 in 2022. A general goal setting guideline is that your goal should be no more than a 30% improvement from where you are right now, but that isn't a strict requirement. You can even create a minimum goal, a target goal, and a stretch goal that will push you to deliver, but it needs to be reasonable so that you don't end up discouraged.
Give yourself an end date, even if that's a year- or five- away. This doesn't mean you can't be flexible and give yourself more time if you realize that your lofty goal of adding 20 members by February isn't going to happen, but you should have a time target for each goal you create.
After you finish reading, find a piece of paper and a pen (remember, written goals are 33% more likely to be achieved!) and complete the following:
Now that you have your three goals for the year, run each one through your SMART criteria to make sure they are specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and timebound. By the end of the exercise, your goals should look more like this:
a. Beginning in Q2, I will work until 4 pm each weekday and then close my laptop. To achieve this, I will schedule and batch my daily to-do list and hire a VA to post on social media for me starting Q1.
b. I will refresh my studio and focus on member experience:
c. I will net 40 members this year to grow from 160 to 200 members. I will add five members per month by:
You've probably experienced the New Year's resolution rush in your studio only to never see most of those January clients ever again. Don't become a statistic- you just did all the work to write your detailed roadmap to success. Depending on your working style, that may look like taping your goals to the wall above your desk, writing them in your google documents, or even taking a picture and saving it as your phone background. Whatever your method, your goals need to stay in front of you if you're going to remember to work toward them and eventually achieve them.
As a studio owner or manager in the boutique fitness industry, you already know that we're more likely to achieve our goals if we have accountability. Now it's time to find your entrepreneurial version of a workout buddy to help you reach your goals. If you have a studio manager, tell them what you have planned and discuss how they will contribute to the end product. Delegate and give anyone with a deliverable expectation their own metric and timeline so you can work cohesively as a team. Are you running your studio solo? Tell your business coach, your significant other, your friends, your mom - anyone who can ask, "Hey, how are you doing on your 2022 goals?" and help you reach those targets.
Going back to our example of earning $200,000 revenue in 2022, let's say you created the following quarterly schedule for yourself in step two when you divided your goal into achievable, measurable pieces:
Q1: $60k revenue
Q2: $50k revenue
Q3: $40k revenue
Q4: $50k revenue
Each month and/or quarter, schedule a date with yourself to sit down and analyze your progress. From here, you can adjust your targets as needed and develop your plan for the next month. Remember, your goals aren't set in stone; they can and should be slightly manipulated as you react to your environment. Flexibility is essential for your studio's growth and your self-efficacy. If you find you are way off target, it might be time to bring in an expert or go back to your notes to see if your goals were unreasonable to begin with. Most importantly, don't give up if you stumble. Especially if you're new to goal-setting, all progress is good progress.
You made the effort to create and work towards your goals strategically; now, it's time to give yourself a gold star for achieving them. If you're the kind of person who operates well with reward systems, consider giving yourself a prize each time you meet a milestone. It can be as small as taking yourself to lunch or as exciting as taking a vacation for completing your goal, but, no matter the bonus, you should feel rewarded for your hard work. Lastly, remember that progress isn't linear, so give yourself grace as you make progress towards your goal. In the big picture, you're improving every day that you consciously choose to move yourself and your business closer to your vision.