Business Goals and KPIs for Freelancers, Solopreneurs & Micro Business Owners
So it’s the 1st of January 2021 and time to set your business goals and performance KPI’S for the year ahead.
An ideal time to log exactly where you are at in your business right now, and to plan out targets for you to reach by the end of 2021.
What metrics do you need to track and monitor as a small or micro business owner?
Well… here are a few suggestions and ideas for you.
Back in our high school/secondary school days, you may have been taught the acronym of SMART Goals as a way to plan your study and projects. It’s one of the only few real skills I have always utilised in my business working life.
S = Specific:
Your goal and/or KPI must be something explicitly clear. No wish-wash or vagness.
M = Measureable:
By logging where you are now, on the 1st January 2021, you will know where you are starting from, when setting a goal for next 12 months as being something attainable, but still far enough out of reach that it motivates you to strive for success.
A = Attainable:
No point saying you want 10K email list subscribers before April if you’re not even lauched a list management system and have no pre-existing audience to pull subscribers from. Start with realistically and attainable goals, like 50 subscribers per month or 2 per day.
R = Relevant:
The goal itself must bring a benefit to you personally or to your business. There is no point chasing after goals that don’t really do much other than letting you check a box. EG Chasing after yet another qualification,
T = Timely:
There must be a clear start date and end date, by which you are measuring your performance progression in a specific area of your business so that you are able to compare this to previous months, quarters, years etc. Without a specific end-date, the goal will drift and you will not have any focus to measure your success or failure by.
For each of the business goals, you choose to set in your business, be sure to then break that task down into mini-bite-sizes tasks or stepping stones. It then helps you to pave a road map of the mini-tasks you need to do to tick off that goal as an overall success.
Financial Business Goals
This is often seen as a vanity metric, as it doesn’t really explain how well your business is doing, but it is worth logging exactly what your turnover was for last year, so that you can cross compare it to this year. And then compare these results agains the profit you’ve made. In an ideal world you are looking at retaining the same turnover, whilst reducing costs and overheads to grow your profit margins. If your turnover has grown and your profit decreased it means you are working harder for less reward!
What exactly did you generate as profit last year? What percentage of your turnover does this equate to? For the year ahead, plan what profit you’d like to achieve and then you can track your progress against that as the year progresses, allowing you to tweak what it is you do, to ensure you reach this goal.
How many clients do you have on long-term retainer contract?
How many more can you accomodate?
What is the average value of a client?
How long do clients stay working with you? Can you increase this by x% this year?
What is the average value of the money spent on your products or service? Can you increase this by X%?
Collect and publish one client testimonial per week?
How many products and/or services do you offer?
What is the profit margin for each product/service?
Do you know the number of sales you make on each product/service (per month/year)? Can you increase on this by X amount?
What percentage of increase in sales do you want to make for each product/service in this year?
How many new products or service do you plan on introducing?
Whether you run your own membership website, use services like Patreon or provide a subscription service in some other type form, how many people do you currently have on a recurring membership platform?
What is the revenue they bring in.
What would you like to increase this by? Percentage? Value?
Audience/Tribe/Fanbase Growth Goals
Social Media Profiles
Monitor the stats on all your social media profiles that matter to you. How many fan’s, follower’s, watch time hours, engagement time, subscribers etc…. Then make a target for how much you want to grow your audience by the end of the year. Perhaps your aim is to partners your YouTube Channel for monetisation or to grow your Facebook Community Group by X members each month.
How many subscribers do you currently have?
How many would you like to aim for by the end of the year?
Can you improve on the bounce rate or the number of non-subscribers you get? Can you improve on the open-rate of the emails and their click-through rates as traffic back to your site, products and services?
Examples of this might include, ensuring you post daily to your social media accounts, publish one-youtube video per week or blog article per week.
Publishing a lead magnet or ebook once a month to help build your mailing list?
To help raise your profile, perhaps aim for one public speaking event per quarter or per year?
Personal Well-Being and Growth
Perhaps you plan to read one-business focused book a month? And implement it’s stratergies?
What about trying to learn one new skill to help you in your business each month?
Do you set a dedicated reward/time-off away from work each month as part of your stratergy not to burn yourself out?
Quality Family Time
As a family at the start of 2020 (before we all knew what Covid-19 was), I set a family challenge to go on one small hike per month. We only managed January as a result of the global pandemic, but it meant family time, away from all technology, spending a fwe hours doing something together!
House & Home Goals
A tidy house is a tidy mind – a mantra that I strongly believe in, but often find it hard to maintain as a single entrepreneurial mum with two young ladies in the house. So as part of my “daily” routine, we now do 15 minutes tidy-up time as a family the moment we get in from the school run each day. 15 minutes of us all chipping in, really helps ease the pressure and time spent doing this myself, plus make my girls more responsible for their own mess and mayhem!
Business Goals Summary
Workout the key performance indicators that you need to track and monitors for the year ahead, break these down into smaller bite-sized stepping stone tasks and review your business performance and growth against this business goals at the end of each month, to help you ensure you implement the right actions for the next month so you can hit your own set targets and business goals.