by: Felicia Lee and originally posted on Entrepreneur Mom Now Vancouver
In working with numerous mom entrepreneurs over the years, I see 5 common mistakes that derail business growth. In this series, I’ll be going over these top mistakes that mom business owners make in growing their business, and what to do to overcome them. Here is Part 1 of 5:
Mistake #1 : Not Having A Sales Goal
When I start working with a client, the very first thing we determine is what the revenue goal ought to be. It’s common that until that session, owners haven’t paid much attention to revenue numbers, let alone in exact numbers, by a certain date. In answering “what do you want your business to make?”, some say that they want their business to be better, some want it better than where it is right now, others want it to allow them to stay home, have a flexible schedule, and not go back to the dull corporate job they had. When I ask “what amount do you need to bring in each month, exactly, to enable you to have the dream lifestyle that you want that gives you all that you want, flexibility to be home, and the most rewarding business, with sugar on top?” I usually get a “hmm, let’s see, ….” followed by a pause, then acknowledgement that it’s not something they’ve thought about consciously.
Moms will tell me their historic sales to date, what they have been doing in marketing, how they get their customers, what’s working and what’s not, but most haven’t thought about where they want to be. Looking at historic sales figures as a planning tool is like driving to a destination by looking at your rear view mirror. It’s ok to use it to check how you’re doing, but not great to predict where you should be.
You have to be very clear about what you want your business to bring in, for it to happen. Imagine if you were planning a vacation. Merely thinking about going somewhere nice for a vacation, sometime in the future, doesn’t bring to fruition. You need to know all the details for the vacation to take place – what type of vacation (beach or adventure), when would you be going (which month? for how long), how will you get there (driving or by plane), where would you stay, what will you do when you’re there, and where will you eat, etc. The more detailed the planning, the higher likelihood the vacation will happen as planned.
It’s no different in business growth. The most successful clients of mine have very clear visions for where their businesses will be, in a month, in three months, by year-end. They envision their business grossing $6k per month, or $15k per month, or $50k per month in sales, and every strategy fits around how to generate this amount consistently over time.
How do you settle on a revenue target? Some try to project from where they were, what it realistically could be based on historical trends, or what they know they can get. My role as a coach is to be curious – why this number? Is it a number that excites you? Or one that even scares you a little? If you are serious about growing you business, how should you determine what your revenue targets should be? I always ask a very simple question – what do you want it to be?
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. – Les Brown
Your homework: What is your moon?
Felicia Lee is a business coach and founder of Candeo Communications Inc. She works with moms that want to grow their businesses without sacrificing flexibility to spend time with family, and those that want to take their business to the next level through creating scalable business models and structures.