As the new year begins, it is the perfect time for a small business owner to outline goals for the  coming year.  Clearly defining upfront what you want to accomplish will help you make smart marketing choices through out the year.

Written correctly goals serve as the standard by which you measure the performance of your marketing investments.  They help you determine if the activities were successful and worth repeating

Goals can be directly or indirectly tied to sales.  A fairly direct connection to sales can be drawn by tracking the number of new customers or leads from a particular advertisement.  In contrast, other goals may help track events which have a less direct correlation to short term sales, but may have a significantly greater impact on the business in general over the longer term.  Examples of these indirect goals include: traffic to the company website during a promotion or the number of articles printed after a press release is distributed.

Whatever your goal is, do not keep it a secret! Share your goals!  Tell others what you want to accomplish so they can help.  Make sure everyone on your team knows what the company is trying to accomplish so they can work toward the same goal.  Communicate progress toward a goal and celebrate the achievement of the goal with everyone involved.

If you work alone, share your goals with peers, friends and advisors.  I find sharing my goals with my peers keeps me focused, energized and on-target toward my goals.

So what are my goals for this year: Here are just a few:

  • Web projects – 3/month
  • Branding & Collateral projects –  3/month
  • PR/Newsletter Projects  – 8/month
  • Retainer Clients – 8/month
  • Speaking/Plans/Other – 1/month
  • Alexa Ranking 500,000

So these are just a few of mine.  They are posted on the wall in my office, and on any given day, I and the rest of the team at Roundpeg know how well we are doing.

What about you?  What is in your plans for 2009?