Imagine going hunting in the woods and shooting aimlessly without a target. Do you think your hunt would actually be successful?
Or what if a pilot kept flying a plane with no specific destination? The pilot would most likely end up out of fuel.
Well, obviously neither scenario would end up with good news. It’s bound to be just a waste of time and effort on your part without really achieving anything in the process.
The same goes for your business if you have no target or destination, if you keep wandering aimlessly and trying out different things that may just be fads but aren’t moving you closer to success. You’ll probably end up getting lost or giving up.
Goal Setting for Your Ecommerce Business
It’s crucial for every business to set goals at the beginning. This will enable you to filter out unnecessary tasks and expenses. It will steer you in the right direction faster too, not to mention eliminate some problems.
No matter how small your venture is, it’s essential to set SMART goals. As you probably have heard before, SMART refers to the key characteristics of a good goal— Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Following these important factors, you have to create your long-term goals, mid-term goals, and short-term goals. What do you want your online retail store to achieve within a year? What’s your target sales profit after 5 years? How do you intend to market your products in the next few months?
When you have measurable goals, you’ll be able to quantify the various aspects of your business in order to monitor and evaluate your progress. These goals will also serve as your guidelines in designing plans, coming up with action plans, and distributing the work.
Be sure to include deadlines when you set your goals. For example, it’s not enough to say that you want to increase your Facebook fans to 10,000. You should also put a realistic date on it. When do you want to achieve this and what are the specific things that you and your team ought to do to help contribute to the realization of this goal?
Importance of Key Performance Indicators
So many ecommerce businesses don’t make use of key performance indicators (KPI). But what you need to learn is that upon setting your goals and identifying your objectives, the next step is to formulate the KPIs for each of your departments.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just a startup. You must have separate KPIs for your marketing, product quality control and innovation, sales, customer service, and technical operations. These may cover the basics and a little more, but surely some businesses have other areas that would require their own KPIs. You’re welcome to create more if you deem it necessary.
Here’s an example— Let’s say you wish to increase your sales by 5% for next month. This means that performance indicators would include the daily and weekly sales, site visitors, and even conversion rate.
What if your goal is to reach 20,000 followers on Instagram? Your KPIs must be your IG ad results, number of post likes and comments, and number of posts you publish each week. These are just examples. There are still several more you have to watch out for.
When you have KPIs, you’re able to determine how close you are to your goals. These are the milestones that you need to keep track of. These will also serve as guides for your colleagues and outsourced workers.
For sales, KPIs would usually incorporate even newsletter subscribers, chat sessions initiated, affiliate performance rates, unique visitors on your site, page views per visit, and more.
Make sure to also assign KPIs to the people in your team so that each one clearly knows his/her specific responsibilities and indicators of performance level for evaluation purposes.
With all these goals and KPIs in the right places, and with continuous monitoring, you’ll be able to see where you are lacking or where you are doing well. You can determine better which goals you’ve already achieved and which ones you need to adjust or modify. These things are certainly vital to the success of your operations and to your overall profits.
Sit down with your team if possible. More heads are always better than one. This way, all of you will also be more conscious of your collective vision and mission for the business. Everybody will be on the same page, which can hasten the progress and build more efficient teamwork.