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Track Business Success As You Navigate the New Year

Success means different things to different businesses. But no matter what your specific idea of success is for your business, you need a way to track it. Here are some key tips to help you measure your success and track your small business goals for 2017.

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Set Specific Goals

If you want to be able to track your business’s success throughout the next year, you need to first have some sort of gauge for what success might look like. That means you need to set some goals.

But you shouldn’t just set general goals like “increase sales.” That would mean that basically any improvement could mean your goal is achieved. Thus you wouldn’t have anything specific to work toward throughout the year.

Instead, come up with specific goals or milestones that you want to achieve. So instead of “increase sales,” you could say that you want your business to increase sales by 15 percent. That gives you a specific number to hit by the end of the year. And you can track your progress toward that specific number each month.

Break Them Down

From there, you have to figure out what you want to do to actually make those goals happen. For example, if you want to increase sales by 15 percent by the end of the year, what are you going to do each month to make those increases happen?

Come up with an action plan that you can work on throughout the year to get to your main goals. Then you can keep track of each of those items individually and even measure what kind of impact they have on your goal.

For instance, in January you might try an online ad campaign that brings in a decent increase in sales. But in February, if you add a new social media campaign to the mix and it doesn’t have much of an impact, you might decide to just focus more of your efforts on the original ad platforms you used.

Keep an Organized List

Since each of your business’s main goals is likely to have a lot of different components or action steps, it’s important for you to keep them organized. If not, you might forget about some of the steps you wanted to take. Or you might even lose sight of your main goals as you deal with all of the day-to-day aspects of keeping your business running.

So once you set your goals, you need to have some sort of system for tracking your action steps and progress. This might be a list, a spreadsheet or even an app. Just make sure it’s something that’s easy for you to check on and update throughout the year.

Monitor Your Metrics

Different metrics like sales numbers, website analytics and even social media engagement can help you monitor your success and keep track of your business goals throughout the year. These numbers offer real, tangible insights into how your business is performing. So you need to be aware of them at each step in the process.

Once you have a starting point and a goal, you can keep track of those numbers through your analytics or bookkeeping systems. This should help you get a better idea of your progress throughout the year. So if you notice any changes or issues with the numbers, you might be able to adjust your strategy so that you can improve your chances of success going forward.

Don’t Be Afraid to Adjust

At the beginning of the year, it’s a good idea to map out at least a general plan for your business and what you want to achieve. But things change throughout the year. You might get a new opportunity. You might have some unexpected struggles. Or you might just decide that you want to take the business in a different direction.

Along with those changes, your goals and ways of measuring success might also change. So throughout the year, you should be able to change up your goals and plans to fit your business’s current direction if you find that to be necessary.

Use the Staples QuickWins App

There are so many things that go into tracking the success of a small business. And since small business owners often have so many other tasks to worry about, the last thing you need is another complicated process to add to your to-do list.

But the Staples QuickWins app is designed to make tracking success easier for small business owners. With the app, you can measure important analytics like sales and website traffic, and then receive customized ideas of ways you can help your business optimize and grow. So if you know you want to increase sales, you can use the app to monitor your progress, but also get some new ideas for ways you can make that goal actually happen. In addition, the app includes a community feature so you can get advice and support from other small business owners.

Plotting Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Track Business Success As You Navigate the New Year” was first published on Small Business Trends