Monday, July 11, 2011

Setting Goals for Your Small Business

Making plans for our Etsy shop or small business can be one of the most fun and challenging responsibilities you face. It's a great time to dream big and think about all the possibilities, everything you would like to achieve in the next year and beyond. It can be intimidating, too - an entire year to plan for! Not to mention the future of your business. Take a deep breath and listen up - you can totally do it if you break the task into small steps and take one step at a time!

The first step to planning out a year's worth of objectives is to create a "Big Picture" list. This is a great way to get your goal-making juices flowing! Sit down with your notebook or computer and write a list of all the things you would like to accomplish in the next year - business goals and personal goals, too. Choose a few BIG goals that will take the most time and energy (like setting up an online shop, participating in a big craft sale, or launching a new product) and include more small goals that will be less time consuming (such as using your Twitter account, organizing a supply area, or planning a weekly coffee date with your BFF).

After you have finished your "Big Picture" list it's really helpful to break it down into a month-by-month schedule. This way you can see which goals are time sensitive (like planning for holiday season sales or scheduling a trip) and you can give yourself deadlines for completing other projects. Start with your BIG goals, plugging them into each month, then fill in the smaller goals.

For example, my big goals for July have been to develop items to market for back-to-school season and to create a new crochet pattern to sell. Those goals have taken up the biggest percentage of my time and energy this month. I've also plugged in quite a few small goals like stocking up on packaging supplies and making a simple tutorial to post on my blog. Next month I have one really big goal of moving into my new apartment and getting settled, so I balanced my list by including a bunch of small goals that I know I can accomplish!

Here are a few more goal making tips:

Keep Your Goals Handy: Keep your list in a spot where you will see/read/review it often.

Add Details: The more details you use the more focused you will be.

Celebrate Your Achievements: Get excited when you accomplish a goal! Cross it off the list, tweet about it, tell your friends!

Contributed by Rachel of Cornflower Blue Studio


  1. very smart and helpful, i'm going to do it right now! ^^

  2. This is great advice. I don't know how often I find myself making lists of goals...yearly, monthly, weekly, daily ones... Really important for a business! Who knew all that guidance counselor stuff about writing down your goals would actually be extremely useful! Especially like your idea of celebrating your achievements--great idea. Thanks so much for sharing, Rachel

  3. Thank you, Rachel! This is really helpful advice.