3 Simple Concepts to Grow Your Business

If you want to grow your business, there are three simple concepts that will propel you toward success: set action goals and success goals, reward yourself, and follow the money. While it may sound cliche, it really does work.

SET ACTION GOALS AND SUCCESS GOALS

In order to reach the big goals you need a road map to follow. If you were driving from New York to California and you didn’t have an actual road map, you’d blindly drive southwest and hope that sooner or later you’d arrive in California. It would be easy to miss the goal if you weren’t familiar with the roads.

That’s where your road map comes in. It tells you which road you’re on at any given time and you can see when you’ve steered off course. Road maps also tell you when you’re near an interesting place that might be worth a detour.

Action and success goals help you in much the same way. Deciding that you want to make $100,000 a year is an excellent goal but how do you get there? The first step is to create a series of action goals and success goals. Action goals are actions you can take. Success goals are markers that you’ve moved closer to the big goal.


Here are a few examples of action goals: distribute 100 flyers, call 10 potential new clients, place an ad in a newspaper, add a web page to your website, create a Google Adwords ad, or create a referral program that offers an incentive to existing clients who bring you new clients.

Sales and giveaways are a different type of action goal. If you sell a product, put it on sale for a week or offer a freebie with a minimum purchase and make sure to get the word out.

Success goals break the ultimate goal into smaller success points. An ultimate goal of $100,000 a year breaks down to $8,333 per month. Set a success goal of $1,000 a month and once you achieve it, up the goal to $2,000 a month then $3,000.

Set action goals to move you from $1,000 to $2,000. An action goal is like stepping on the gas pedal to propel you forward to the next success goal. Every success goal you set is another location on your road map.

REWARD YOURSELF FOR GOALS ACHIEVED

Once you’ve set up your action and success goals, the next step is to implement a reward system for yourself. For every goal achieved there should be an associated reward.

Set up small rewards for an action goal such as distributing 100 flyers. Set a bigger reward for a success goal such as earning $1,000 a month.

A reward might be to treat yourself to 10 new songs for your MP3 player from iTunes or Amazon.com. Perhaps you’d rather take yourself out to lunch, a movie, a trip to the beauty salon, bowling alley or ball game. Splurge on yourself. Buy a new shirt, book, plant for the garden, necklace, stamps for your stamp collection or a $30 bottle of liqueur that you wouldn’t normally treat yourself to. These are all ways to reward yourself.

Rewards can be very motivating. The most effective rewards are treats that you wouldn’t get except as a reward. In other words, don’t buy yourself a new book except as a reward for a goal you’ve achieved. If it’s just another book and you’ll get books anyway, the reward is diluted. It loses the power to motivate you.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Sometimes the concepts that bring the most profit aren’t the ones you originally counted on. The best way to determine which aspects of your business are paying off and which are wasting your time is to divide your business into departments and then analyze the profits from each department.

Virtually any business can be subdivided into departments. For example, an appliance business might have the following departments: appliance repairs, washer and dryer sales, kitchen appliance sales, small appliance sales such as vacuum cleaners and toasters, and possibly even outdoor appliance sales such as BBQ grilles.

Perhaps you envisioned making a bundle selling refrigerators but if you keep track of the individual departments of your business, you might discover that you’re making a lot more money repairing appliances or selling outdoor BBQ grilles. You’re near an interesting detour that might be worth investigating.

Profits help you to navigate forks in the road. A departmental analysis might tell you that outdoor BBQ grilles are profitable and refrigerators are just old inventory taking up space. You’ve reached a decision point, a place where you must decide whether to go straight or take a turn.


The straight road will most likely take you off course, away from the $100,000 success goal. You know that refrigerators aren’t selling. The side street of BBQ grilles offers more profit potential so turning onto the side street makes the most sense. Start selling BBQ utensils, cookbooks, sauces and other related merchandise. Give the BBQ section prime real estate in your store and on your website. Try a few related side streets and offer a small selection of patio furniture. Move the refrigerators to the back, perhaps offering a refrigerator clearance sale.

Profits are your navigation system. Divide your business into departments and the profits will guide you. Other business departments might include different product lines, corporate customers versus individual customers, repairs versus new sales, selling products as an addition to a service business or vice versa.

Even internet businesses can be subdivided. Affiliate income, selling advertising space, selling your own product, designing web pages for others, all of these are separate portions of an internet business. Affiliate income can be further subdivided by the actual companies you do business with. Google is a single affiliate. So are Amazon and Commission Junction. If you find that one affiliate is more profitable you can focus your time and energy on that affiliate, making them more prominent on your website.

Product sales on the internet can be tracked regardless of whether the product is yours or affiliated. Which products bring the most commissions? This is a more important question than which product sells the most. If selling bumper stickers brings a profit of 50 cents each versus one e-book at a profit of $2.50, you’d need to sell 5 bumper stickers to equal the profit from a single e-book.

If you regularly sell 20 bumper stickers a day for a profit of $10 and only two e-books for a profit of $5, then you should focus on the bumper stickers. Try to sell 40 bumper stickers a day. Add more slogans and increase your marketing for bumper stickers. However, if the e-book wins out then you should consider adding other e-books on similar topics.

Set action goals and success goals so that you have a road map to follow. Set up a reward system for goals achieved. Analyze which aspects of your business bring the most profits and then follow the money. Expand the profitable portions of your business. Consider dropping departments that just aren’t paying off. Success might be found down a side street you never would have dreamed of.

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