I’ve been lost in the sauce before—the entrepreneurial sauce that is. Sometimes there are significantly more small business tasks to get done than I have time for. And when I was lost in the sauce, it seemed like I had no idea how to prioritize my tasks. What was actually important? What did I have the time and energy to take care of? With no plan of attack, executing is extremely difficult.
As I write this, the world is enduring a pandemic. In previous articles I’ve talked about ways to find your small business footing during this time, how to track your ever-important cash flow, and shared free tools that can enable you to keep operations rolling.
Let’s pretend you’re a chef, and customers aren’t banging down your doors to see what’s on the menu. Assuming you’ve got all the right utensils and a fridge full of groceries, the next step is deciding what’s on the menu for lunch and what recipes you need to follow to cook your meal. That’s what this article is all about—building a great foundation even during uncertain times.
Review Your Engagement Stats
Which posts our audiences actually engage with continues to shock our team. Often they’re posts that we didn’t put much post-production effort into. And on the flip side, the ideas we thoroughly planned out, thinking they’d be a big hit, don’t always do so hot. A post’s performance is not solely based on likes. Likes can be a vanity metric. Also consider:
- How many people went from the post to your profile?
- How many left the social media platform and visited your website?
- Are there patterns in what kind of content performs best?
Forget about likes. Take a look at other performance stats for this week, this month, or even this year as a whole. What do you see? You might uncover some surprises.
The same goes for website stats. A particular page, product, or service might’ve been more popular than you thought. Use the analytics dashboards that come with all business social media accounts. Use Google Analytics or other helpful tools—use our team. If people like it, and it aligns with your values of course, do more of it!
Create Some Work Goals
At the beginning of this month, Danielle and I had a two-hour goal-setting conversation. We’d reviewed our financials. We’d reviewed our engagement stats. It was time to create a roadmap to navigate our new normal during the coronavirus.
I won’t share our specific goals. Frankly, I don’t think they’re all that relevant to your business because they lack the proper context and pre-work discussed above. But just like us—and maybe you already have—you can set daily, weekly and monthly goals to keep you focused on your North Star.
This article is a product of our goal-setting. Content creation is always important, but especially so while we’re all spending more time inside on our devices.
In an attempt not to spread ourselves too thin, we picked only a few business priorities. All of our goals are centered around these priorities. We wrote down our priorities and goals and put them up on a wall. Our hope is that laser-focus on a small number of things will drive the most impact possible.
Set Revenue and Expenses Targets
I’ve talked at length about the importance of both revenue and expenses elsewhere. If your expenses constantly outpace your revenue, eventually your business will fail. So, a business—by definition—has to turn a profit.
Yes, in the last section I talked about work goal-setting, but it’s also important to set finance-specific goals for your business. For more on managing cash flow through tough times, read this.
Ideally, the collection of work goals will generate enough money for your business to stay healthy. But go ahead and set revenue and expense targets anyway.
Be realistic. How much money do you think your business can generate over the next 30 days? Ok, assuming you can get in the ballpark of that figure, how low do you think you can keep your expenses? Is your revenue target higher than your expense target? Meet both targets and your business is definitely still kicking.