How To Set Goals That Actually Work For Your Business and You

How to set Effective Business Goals in 2018

We want to improve, we want success, we want to be happy.

We just need to work out how.

An excellent start is to write down your goals. Not just writing them down, by writing down what they are, why they are important and how you are going to measure that goals.

However, this is where the double edged sword comes into play.

You have a goal, you want to achieve but maybe you are not sure about the best way of achieving it. You might have a pretty good idea about how to do it but just want to double check you are on the right track.

What would be great was if someone could give you some advice on how to achieve it. Preferably someone who has already achieved that goal.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that there are plenty of people out there just waiting to give you advice. Eager to give you the details on exactly how they achieved X, Y and Z.

Millions of them. 

Which starts to sounds a lot less comforting and a little bit more alarming.

And boy there is a lot of information out there about how to set goals and how to stick to goals. Which is great, it’s really important to set goals and it’s hard to stick to them, so any advice on that is a big help.

Heck, it’s the reason we have a whole week dedicated to helping you set up your goals. With a community to help support us through those moments of self-doubt and days where nothing went right.

But there really is an important issue we need to address first.

What are the right goals to set for your business?

Is it increasing social media posts, writing more blog posts, getting more Instagram followers, starting a podcast?

Think about the business goal to you want to set yourself.

Let’s say, for example, you want to increase your Instagram followers, to get more traffic from Instagram to your website, in order to make more sales.

Why do you think that more Instagram followers will convert into more sales?

Is it because you’ve noticed a correlation between traffic from Instagram and an increase in your sales?

That’s awesome, carry on my friend.

Is it because people who have lots of Instagram followers appear to be successful?

Is it because another well known online business owner has done a case study to show how increasing their Instagram followers has transformed their business?

Let’s talk about this for a moment.

How to set effective goals for your business

It can often seem like marketing trends pop up and take the world by storm like the new ‘it’ item from each fashion season. Whilst launching courses is still very much a popular business strategy, it was definitely very much ‘in vogue’ a few years ago in particular.

Webinars, passive income sales funnels, Facebook Groups and podcasts have all since had there time in the limelight. Not to say all of these things are now no longer popular, but enthusiasm definitely peaked at certain times.

So what are we saying? That these marketing techniques are all just a hoax? A money making scheme thought up by business owners to sell us course?

Not quite.

How To Set Effective Goals

Not Everything Works for Everyone

Weight Watchers vs Slimming World

We all know how to lose weight, on a very basic level.

Eat healthy food, keep appropriately hydrated and exercise every day.

But we all know it isn’t that simple.

Eating a healthy, completely bland meal and doing your ten thousand steps every day might work ‘technically’ but most people just can’t keep it up.

You need some help, you need some ideas of what to cook every night, you need some support etc.

Friend One

I have one friend who goes to Weight Watchers. She’s lost a stone and a half so far and she raves about it.

Indeed, there is much anecdotal evidence of hundreds of people who have stuck to the Weight Watchers Diet and succeeded in losing weight.

Friend Two

Friend two, inspired by friend one, tried Weight Watchers too.

She stuck to the guidelines, did as they said and followed the diet strictly.

She put on five pounds.

And promptly joined Slimming World. Where is is enjoying great success in achieving her weight loss goals.

Now, debates about whether these diets work in the long term aside, it is clear that Weight Watchers works for many people. It is not a faulty product, it is not some scheme that actually doesn’t work at all and has made all the success stories up.

Yet it didn’t work for friend two.

She didn’t do it wrong, she didn’t sneak in an extra biscuit where she shouldn’t have but it didn’t work.

There is no law out there that says that if something works for one person, it will work for another. Click To Tweet

And it is the same with marketing.

So how do you decide what works for your business and what to focus on?

The Basic Level

There are three, basic ways to improve your business, in terms of financials.

  • Increase the number of visitors to your offers,
  • Increase the price of your offers and
  • Increase your conversion rates.

If you improve any one of these metrics, you will increase your revenue. The one many marketers tend to focus on to perfection is the conversion rate (i.e the percent of people who see your offer and buy).

This is because even the smallest change can have the biggest impact.

For example if I get 1000 people to my website, my product is £100 and I have a conversion of 2% then that means for every 1000 people to my website, I should make £2000.

1000 x 0.02 x 100 = 2000

If I increase the number of people to my website to 2000, using this formula, I will make £4000. However, as you know, getting another thousand people to the website requires a lot of work and a potential increase in spending in terms of my advertising budget ie large increase in revenue but small increase in profit.

If I increase my conversion rate by a single percent, something that is potentially easier and cheaper to do, then my revenue increases to £3000.

So you can see why the conversion rate is the most popular to increase, because such a small increase, can make such big impact.

So with that in mind, the basis of your goals is likely to be working on increasing one of these three metrics.

How To Set Effective Goals

Choosing The Method Case Study 

Our Overall Goal 

To Make More Revenue

Our Specific Goal 

To Increase Revenue By £1000 Per Month (In The First Quarter)

Our Overall Method

Increasing Traffic

Let’s look at the traffic method as an example.

So, our goal for this year is to increase revenue by, say, £1000 a month in the first quarter.

Let’s assume again our conversion rate is 2% and our product is £100.

In order to increase our revenue by a thousand a month, using increased traffic as our method, our ‘mini’ goal that we need to achieve is to increase traffic by 500 people per month.

Our Specific Method 

Now this is where we can start to look at those specific methods. Facebook ads, Pinterest, Webinars etc.

So, maybe you’ve taken a look at your Google analytics to see where your traffic is coming from and Pinterest seems to be the top referrer.

This is an excellent place to start as we can already see that we’re getting traffic from this source. So let’s put in a plan to increase it.

Perhaps you decide to use a scheduling system like Tailwind to increase the number of Pins you pin per day. Let’s say we increase the number of Pins from 50 to 100 a day.


Just like a science experiment, we have a hypothesis we want to test.

We think, based on our data, that increasing the number of Pins per day, will increase our traffic, which will increase our revenue.

The metric we are measuring is the amount of traffic that is referred to our site via Pinterest.


So perhaps we’ve run this test for two weeks and we want to check in on the results.

If they aren’t what you expect, this is the time to analyse what might be the issue.

For example, if traffic did increase but profits did not, what might be the reason for this?

You might find, when you look at your analytics, that the extra traffic was being sent to a specific post but people were ‘bouncing’ and not exploring your website or signing up for your email list.

How to set Effective Business Goals

How can we fix this?

Can you make the Pinterest Pin better aligned with the content it’s pointing to. Does that post need updating? Is there a clear call to action for readers to follow once they have finished reading?

Whatever you think the issue might be, adjust and try again.


This sort of testing and tinkering isn’t very glamorous. Especially when compared to planning new sales funnels for your webinar, or launch sequence for a new course.

But it’s an important part of goal setting.

To successfully set and achieve goals, sometimes it’s not always a straight forward journey from A to B. Sometimes there is some testing, some adjusting and some pivoting along the way.

But it you are mindful of the exact metrics you are attempting to alter, you can better gauge whether you are on the path to success or not.

Rather than just picking a goal, say ‘to do more webinars’ and becoming disheartened when revenue doesn’t seem to increase – you can be more intentional about your actions and goals.

For example, your analytics show that video seems to be converting highly.

Your hypothesis is that if you introduce more webinars into your marketing strategy, you will increase your conversion rates.

If, after your first webinar, conversion rates have not improved – instead of feeling downcast and immediately rejecting webinars for a new strategy, you can persist.

You can do a second webinar, perhaps this time changing a variable such as the time of the webinar, the audience segment it was pitched at or another consideration.

If this too still does not seem to work, you can continue to alter or perhaps then move onto a different strategy.

There is nothing wrong with learning strategies or getting advice from fellow business owners.

No one should have to go it alone. But just make sure that you are been intentional about the goals you are choosing, monitoring and implementing in your own business rather than using external goals or strategies from outside of your business.

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