The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.Bill Copeland
This is what happens if we’re too busy being busy with the day-to-day operation. This week we’re going to jump off the hamster wheel and actually take some time to set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals for your dance business. First we consider what we want to achieve and then commit to our plan of actions in order to realise those goals.
Setting SMART goals can help you clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want for your business.
Here’s this week’s Daily Prompts:
Day 1: What is it do you want to achieve? Make sure to follow the SMART format.
It’s not good enough to say “I want my school to be the best dance school in town.” We need to define what best is – be specific about it, make sure it is measurable, and attach a time frame to it.
Example: “I want to enrol X new students in 2021 and retain Y% of my current students.” Make it specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound with your own numbers. For some people 100 new students would be attainable, but for others perhaps 50 would be a more realistic number. Pro-tip: set your numbers at a level you feel a bit uncomfortable with to give you a bit of a push.
Day 2: Where do you want your business to be at the end of this year?
Start with a yearly goal and then work backwards when creating your plan of actions. Looking at the previous example, say X = 100 – we then we divide it by 4 (quarterly): Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. For the busier quarter, we can target to attract more new students. So your quarterly goals might look like this:
- Q1 Jan-Mar: 30 new students
- Q2 Apr-Jun: 15 new students
- Q3 Jul – Sept: 25 new students
- Q4 Oct-Dec: 30 new students
Adjust the number of X new students and the 3 month periods from the sample above to your own real situation. For example, if you’re based in a student city like us with mainly Uni students as customers, September when the academic year starts is actually also the start of our busiest quarter.
Day 3: What do you need to do to achieve the goals you set yesterday?
Do you need to do more marketing? Do you need to hire more team members? Do you need to set up a system? Brainstorm and write down what you think you need to do to achieve the goals you set in day 2.
Day 4: What do you need to do in the next 3 months to realise you goal?
Focus on each quarter and then create a spreadsheet of a detailed plan for the next 3 months. Say if you plan to post on social media every day, create a 90 day calendar and plan what you are going to post for the next 90 days. Pro-tip: Do a time-bound campaign. For example if you want to promote a particular course, create your social media posts mentioning the course every day for a week before the course opens for registration.
Day 5: What do you need to do in the next month towards achieving your goal?
List all the things you need to do in the next month towards achieving your goal and set a time frame to it. Example: “By the end of this week I need to come up with a system to ensure a student registration process.” And then stick to it. Once you’re done with the first month, move on to to-do-list for month 2, and then for month 3.
The power of a 90 day marketing planning is that it gives you focus on a manageable period to plan and implement strategic initiatives identified in your annual plan within a more practical period than 30 days.