The busy season is winding down and it feels good to have a few moments to work ON my business again, as opposed to working IN my business.  We are all familiar with New Year’s resolutions, and are also probably familiar with how rarely they are followed through on.  I mean just look at the number of people in your fitness class on January 8th as opposed to March 8th.

The problem with most resolutions is that they are these big sweeping changes and we expect ourselves to make these changes immediately.  It’s just not how changes in behavior happen.  We would all be much more successful if we broke these behaviors down in to specific and measurable goals.

When goal setting for your business it’s important to keep that in mind.  Effective goal setting can also be called SMART goal setting:

S – Specific

M- Measurable

A- Attainable

R- Relevant

T- Trackable

Let’s take a look at some sample goals, shall we?

“I want to make money in 2013.”  Ok, that sounds like a great goal, but it’s pretty vague.

Why not say, “My business will gross 75K and I will earn a salary of at least 25K.”  That is much more specific, measurable, and trackable.  Monthly check-ins with your accounting software will keep you moving towards the goal.  Why not get even more specific though?

“In 2013 I will shoot 40 pet sessions at a $1,000 session average.  I will shoot 10 weddings at a $3,500 average.  Therefore my business will gross 75K and I will earn at least 25K.”  Now we are getting somewhere!

Our subconscious mind is a powerful thing, and the very act of  writing down your goals will put you on the path to success.  When you share your goals with others then that path to success becomes even more likely!   Another side note is the importance of positive goal setting.  It is much more effective to have a goal of eating 3 veggies a day as opposed to stop eating so much chocolate.  (Side note, that really should be one of my goals but I am sticking to attainable goals this year!!)

Homework for week one:

  1. Create a big picture goal for your business 10 years from now.  What exactly does that look like?  Do you have a retail space or work out of your home? What types of sessions are you shooting?  How many of each at what average?  Do you have any employees?  What are their duties? What is your yearly gross revenue and net profit?  I recently participated in this exercise with an incredible group of photographers that I met this summer in Seattle at Tamara’s CreativeLIVE class.  This forces you to really give some thought to your business goals, and it becomes a whole lot easier to start to see which opportunities lead towards that goal and which do not.
  2. Create goals for 2013.  Create specific revenue and session goals.  Create professional goals.  Decide what you want to learn this year and create goals to improve in that area.

Will you please do me a favor, once you complete your goals will you share some in the comments here or on the Hair of the Dog Facebook page?  I would love to know what your goals are and maybe I can create some posts to help you achieve them!  Check back next Friday for week 2 of Planning for a Profitable 2013!