We are photographers and creatives; but we are also business owners. This is one aspect that sets apart the amateur from the successful.
I want to be amazing at my trade. I want a product that I can stand by. But, I need to be successful in running a business as well if anyone is going to benefit from seeing my images and allow me to capture their life moments.
I recently read an interesting article on forbes.com titled, “The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically, Every Day.” The fifteen things range from making others feel safe to problem solving, but number seven jumped out at me:
“Measure & Reward Performance – Great leaders always have a strong “pulse” on business performance and those people who are the performance champions. Not only do they review the numbers and measure performance ROI [Return on Investment], they are active in acknowledging hard work and efforts (no matter the result). Successful leaders never take consistent performers for granted and are mindful of rewarding them.”
That makes sense in all businesses, but how do we do that as very small businesses, specifically, a one or two man / woman show?
I think it has to do with being good at setting goals and evaluating them. Here are three things that I have found super helpful in setting goals in our business.
1) Set realistic attainable goals.
We all want to be on the front page of Style Me Pretty, but that might not be a good goal to start with. Start with the next step. Is it a skill like learning off camera flash? Or meeting with an accountant to work on finances? Or networking with other vendors? Keep asking yourself what is the next step in continuing to build a successful business.
2) Set measurable goals.
If we are going to be able to know if we were successful, we need to be able to know if we reached our goals. Setting a goal of increasing my web presence is a good goal but how do you measure it? I think a better goal would be posting at least one shoot a week and responding to every comment that is made. At the end of a week you can say, “Yes, I did that.”
3) Evaluate and celebrate.
You must take time to honestly evaluate if you reached your goals. Ask questions like, “Did I reach my goal? Why or why not?” “What do I need to do differently to meet that goal in the future?” “Was it the right goal for me?” If you did reach your goal, celebrate! I think the bigger the goal, the bigger the celebration it deserves.
Goal setting and strategic planning can be so overwhelming. What has been helpful for you in creating attainable goals that move you and your business forward?
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