January of every year is a perfect time to set goals.
Last year I set three goals for Reckoneer.com:
- My first goal was to write one article about race promotion every week for a year. Now I have articles addressing almost every topic encountered by a race promoter.
- My second goal was to start a podcast about race promotion. Now I host a weekly podcast called Merchants of Dirt complete with 12 episodes.
- My third goal was to produce a two-day event. This led to the 3rd Annual Wolf Bouncer All Mountain 2-day mountain bike series for both collegiate and open riders.
All the goals I set for Reckoneer were accomplished last year.
Not because I wished them to come true, but because I set difficult but achievable goals, and worked towards meeting that target.
Did I accomplish everything perfectly?
Not a chance!
I didn’t start writing articles every week until April, and it took me 3-months of planning and learning before I launched my podcast in October.
However, that’s the point of goals: If you aim for Great and miss, you’re likely to hit Good.
Good is way better than Never!
With the point being to HAVE smaller goals that are guiding you towards a big goal.
My big goal for 2016 was to get Reckoneer rebranded, focused, and positioned to become an off-road racing influence going into 2017.
I think I did that with the proof being seen in my increased site visits, downloads per episode, and audience feedback.
Did you set any goals in last year?
If not, it’s time to get your race promotion business on track and set some goals for this coming year.
We’re already nine days into the new year, with only 356 days left until a new Star Wars movie and another year goes by.
So time’s a wasting!
But the reason I didn’t set goals in 2016 is I’m not sure how to set them.
No worries — the Reckoneer has you covered!
First, we need to think them up.
When it comes to your race promotion business, you need to focus on some key goals surrounding what you want your business to do this year.
Your goals should include these topics:
- Growth Planning: This is where you see your race promotion going in the next year, and possibly in the next three years. Quantitative metrics for this would include the number of races you want to promote above the following year, how much additional revenue you want to generate over the past year, or an increase in the total number of customers. Read It is time for you to have a vision, or listen to Merchants of Dirt Podcast Episode #3 for more details.
- Race Offerings: This is the type, discipline, duration, and scale of the kind of races you plan on offering your customers. Quantitative metrics for this would include what kind of races you will focus on and how many races you will promote in the year. Read Look before you leap into race promotion, or listen to Merchants of Dirt Podcast Episode #10 for more details.
- Financial Targets: These are the financial numbers you need to hit to stay in business and/or make a profit. Quantitative metrics for this would include Break-Even Point, Profit Margins, and Sales Goals. Read Putting the fun back in race budget fundamentals, or listen to Merchants of Dirt Podcast Episode #9 for more details.
Consider all the things you want out of your race promotion business.
Can you visualize them?
Now take all those things and think about how many of them you can actually accomplish this year.
What does that list look like?
Write it down in whatever form that comes to you.
Do you have them written down? Good.
Then it’s time to take those rough goals and turn them into SMART goals.
Yes! Now it’s time for you to get SMART!
For starters, every goal setting book, class, and guru will eventually pull out the SMART method from your school days.
Don’t remember what SMART goals stood for?
Here is a quick guide to making sure you write down goals that actually mean something:
- S – Specific: Make each goal crispy, not mushy.
Example: Produce one Fat Bike mountain bike race in 2017.
- M – Measurable: Make each goal quantifiable so you know if you accomplished it or not.
Example: Earn $10,000 more in net profit over last year.
- A – Actionable: Make each goal start with an action verb.
Example: Run, finish, produce, direct, plan, promote, earn, etc.
- R – Realistic: Make each goal use common sense, but if you’re not out of your comfort zone, it’s not big enough.
Example: Direct one 50-mile trail run this year.
- T – Time-bound: Make each goal have a deadline.
Example: Produce 10 races by December 31st.
Does SMART make sense now?
Perfect! Then it’s time for the final part.
Now, we achieve those goals.
How do we do that?
By leveraging our five (5) Goal Setting Principles as follows:
- 1. Thinking SMART — Visualizing and creating goals that will provide value when completed.
- 2. Writing Them Down — Writing your goals down will improve your chances of accomplishing them.
- 3. Keeping Them Simple — Don’t complicate your life by setting more goals than you can manage. You don’t have that kind of time to worry about a long list of goals. Keep it simple by limiting your goals to only five or below. I find that three is a great number to aim for!
- 4. Dedicating to Them Daily — Placing them somewhere you can read them every day will also improve your chances of accomplishing them.
- 5. Sharing Them Strategically — Only share your goals with those people you feel are committed to helping you accomplish each one.
Setting goals is extremely important in keeping yourself focused throughout the year.
It will also provide you with meaning and a sense of accomplishment as you move closer to completing each one.
Stop wandering through the forest without a map and compass.
Your annual goals ARE your map and compass!
Make this year the first of many goal oriented years to come.
And now you know!