At the beginning of the year I wrote my business plan for 2012 where I specified a number of goals and, as promised, here is my half-yearly review of that plan.
My plans and goals for passive income ended up taking over an entire (and very popular) blog post. I also set some targets in terms of visitors, clients and other indicators and you’re going to see if I achieved those goals.
How has business been so far this year?
I started running my design business from home in 2006 when the economy here in Europe and North America was was much more vibrant than it is today.
Of course, it’s difficult for me to evaluate the economy from the perspective of a business with a workforce of one (me), but I think I have only noticed the recession in the last two years.
Business was slow during March and April this year – as it was last year! – I have no idea whether this is down to me or the economy but it’s interesting that there was a similar downturn in the same period last year as well.
I’m still getting work (creating websites, logos, print design, PDFs, etc.) although I’m noticing less new customers and more business from regular clients as well as new clients who find me as a result of recommendations from established clients. As I found out in my designers business survey, your best clients are your current clients.
So, overall, I haven’t had a great influx of work that every business owner dreams about but my design business has ticked over normally so far this year.
My SMART goals for 2012
So here are some of the goals I had at the beginning of the year (which were, of course, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based) and how I got on.
|Goal (Jan 1st – June 30th, 2012)||Target||Actual|
|Monthly unique visitors||35,000||31,000|
|Number of meetings attended with groups of business-people or “mastermind” groups||5||7|
|Number of new clients securing revenue of over $1000||4||2|
Let’s go through these targets one-by-one.
Passive income – target: exceeded
Read about my passive income so far this year where I explain how I made this money whilst asleep!
Monthly unique visitors – target: missed
Disappointing. The number of visitors to this site, although growing steadily, is not growing at a rate I would like to see. Traffic tends to come in steps. Visitor numbers can improve over quite a short period and then plateau, then improve again, then plateau again. I’m due another increase, hopefully!
What I’m going to do about it: I’ll increase guest posting and other promotional activities to drive more traffic here.
Number of meetings attended – target: exceeded
This is about interaction with business-people or “mastermind” groups – not normal meetings with clients. I’ve made a real effort to get out from behind my shiny iMac and meet real people for a change!
I’ve really enjoyed meeting a number of business people through MeetUp.com, especially the London Internet Marketers meetup. I never go to these meetings with the intention of doing business or getting clients – just to have a good chat and bounce ideas around.
This is a really great way to meet interesting people and improve your thinking about your business. I can’t recommend it enough.
What I’m going to do about it: I’m thinking about organising my own meet up in London – would anyone be with me on that?
Number of new $1000 clients – target: missed
Despite the fact I’m continuing to get work from existing clients I always like to be adding new clients so this is disappointing.
What I’m going to do about it: I will try to write more blog posts to attract potential new clients to this business.
More goals for 2012 – how have I done?
At the beginning of the year I also set out some specific achievements.
- Create another free e-book similar in size to How to Market Yourself Online about running a design business. ✔ Done. Starting an online business
- Release another premium e-book similar in size to How To Get Clients about running a design business. ✔ Done. Running a Web Design Business
- Create one, possibly two, membership sites. ✔ Done. I’ve done one already, I wish to set up another membership site at RunningAWebDesignBusiness.com
- Create 10-15 new websites. X Not done! I’m actually pleased I haven’t done this. I was interested in creating niche sites at the beginning of the year but the Penguin updates changed my mind!
- Start Skype-based interviews and podcasting. X Not done! I haven’t even started with this one.
Right, get on with the Skype-based interviews and podcasting, Rob!
Further indicators for 2012 – how have I done?
I noted down several indicators at the beginning of the year. Let’s see how I’ve done.
|Indicator||1st Jan 2012||21st July 2012|
|My Twitter followers||950||1497|
|My YouTube Channel, subscribers||50||155|
|My YouTube Channel, video views||33,000||83,000|
|Facebook page Likes/Fans||138||240|
|Subscribers to RobCubbon.com||3,016||4,516|
|My Google+ Profile||744||1,303|
Well, this is a bit of fun! Do you think I should do targets for these indicators?
Targets for the next three months
|Target||Q1 & Q2 2012||Q3 2012|
|Monthly unique visitors||31,000||35,000|
|Number of meetings attended with groups of business-people or “mastermind” groups||7||8|
|Number of new clients securing revenue of over $1000||2||2|
As you can see, I’m going to make quarterly targets from now on. Hopefully that will increase my focus.
Other goals I’ve set myself for the next three months
These are really crap goals, I’m afraid. They’re not specific enough. I will try to improve on them later.
- Do at least one Skype interview to post on YouTube and start podcasting.
- Collate last few years revenue, costs and profit figures for Rob Cubbon Ltd and think about setting more income targets for the whole business, not just the passive side.
- Increase focus on money making side of the business while helping people more by providing more useful information for free.
- Improve my health. Go to the gym more and study Tai Chi.
I’ll let you know at the end of September how I’ve got on.
What you can do
If you want to create goals for the end of September, the end of the year or for a year or two’s time, try to follow these rules:
- Create your goal in positive not negative terms (“I will do this”, not “I won’t do that”)
- Make sure the outcomes of the goals will be beneficial not only for you but for your family, community and society in general
- Make sure they are realistic and achievable but nonetheless challenging
- Write them down on a piece of paper and review them regularly