Small Business Growth: Tech Tools and Online Strategies

online tools

Welcome to 2024. An era defined by digital transformation and online tools. Small businesses have a remarkable opportunity to thrive like never before in this climate. And what is the catalyst for this transformation you ask? 

Technology and online tools!

Your entrepreneurial aspirations can now be nurtured through the strategic adoption of digital assets. If you’re a small business navigating the digital landscape, this article is your gateway to success.

Business growth hinges on more than just ambition. You must have an approach that includes the cutting-edge technology available in the digital era. 

Maximize your online presence

The modern world is heavily digitally dependent. As a result, an impressive online presence is non-negotiable for any business. 

Craft a magnetic website

Your online journey begins with a powerful website. This will be your virtual storefront. Modern consumers often decide to engage with a business based on their online experience. 

Therefore it’s crucial to have a website that looks good but also functions seamlessly. An outdated, clunky website can deter potential customers. Investing in a clean, user-friendly design is essential.

A slick website reflects your brand’s professionalism and reliability. It’s a valuable platform to: 

  • showcase your products or services 
  • share valuable content
  • engage with your audience

The user interface should be intuitive. Navigation should be smooth and the overall design must be visually appealing. 

online tools social media automation

Nurture your social media presence

Social media platforms serve as powerful tools for engaging with your audience. From Facebook to Instagram and LinkedIn, you must explore the best practices for building and nurturing your social media presence. This will allow your business to connect and communicate with your target market effectively.

Maintaining a strong social media presence requires consistent, thoughtful effort. Develop a content calendar to ensure regular postings that resonate with your audience. 

Engage with your followers. Respond to comments, and encourage discussions. It’s time to use social media to your advantage as a business owner.

Invest wisely

Understanding business valuation

Business valuation is the process of determining the economic value of your business. It takes into account various factors. These include: 

  • assets
  • liabilities
  • market conditions
  • potential for growth

In-depth knowledge of valuation allows you to evaluate the performance of your company. You can identify areas where improvements can be made. 

This insight is invaluable for strategic decision-making. As well as for attracting potential investors or buyers. 

Select the right tools

There is an impressive selection of digital tools available for modern businesses. From online calculators to professional software. When choosing the right tool for your business, it’s essential to consider factors such as: 

  • accuracy
  • scalability
  • ease of use 

Before you select the best tools for the job, you should run an assessment of your business’s needs. It is important to consider scalability when making an informed choice. Your chosen tool should be able to adapt as your business grows. 

Furthermore, user-friendliness is vital. This ensures you can extract meaningful data without a steep learning curve, or specialist training.

Ensure smart investments

Investing wisely goes hand in hand with this type of valuation. Knowing the true worth of your enterprise enables you to make informed decisions about:

  • expanding
  • securing funding
  • planning an exit strategy

Small businesses often lack the resources to draft complex legal documents from scratch. Investment agreement templates are made to simplify the process. They ensure that key elements are clearly defined. These include: 

  • investment terms
  • exit strategies
  • obligations

Employing these templates will reduce your legal costs. In this sense, you can click here for an investment agreement template that will serve as an invaluable tool for small businesses, as they provide a structured framework for your investment arrangements.

When considering investments and agreements, it’s vital to conduct thorough due diligence. Understand the terms and conditions associated with your investments and ensure they align with your business goals. Using well-crafted templates adds an extra layer of protection and clarity. 

They can ensure you to make informed decisions while minimizing legal complexities

online tools for seo audit

SEO strategies for small businesses

A strong online presence begins with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The art of SEO

SEO isn’t just a buzzword! It’s a strategy that can shape your online destiny. It’s all about optimizing your website and content to appear prominently in search engine results. Understanding the intricacies of SEO is vital for gaining organic traffic.

This will attract potential customers and outperform competitors. With the right approach, you can secure a spot on that coveted first page of search results.

SEO tools and techniques

Executing successful SEO strategies involves using an array of tools and techniques. From keyword research to on-page optimization, it’s crucial to employ the right resources. 

It is common practice to use online tools for keyword research. This can help your copywriters create the best text for your website to rank as high as possible. These include:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Ubersuggest
  • Moz Keyword Explorer

To use SEO tools for your own website we recommend the following options:

  • Yoast SEO (for WordPress users)
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • GTmetrix
  • SEOquake

In order to create captivating content we suggest these tools: 

  • Grammarly
  • Copyscape
  • Clearscope
  • Hemingway Editor
  • Buzzsumo

As backlinks are a hugh part of SEO strategy we advise the use of these analytical tools:

  • Moz Link Explorer
  • Ahrefs Backlink Checker
  • Majestic
  • SEMrush Backlink Analytics
  • BuzzStream

These tools and techniques are invaluable for enhancing your SEO efforts and boosting your online visibility. 

The need for an SEO audit

As we are discussing the world of SEO tools, it’s essential to touch on the SEO audit

An audit of this nature is a thorough analysis of your website. It can identify issues that may be hindering your SEO efforts. An audit can: 

  • uncover technical issues
  • assess content quality
  • check for any backlink problems

Only after this audit can you make informed decisions on the best tools to increase your SEO rankings.

An SEO audit is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that helps your business adapt to the fluid digital landscape. 

online tools for HR software

Online tools for human resources

Today, HR departments can use a myriad of online tools to streamline their operations and enhance employee experiences. 

Recruiting and applicant tracking

Effective recruitment is the cornerstone of building a high-performing team. Online tools like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) simplify the recruitment process. They enable you to post job listings, screen resumes, and track candidate progress seamlessly. Tools such as:

  • Workable
  • Greenhouse
  • Breezy HR
  • Zoho Recruit
  • JazzHR

enhance your HR department’s capabilities, ensuring you find the right talent to fuel your business’s growth.

Employee management and engagement

Once you’ve built your team, it’s essential to manage and engage your employees efficiently. Online HR management tools centralize employee data, streamline payroll, and facilitate performance management. Consider tools like:

  • Gusto
  • BambooHR
  • Zenefits
  • Namely
  • 15Five

These platforms enhance the employee experience and help you maintain a cohesive, motivated workforce.

Learning and development solutions

Investing in employee growth is pivotal. Online learning and development tools empower HR departments to offer training and upskilling opportunities. Platforms like:

  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Udemy for Business
  • Coursera for Business
  • TalentLMS
  • Skillsoft

allow your business to invest in the continuous development of your employees, ensuring they stay competitive and contribute to your business’s growth.

Cybersecurity essentials

Small businesses are not immune to cyber threats. Ensuring your digital fortifications are in place is essential. 

Risk assessment and prevention

The first step in cybersecurity is understanding your vulnerabilities. Perform a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential weaknesses in your digital infrastructure. Tools such as:

  • Nessus
  • Qualys
  • OpenVAS
  • Wireshark
  • Shodan

can help you assess your network’s security and detect vulnerabilities before malicious actors exploit them.

online tools cybersecurity strategy

Data protection and backup solutions

Data has now become the lifeblood of any business. It is crucial to implement data protection measures such as encryption and access control. In the unfortunate event of data loss, backup solutions are vital. Explore options like:

  • Carbonite
  • Acronis
  • CrashPlan
  • Veeam
  • Backblaze

to ensure your data is safe and recoverable in the face of unforeseen events.

Employee training and awareness

Your employees are often the first line of defense against cyber threats. Educate your team about cybersecurity best practices, from recognizing phishing attempts to using secure passwords. Tools like:

  • KnowBe4
  • SecurityIQ
  • Wombat Security
  • PhishMe
  • SANS Securing The Human

can assist in creating a cybersecurity-savvy workforce. This in turn reduces the risk of human error in security breaches.

Your business’s digital odyssey

As we journey through the digital landscape of small business growth, every tool, and every insight, contributes to the profitability of your business. The knowledge shared here is your compass, not the final destination. 

In this voyage, your business can become a living testament to adaptability and innovation

Your small business isn’t just surviving in the digital age; it’s thriving! 

The unique fusion of this technology and your vision is the true artistry behind your success. Your canvas is boundless, your potential limitless, in this age of unparalleled opportunities. 

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Mental Wellness: Key to Small Business Growth

mental wellness

Running a small business means you have a lot on your plate. You’re likely focused on finances, marketing, and outcomes. But there’s a critical part that you might be overlooking: the mental wellness of your employees.

Why does this matter?

A 2022 survey found that 92% of workers had mental health issues affecting their job. That same survey also queried people about the biggest problem, and the overwhelming answer —78% —was burnout.

So message is clear — if employees are not mentally well, it affects their performance and the overall company’s success. Good mental health means more engaged and productive employees. Ignoring it, however, can lead to bigger productivity problems.

Continue reading to find out more.

Why It’s Important to Address Mental Health in the Workplace

Emotional distress in the workplace isn’t just an individual’s concern; it’s a broader issue that affects the entire organization. When employees experience emotional distress, their ability to perform tasks efficiently, collaborate with colleagues, and contribute positively to the work environment diminishes.

This can lead to mistakes, missed deadlines, and strained team dynamics.

Furthermore, unchecked emotional distress can escalate, resulting in increased absenteeism and higher turnover rates. This not only disrupts the workflow but also incurs additional costs in terms of recruitment and training.

It also matters to the employees. In a recent survey, 8 out of 10 workers told the American Psychological Association that they consider employer support for mental health important when looking at job opportunities.

So in essence, addressing mental health is not just about supporting individual well-being but also about ensuring the overall health and productivity of the business.

The Tangible ROI of Mental Wellness Initiatives

Investing in mental wellness initiatives in the workplace offers clear, measurable returns that can significantly benefit a business. Here are three tangible ways these initiatives provide a return on investment:

  • Lower turnover rates. Employees who feel mentally supported are more likely to stay with a company. When employees leave, businesses face costs in recruiting, hiring, and training new staff.
  • Higher productivity. A mentally healthy employee is often a more productive one. When employees are free from excessive stress or emotional distress, they can focus better, make fewer mistakes, and complete tasks more efficiently. This means projects get done faster and to a higher standard, directly benefiting the company’s bottom line.
  • Reduced absenteeism. Mental health issues are a leading cause of missed workdays. Providing support and resources for mental wellness can help reduce the number of days employees take off due to mental health concerns.

The Intangible ROI of Mental Wellness Initiatives

While the tangible benefits of mental wellness initiatives are clear, there are also several intangible returns that, though harder to measure, are equally crucial for a business’s success. Here are three key intangible benefits:

  • Positive company culture. When a company prioritizes mental wellness, it fosters an environment of support and understanding. Employees feel valued and cared for, leading to a more positive, collaborative, and motivated workplace. This kind of culture attracts top talent and encourages existing employees to give their best.
  • Enhanced brand reputation. As mentioned earlier, companies that prioritize employee well-being stand out. Customers, partners, and potential hires often prefer to associate with businesses that have a reputation for caring about their employees. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, better partnership opportunities, and attracting high-quality recruits.
  • Boosted innovation and creativity. Employees who are mentally well are more likely to think outside the box. As a result, they’ll suggest innovative solutions, and contribute creatively to projects. A mentally supportive environment allows employees to share ideas without fear, driving innovation and setting the company apart from competitors.

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Real-World Success Stories

These are the true stories from businesses that have seen positive results by prioritizing employee mental health.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson introduced the Healthy Mind program, which educates employees and their families about mental health. The company regularly checks on employees’ mental health and assesses workplace risks, leading to action plans if needed.

Both management and workers get training on spotting issues and how to handle them, covering topics like stress, bouncing back from challenges, and balancing work and life. There are also support programs for urgent situations. According to the company, the program immediately affected their retention rate in a positive way.

American Airlines

American Airlines, a leading airline service provider, has set up a thorough mental health support program for its employees. This not only helps workers get the support they need but also keeps costs in check for the company.

They review the program monthly and have improved how clinicians report results. This has boosted employee involvement at work, which is essential for pilots and flight attendants, two professions known for their solitude and burnout risk.

Actionable Steps for Small Business Owners

Taking care of your employees’ mental well-being doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Here are some straightforward steps you can take to make a positive impact:

  • Introduce Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Consider implementing EAPs, which offer counseling and support services for employees facing personal or work-related challenges. These programs can provide your team with the tools and resources they need to cope, leading to a healthier work environment.
  • Promote mindfulness training. Mindfulness practices, like meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help reduce stress and improve focus. Offer workshops or bring in experts to teach your employees these techniques. Even dedicating a quiet space in the office for short breaks can make a difference.
  • Implement flexible work arrangements. Recognize that everyone has different needs and circumstances. Studies show that when employees have little control over their work schedules and tasks, they are more likely to experience depression, as well as stress, burnout, and tiredness.
  • Encourage regular breaks. Encourage your team to take short breaks throughout the day. Stepping away from the desk, even for just a few minutes, can help refresh the mind and reduce mental fatigue.
  • Open lines of communication. Make sure your employees know they can come to you with their concerns. Regular check-ins or feedback sessions can create an environment where employees feel heard and supported.
  • Offer good health insurance. Providing quality health insurance helps employees address their mental health needs. Make sure to negotiate a competitive insurance package that allows them access to professionals and treatments without the stress of high costs. In turn, a mentally fit workforce may reduce your liability and thereby decrease your premiums.

mental-wellness-of-your-employees

How to Implement Mental Wellness Programs

Implementing mental wellness programs in your business is a lengthy process. Here’s a straightforward guide to get you started:

1. Assess how everyone feels and what they need. Instead of introducing programs right away, take stock of the current mental health landscape in your organization. Conduct anonymous surveys or hold focus group discussions to understand the specific needs and concerns of your employees.

2. Set goals. Determine what’s the aim of your mental wellness program. Whether it’s increasing retention, improving productivity, or enhancing overall employee well-being, make sure you know exactly what the collective is moving towards.

3. Collaborate with experts. Consider partnering with mental health professionals or organizations. They can provide valuable insights, resources, and training to ensure your program is effective and tailored to your business’s needs.

4. Design the program. Based on your assessment and objectives, design a program that addresses the specific needs of your employees. This could include workshops, counseling sessions, mindfulness training, or any combination of these and other initiatives.

5. Communicate with employees. Once you’ve designed the program, communicate its details and benefits to your employees. Ensure they understand the resources available to them and how to access them.

6. Leverage technology. Technology can make it easier for you to set up and track mental wellness efforts in your business. With the right software, you can monitor progress, schedule wellness activities, and even provide online counseling. This doesn’t just reduce paperwork but also encourages your team to use these resources. With this tech approach, you’ll have a smoother and more impactful mental wellness plan that’s good for both your team and your business.

7. Monitor and adjust. After implementing the program, regularly monitor its effectiveness. Gather feedback from employees, track participation rates, and measure against your set objectives. Use this data to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

Conclusion

Mental wellness is essential for both employees and the small businesses they work for. When employees feel supported, they work better, and the business grows. As times change, leaders must prioritize their team’s mental health and prevent burnout from occurring. A happy team leads to a successful business.

small business coach

6 Virtual Tools Revolutionizing the Rental Market

In the relentless pace of today’s world, finding a new rental home can be an arduous journey. Endless property viewings and mountains of paperwork can test even the most patient souls. That said, technology is rapidly reshaping the rental market in ways we never could have imagined. The advent of virtual tools has ushered in a revolution that empowers us to discover, explore, and secure rental properties with unparalleled ease and efficiency. 

Wish You Were Here: Virtual Tours Redefining Reality

Gone are the days when we trudged from one property (and neighborhood) to another, hoping to stumble upon our ideal abode. Virtual tours have taken center stage, allowing us to explore potential rental properties without leaving the comfort of our trusty recliner.

These immersive experiences offer a lifelike, 360-degree view of every nook and cranny, granting us the power to scrutinize every detail effortlessly. From the enchanting creak of wooden floors to the allure of dazzling granite countertops, it’s all there for our eager eyes to behold; no more exhausting footwork; rental property reality is at our virtual fingertips.

A Step Further into the Future: A Virtual Reality Experience

Rental-Market

While virtual tours offer a realistic view of a property, Virtual Reality (VR) takes it to a whole other level of immersion, exploring every room as if you are standing in them, and even sensing the atmosphere as if you were physically there. VR technology allows renters to truly experience a space and get a feel for what it might like to be there in person. It’s a game-changer for both renters and investors, offering an unmatched level of immersion and decision-making ability. 

Embracing the Future: Virtual Property Management 

Managing rental properties has never been a walk in the park, but virtual tools are helping to make much lighter work of it. Enter virtual property management platforms, serving as comprehensive one-stop shops for property owners to effortlessly handle tenant screening, online rent collection, maintenance requests, and lease renewals. 

These digital wonders streamline processes, automate tasks, and provide a centralized hub for all property-related activities. Landlords can now keep their fingers on the pulse of their investments without breaking a sweat, and renters benefit from the vastly increased efficiency just as much.

Simplifying the Maze: Streamlined Applications

Once we have found our dream dwelling, the next hurdle often involves navigating a treacherous maze of paperwork. But again, virtual tools are here to save the day, revolutionizing the application process like never before. 

With just a few clicks and keystrokes, rental applications can be submitted online, bidding farewell to cumbersome paper forms and sluggish mail services. Moreover, with the rise of e-signatures, we can sign on the dotted line without even touching pen to paper.

Building Connections: Enhanced Communication for Lasting Relationships

Gone are the days of playing a frustrating game of phone tag with landlords or anxiously awaiting email replies. Thanks to virtual tools, communication between renters and property owners has undergone a remarkable transformation. Instant messaging platforms and video conferencing tools have become the go-to means of staying connected and fostering meaningful relationships. 

Need clarification on lease terms? Shoot a quick message and receive a prompt response. Want to discuss maintenance requests and check in on who’s responsible for what? Hop on a video call and engage in a face-to-face conversation, all from the comfort of your cozy couch. These virtual communication channels cultivate transparency, efficiency, and trust, ensuring that both parties are on the same page throughout the entire rental journey.

Unleashing the Power of Data: The Investor’s Ultimate Asset

Rental-Market

While virtual tools undeniably provide abundant benefits for renters, let us not overlook their profound impact on the investor’s realm. The rental market teems with opportunities, and with the aid of advanced data analytics, investors can make well-informed decisions that may yield substantial returns.

Virtual platforms offer real-time market insights, rental price trends, and even predictive analytics, empowering investors to devise savvy investment strategies. No one has a crystal ball, but we’re getting frighteningly close when it comes to accurately identifying the most promising locations, high-demand properties, and optimal rental rates.

To all the potential investors out there, embrace the virtual realm and equip yourselves with the knowledge necessary to make astute investments that may pave the way for financial success.

Unlocking Rental Market Success in the Digital Age

As we set sail into uncharted territories, virtual tools have transcended mere trends and firmly entrenched themselves as catalysts of change within the rental market. They have revolutionized the way we search for, explore, and secure rental properties, ushering in a new era of unrivaled convenience, efficiency, and boundless opportunities for both renters and investors.

Whether it’s virtual tours that transport us effortlessly or virtual reality experiences that immerse us in our future homes, these technologies have reshaped the rental landscape beyond our wildest dreams.

small business coach

How AI Can Help Improve Your Sales Team

AI-tools

Ever wondered how AI can help with your sales? Check our blog to see the benefits your sales team will receive when you incorporate AI technology:

If there’s a profession that demands human interaction, sales is probably one of the top three. This is especially true since convincing someone to make a purchase is much easier if you’re pitching face to face. Because of this, you may have noticed that one of the best qualities of a successful salesperson is superior communication skills. Now, the question is, how can artificial intelligence (AI) help salespeople generate more sales since the job mainly gravitates around human interaction?

It may come as a surprise, but AI is very helpful for sales. In fact, in 2020, 54% of sales teams have incorporated AI into their strategies, which is a 155% increase from 2018. The number will grow for years to come.

Do note that AI doesn’t really replace the human touch of the whole sales equation. Instead, AI will provide the necessary insight and sales tools needed by your sales team to better establish connections with your customers. This will allow you to easily reach your business goals.

To paint a clearer picture, here’s how AI can help improve your sales team:

Provide training with AI

Even though there are plenty of ways on how a sales training or coaching software can help improve your sales team, many business owners or sales leaders still don’t exactly understand how these types of programs work, especially the benefits they can bring to the company.

As a start, a sales training program will conveniently share your sales training ideas among your team members. This means that all your employees will have the same foundation, which will help any employees improve any specific areas that they find difficult. Additionally, since your sales training is uniform, you can quickly improve a representative’s performance, onboard new hires fasters, and build a team of top-notch salespeople seamlessly.

Moreover, since sales coaching software uses AI, it can identify what your sales team is doing right and what areas need improvement. This way, you can easily modify any aspects of the sales pitch, allowing you to close more leads.

Allows your team to prioritize selling

Ideally, since they’re hired to be salespeople, your sales team should live up to their name and focus on making sales. Unfortunately, that’s not the case since they often spend the majority of their time on time-consuming, menial tasks, such as entering email notes into the customer relationship management (CRM) software. Research even shows that sales representatives only spend a quarter of their work hours selling to customers.

Fortunately, with the help of AI, your sales team will be relieved from doing tedious admin work. This can be done by automatically tracking any communication made by your sales team. The machines understand the texts and other data intended for humans thanks to the annotated texts used in the trainings. In this case, your sales team can now focus on building relationships with customers, as they’re no longer bothered by admin requirements. Your sales team’s morale will also increase as they’re now free from doing menial tasks, which translates to motivated employees.small business coach

Generate the ideal price

Did you know that 90% of consumers actually invest their time on the internet just to find the best deal for them? Now, coming up with a competitive price can be time-consuming as it involves plenty of research.

However, with AI, your salespeople will no longer guess an attractive price to offer your prospects. This is because machine-learning technology will crunch up the sales data about a particular customer to generate a recommended price, increasing your chances of a successful sale. AI will also make sure that your sales margins are safeguarded, especially if you incorporate a pre-approved price. The AI won’t suggest a price lower than your margin.

By using AI to generate the ideal price, not only will you hasten your sales cycle, but you’ll also shorten the time for new members of your sales team to make a sale as they can already start selling without worrying that they’re offering a deal that’ll hurt your company. Also, remember, an optimum price improves customer experience as you’ll no longer go through the whole negotiation process, which can be uncomfortable for most customers.

Improves sales forecasting with the help of AI

Since hiring, payroll, and the fact that a company will lose credibility if they miss their sales targets, it’s safe to say that sales forecasting is crucial for any business. Thankfully, with the help of AI, you can increase your sales forecast accuracy. This is done by giving you a real-time view of the status of every deal that’s in the pipeline. This will help sales managers make an informed decision when to park or advance any offering or deals.

As your deal is already supported by AI, make sure that your sales team will constantly monitor the forecasting process with relevant data. Doing so will ensure that the AI will always provide accurate forecasts. Remember, the accuracy of the AI will always depend on the quality of data you feed.

Increase engagement with AI

Gone are the days when people are shown news in a specific order––from local news, international, politics, weather, to sports. As technology improves, companies are now using AI to filter what people want to see, which means that most of what’s presented to you is related to what you always search for. This is achieved by AI’s capability to learn a user’s interest and behavior. That’s why one social media giant’s newsfeed is always personalized.

So how can this help with your sales team? With the help of AI’s algorithms, you’re given the opportunity to advertise to the right target audience, especially when their searches are related to your products or services. Since you’ve already filtered out those that are looking for your offering, it’ll allow your sales team to have an easy opportunity to transform these prospects into paying customers.

Takeaway on AI

What was once thought of as only a product of science fiction, AI has now been helping businesses of all sectors to improve how they conduct their daily operations, especially how they make sales. With AI, businesses can now make informed decisions and provide a good customer experience. Thus, in this competitive field, AI should no longer be considered as something optional. For the sake of your sales team to work optimally, AI should be essential.small business coach

LONG TERM GOALS |WITH OVER 91 EXAMPLES|

long term goals

Bonus Material: Learn Jeff Bezos’ Top 5 Long-Term Goals Before He Started Amazon.

Today I’m going to show you 1) what long-term goals are and why you should set them, 2) types of long-term goals 3) tips for setting long-term goals, 4) techniques for achieving your long-term goals, and 5) ninety one examples of long-term goals.
(Grab my write-up about how Jeff Bezos used five clear long-term goals to take Amazon from $10,000 to making him the richest man in the world in a few decades.)

Then read on for help on how to set clear and effective long-term goals for your business.

Long term goals are a great route to help you advance both professionally or personally. Such goals may take some significant time or effort to achieve. If you can understand how to develop long term goals effectively, it would help you monitor your progress and keep you motivated as you press towards achieving them.

In this article, we explore long term goals: what they are, how to write them, how to achieve them, as well as an exhaustive list of some long term goals examples to inspire you as you develop your own long term goals.

long term goals

What are long term goals?

A long term goal is a statement of something you desire to achieve in the future. Long term goals usually take more time, planning, and steps than short-term goals would take. It is commonplace for short-term goals to take less than one year to accomplish, as opposed to long term goals, which can often be achieved after a year or even more. Since they can often take so long, long term goals usually consist of short-term goals, smaller and achievable steps that add up to the long term goal, which is the desired result.

You can set goals for various purposes, professional and personal. For example, you may be aiming to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration, which is an excellent long term goal example.  This long term goal can be broken down into a short-term goal like enrolling in a leadership course. Depending on the type of leadership course in this fictitious example, it can take you a day or even less to achieve, some weeks or maybe months, to complete the course. However, obtaining a bachelor’s degree will require months and even years of study and a combination of several courses to fulfill all the requirements to receive the degree.

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar for help setting effective long-term goals for your business. I’ve launched and grown 12 businesses with a clear set of long-term goals, and everyday I help other business owners set long-term goals and create a plan of action to achieve them, regardless of what stage of growth they’re in.

~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

Why set long term goals?

Long term goals are essential in that they give you a vision for the future and keep you purpose-driven and focused on attaining those set goals in the long run. This also helps you live a life of purpose and direction, as you have something to live for and look forward to.

It is vital to have a direction for your life, family, and career, ensuring you’re headed in a direction that’ll make you and your loved ones fulfilled and happy. Without such direction, life may feel not worth living.

To make your dreams come true and become a reality takes hard work and planning. You can’t just sit around wishing things will just happen! You need to take conscious steps to ensure things happen as you desire them to, and long term goals are a step in that positive direction. A career change or improvement often will require new training, education, or networking with new people. Your long term goals will make sure you take the right short-term actions that’ll land you the results of your long term goals.

To summarize, set great short-term goals, and you’d win battles. Set great long term goals, and you’d win wars.

setting goals

Types of long term goals

As you set long term goals, you can stratify them into identifiable categories, depending on the domain of the long term goals – personal or professional. The types of long term goals include:

Career goals

Career long term goals speak of the professional achievements you hope to reach. Career goals typically reflect your desire to advance your career or professional standing in some way. They may include a complete transition from one career field to another, a promotion to a more fantastic career vantage point, or starting a new business venture.

Financial goals

Financial long term goals represent monetary targets you desire to attain. Such financial targets may help you achieve a broader goal. For example, if you desire to buy a house, you will need to save up a specific amount of money. To do this, you can set strict financial goals, such as adding $10,000 to your savings account yearly.

Personal goals

Personal long term goals highlight achievements you desire to reach in your personal life. As we saw in the previous example of buying a house, these goals may sometimes overlap with financial goals. Personal goals may involve issues about your life like your health, hobbies, or interests.

 Tips for setting long term goals

When it comes to setting long term goals, there are many strategies you can use. Here are some quick tips you can use to help you set long term goals for personal or professional advancement:

Use visualization techniques

By visualization, we mean creating mental images of what you desire your life to be like at some specific time in the future, like 5 or 10 years from now. With the end goal fully visualized, you can then work backward to determine what steps you can and should take and the goals you should set to get to where you want to be. Creating these visual images will also help you fully internalize what you want and what your desires specifically are regarding the future.

Make Sure Your Long term goals are SMART

In writing your long term goals, you should ensure they align to the SMART model for better focused and more attainable long term goals:

S – Specific: be evident as you state your goal and define precisely what you want to achieve — be as specific as you possibly can.

M – Measurable: you should ensure you have a straightforward way to measure and keep track of your progress, and you move towards attaining your long term goals.

A – Achievable: Your long term goals should be attainable. What you desire should be realistically achievable, and you should carefully assess whether or not you can possibly achieve every aspect of your goal.

R – Relevant: Is what you’re shooting for necessary? Is it worth working towards the goal now? How does it align with other goals you may want to achieve?

T – Time-Sensitive: for every long term goal, there should be a deadline for accomplishment, as you would be able to hold yourself accountable. Whether it be a few months or years, if the plan is realistic, you’d surely achieve it.

Consider writing your SMART goals down to keep track of your progress. With the SMART methodology, you’ll have a clear path to realizing those long term goals one day.

Be specific

Drawing from the SMART methodology, including specific details, can help you define the results you want to achieve, as well as the necessary steps you need to take. Let’s take an example: suppose your long term goal is to learn a new language in 12 months. You can add specific details to the long term goal, such as, “I will practice the new language for 1 hour every day”. Such small attainable steps can really break up large chunks of your long term goals into more manageable parts that you can pay attention to.

Make goals measurable

Let us also highlight one aspect of the SMART methodology – measurability. Measurability is the quality of long term goals that allow you to measure and keep track of your progress. This will also help you define the results you want to achieve. As an example, your long term goal may be to lose 20 pounds in 6 months. To make this goal measurable, you can schedule a check-in to measure your weight every week or every month. That way, you can determine whether you’re on track with your goal or you’d need to adjust your deadline. If you desire to take a trip, you can set a long term goal of a particular sum of money every set interval, and once you meet your measurable expectations, you can pursue your long term goal.

Make your long term goals achievable

If you set long term goals you cannot attain, your lack of progress will negatively affect your confidence. Your goals must be achievable and feasibly possible, as they’d keep you motivated to work towards attaining them.

But there’s a catch; just because your goals are attainable doesn’t mean they are straightforward. Your long term goals may be challenging, but once they are possible to attain, even after hard work, then you can encourage yourself to push through the pain to develop that new skill or meet that financial/family expectation, etc., and boost your confidence even further.

Identify challenges

There’s no achievement without challenges that come along. As such, you should carefully identify and factor in any challenges you may encounter as you pursue your long term goals. As you identify and understand these challenges before time, you can begin to draw up plans and strategies to overcome or avoid them. This will help maintain your progress because if these same challenges arose unexpectedly, then they could throw you off track and even set you in discouragement.

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar for help setting effective long-term goals for your business. I’ve launched and grown 12 businesses with a clear set of long-term goals, and everyday I help other business owners set long-term goals and create a plan of action to achieve them, regardless of what stage of growth they’re in.

~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

Techniques to Achieve Your Long term Goal

Having developed your effective long term goals, there is the matter of actually achieving them. Here are some tips you can apply to ensure your goals don’t end up as written-down facts but are attained.

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Write down your goals.

It is important to pen down your long term goals. Documenting them will serve as a reminder and allow you to track your progress. Many people make the mistake of keeping their long term goals in their brains, convincing themselves they won’t forget. The reality is, your long term goals don’t carry as much weight written down as they do in your mind. So, pen it down and have it as a reference to keep you focused on achieving them.

It is important to pen down your long-term goals. Documenting them will serve as a reminder and allow you to track your progress. Many people make the mistake of keeping their long-term goals in their brains, convincing themselves they won’t forget. 

The reality is, that your long-term goals don’t carry as much weight written down as they do in your mind. So, pen it down and have it as a reference to keep you focused on achieving them.Another way to keep a permanent record of your long-term goals or aims is by writing them in notes online. It is a quick as well as problem-free way of saving your goals.

Focus on one long term goal

It is essential to focus on one long term goal at a time. While it is ok to have multiple goals, you should have one goal you focus on at a particular time. By doing so, you’d achieve it faster than toggling multiple long term goals at once, which can become distracting, and the result being your failure to achieve any.

Develop a List of Milestones

You must identify any important milestones and benchmarks that can serve as indicators when you’re closer to success. Your milestones shouldn’t be so many and should take a relatively short amount of time than the long term goals. They should, however, still require some effort to achieve.

Let’s take a long term goal example of writing a book within two years. Here’s a sample list of milestones you can have:

Goal: Writing a Book within two years

Milestone #1: Setup a convenient writing space

Milestone #2: Create a plan of work

Milestone #3: Do some more research on the topic

Milestone #4: Compile the draft of chapter 1, etc.

Create Daily Steps

Once you’ve set your milestones, you then need to break them down into daily baby steps you can take towards achieving your long term goals. Your daily steps are smaller actionable short-term goals. And the good thing here is, it doesn’t need to be overly complex or a giant leap that’ll last hours daily. Your daily steps can be as small as 10 minutes of actions that sum up to your long term goals.

Sticking with the example of writing a book within two years, here are some possible daily steps to consider:

Milestone: Prepare the writing space

Daily Step #1: Choose a location in the house that’ll serve as your writing space

Daily Step #2: Clear out any unnecessary items from the selected space

Daily Step #3: Make a list of items needed for space

Daily Step #4: Research the best table and chair set up, lighting setup, etc.

You can also put the daily tasks into your calendar or to-do list to not miss any of the tasks.

Share your goals with others

One tip to achieving your long term goals is holding yourself accountable to others. You can share your goals with someone else, like a trusted friend, family member, or colleague. This will promote accountability and push you to be focused on achieving those goals, and you’ll have someone to answer to if you don’t.  Depending on your goals, these individuals may even be able to help you achieve them by providing opportunities, advice, encouragement, or support to keep you moving forward.

How to prioritize goals

If you’ve followed up until this point, then you know it’s completely fine to set multiple goals, just so long as you stick to one at a time. That is when prioritizing comes into play. Here are a few steps you can apply to prioritize your long term goals.

  1. List your goals

If you have multiple goals, then the first step is to list them out. This will lay it all out for you to quickly choose which long term goals to start up with. And as a pro tip, try not to list beyond 25 goals to ensure you don’t get entangled and confused with too many long term goals to choose from.

  1. Tick the most important goals

Having listed out all your long term goals, the next step is to tick the goals you consider the most important to you. While the definition of “important” may vary from person to person, you generally want to select the most beneficial goals to your life at this point.

  1. Assess the timelines

Having selected the most important goals for your life at this time, the next step is to determine when you would like to achieve your goals. You may, for example, have a long term goal of acquiring a promotion at work within the next five years. Determining the timeline to each long term goal will help you identify the goals you should start working on right away and the ones you can push forward to some later time. And as a pro tip, be sure to set realistic timelines for each long term goal so that you don’t set yourself on an impossible task.

  1. Choose which goals to focus on right away

Having selected the long term goals that are important to you and assigned realistic timelines to each, you can now use this information to prioritize your long term goals. For example, goals with a high degree of importance and short achievable timelines can have a greater priority.  And as a pro tip, try not to start working toward another goal on your list until you have completed the initial goal with the greater priority.

  1. Make changes as needed

Having prioritized your goals, it is vital to keep in mind that your priorities can change with time. So, don’t get rigid. Be flexible enough to make any necessary changes to your prioritized long term goals as needed. For example, you may have had a priority long term goal to acquire a postgraduate degree within three years. But then, after meeting up with a friend who opens up a multi-million-dollar business opportunity, you may then set a new priority towards establishing a business with two years or so. Getting a postgraduate degree would now matter less as you’d need to focus on the business idea.

Long term goals examples

What goals do you want to achieve? Here’s a list of over 100 long term goals examples across six general categories to make things easy for you.

financial goal

Long term career goals

Here are examples of long term goals for your career that you can adopt:

  •         Become a certified professional
  •         Become a high-level manager like a director
  •         Become a thought leader
  •         Earn an academic certificate to add to your resume
  •         Find a career you love
  •         Get a promotion at work
  •         Get a raise in your salary
  •         Go to college if you haven’t before
  •         Grow your current business, e.g., Gain a new market or introduce a new product.
  •         Increase your sales
  •         Learn a new skill
  •         Mentor a friend to guide their subsequent career decisions
  •         Publish professional articles online to build your resume.
  •         Resume your studies and finish a degree
  •         Start a new business
  •         Win an award at work
  •         Win over a certain number of clients
  •         Develop your soft skills, like self-confidence, communication, work ethic, etc.

Long term family goals

Here are some examples of long term family goals:

  •         Decide the perfect size for your family
  •         Donate old clothes or toys every year
  •         Find a life partner
  •         Finish a book list on family relationships
  •         Enhancer strong relationships with your parents and/or siblings
  •         Foster strong relationships with your extended family, such as grandparents or cousins
  •         Go on annual family road trips
  •         Organize yearly celebrations for your parents, siblings, or children
  •         Plan an annual family Olympics
  •         Plan to visit some locations on your family bucket list
  •         Spend money on experiences instead of things
  •         Start a family
  •         Take professional family portraits every year

Long term life goals

Here are some examples of long term personal goals:

  •         Purchase a primary home by the water body (seaside or lake, etc.)
  •         Be able to purchase a home for vacations
  •         Renovate or update your current home
  •         Become a black belt in Judo!
  •         Build your dream home
  •         Climb a mountain
  •         Complete a triathlon
  •         Create and commit to a fitness routine
  •         Create and finish a reading list
  •         Learn a foreign language
  •         Learn how to play an instrument
  •         Master an art or craft like painting, knitting, woodwork, etc.
  •         Move closer to your family or friends
  •         Move to the city of your dreams
  •         Move to your dream country
  •         Own your own land
  •         Run a full marathon
  •         Run a half-marathon
  •         Take a vacation to your dream destination
  •         Travel to your home country
  •         Work on your public speaking skills
  •         Write a book

Long term financial goals

Here are some examples of long term financial goals:

  •         Become financially independent
  •         Become financially free (no debit or mortgage)
  •         Build a business
  •         Build a retirement nest egg
  •         Build an emergency fund
  •         Earn a certain amount of money through multiple passive income streams
  •         Earn more money from your job
  •         Generate passive income
  •         Increase your credit score
  •         Invest in real estate
  •         Invest in the stock market
  •         Pay for a car in cash
  •         Pay off credit card debt
  •         Pay off student loans
  •         Pay off your mortgage
  •         Purchase a house
  •         Retire early by the age of 50-55
  •         Save enough money to send your children to college.
  •         Save for your children’s weddings
  •         Semi-retire early

Health and fitness goals

Here are some examples of long term health and fitness goals you can consider:

  •         Adopt a healthy lifestyle
  •         Implement practices to reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes or heart disease
  •         Be able to do a one-rep dead-lift with 100kgs
  •         Fit into your old-size jeans
  •         Follow a healthy diet for life
  •         Get abs or tone your legs
  •         Lose a certain number of pounds
  •         Lose weight from certain body areas like stomach or hips
  •         Lower your BMI
  •         Lower your cholesterol levels
  •         Master yoga
  •         Practice endurance training and strength training
  •         Run a full marathon
  •         Run a half marathon

Long term spiritual goals

Here are some examples of long term spiritual goals you can consider:

  •         Attend church service every Sunday
  •         Be clear about your beliefs
  •         Do a kind deed every day over the next 365 days
  •         Forgive your foes
  •         Go on some mission trips in a year
  •         Go on a personal retreat to reflect and pray
  •         Help someone restore their spirits
  •         Join a Bible study and participate weekly
  •         Mentor a young believer
  •         Observe and recognize the interconnectedness of everything
  •         Practice gratitude
  •         Read about your religion’s history and origin
  •         Read biographies of early church leaders
  •         Read the whole Bible over the next two years
  •         Reflect on your actions
  •         Support a child through a charity

Summary

So there you have it. Do you have any ideas that we overlooked? If so, comment below.

Are You Ready To Set Long-Term Goals For Your Business?

 

Have you lost site of where your business is going? Every business owner goes through it. Sometimes it’s helpful to take cues from the world’s best business builders and see that clear, simplified goals in alignment with your strategy and values can be the best place to start.

If you want to see how one of today’s most famous entrepreneurs used long-term goals to go from $10,000 to the riches man in the world in a few decades, click the button below:

Want Personal Help Setting Long-Term Goals For Your Business?

Every business owner hits a point of burn out or overwhelm where they lose site of how to get where they want to go.

But buckling down and working harder only gets you so far, because there are only 24 hours in a day.

I remember the moment – 8 years into my first business – when I was at my limit and didn’t know where to go next with my business. Then my partner and I discovered the way out – someone who could help us take a step back, analyze our business, and set and prioritize realistic goals.

Finding someone who could help us with goal-setting, planning, overall strategy and regular accountability allowed us to give ourselves raises in under a year.

The right coach can help you set goals, add more profit to your bottom line, free up time on your calendar, and systematize your business so your team performs the right way every time. 

SCHEDULE 30 MINUTES ON MY CALENDAR NOW

~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

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Differentiate Your Company by Celebrating YOU! Part 1 of 3

Differentiate Your Company

How do you differentiate your company? Why is it important to differentiate your company? How effective are you communicating this uniqueness to the general public? World-class companies are able to separate themselves from their competitors in the minds of their customers.  This is one of the most powerful strategic advantages in marketing today! Marketing professionals call this particular practice “differentiation.”  We create the perception that our business is unique, different, and special.

What the “Big Boys” Do With Marketing and Branding

For example, how has Coca-Cola separated itself from its competitors?  What is so unique about its product?  The fact is there is little difference between Coke and its numerous competitors.  Coca-Cola was the original soft drink innovator.  Competitors were soon copying the product, making the “niche” cola soft drinks a commodity.

Staying Focused on Your Main Product or Service

Nevertheless, Coca-Cola wins the “cola wars” by staying laser-focused on its main product, the soft drink, while its competitors have diluted their focus and effectiveness by diversifying into other products.

Providing a Consistent Product or Service

When you think of the following names, what comes to mind; The Ritz-Carlton, Home Depot, Southwestern Airlines?  The mention of these companies immediately brings to mind a clear picture of a product.  However, each of these world-class companies sells a commodity.  What makes them stand out in a commodity-based market?  They know who they are, they determine what the customer wants, and they deliver what they promise to strategically aligned customers.  Day after day, month after month, and year after year, they provide a consistent product.

The Answer to Becoming a Commodity: Differentiation

Even though we may start out in a niche, eventually our product will likely become a commodity. As the inevitable happens, we will best serve our company by creating a unique brand that customers remember.  Let’s take a look at one method of product differentiation.  This process is built around the four following features;

  • The purpose of the owners and employees.
  • What customers want.
  • What your competitive advantages are.
  • Telling your story.

 

Differentiate Your Company

Step 1a.  Your Personal Purpose Statement

Before we go to work on differentiating our business, we should begin with differentiating ourselves!  The fact is that our Creator made each of us unique; we each have a special gift that we bring into our marketplace.  If we build our business around our unique characteristics, and the characteristics of our employees, we build from a position of strength.  Rather than trying to copy another company (although benchmarking can be very effective) we establish a sense of esteem in who we are as a team and use that as a foundation to build on.

Your Personal Mission

When I celebrated my 40th birthday, the milestone prompted me to reflect on my past and to decide on where I should be headed in the future.  Using books such as Half Time by Bob Buford, and The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, I asked myself questions such as “What is my purpose in life?” “Am I happy?”  “How do I want to spend the next 40 years?”  Having answered those questions, I developed a Personal Mission Statement.  Once I had this completed, my decisions about future endeavors became much clearer.  “Every person should have a personal mission statement,” says Bill Hopf, president of Anchor Resources, a CEO consulting firm.  “This can serve as a guiding force for your behavior and personal performance.”

Ideally, a personal mission statement has three elements: values, vision, and mission.  The typical mission statement is written on one page, and it answers the following questions;

Values-

What do you believe about ethics, spirituality, morals, customers, employees, vendors, community, etc.? How do you behave toward others? How do you treat your fellow man? What do you do to make the world a better place?  Companies that have strong values attract quality stakeholders.

Vision-

Where do you want to be in five years, ten years?  Where do you want to end up?  “We should begin with the end in mind” says Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People or else we may “climb the ladder of success, and then realize it is leaning on the wrong wall.” Another way to think about this is to ask yourself, “What will my obituary say about me and my life?”

Mission-

What will you do today to achieve your vision and live by your values?  Your mission should transport you from where you are to where your vision is.  In other words, it should narrow the gap between your present condition and your future aspirations.

Your purpose statement provides daily direction, purpose, and a sense of personal power.  It helps you to know what makes you a unique, valuable, important individual.  If you do not have a personal mission statement, set aside some quiet time to answer the questions above and write out your own statement.

Part 1 of 3. Read Part 2

Alan Melton co-founded and led an award-winning business before selling it to a publicly held company. He has started and led eight companies and presently serves as CEO of four growing businesses. Alan is sharing his experience with entrepreneurs and executives who want to get on the fast track to achieving their personal goals.  President of Small Business Coach & Assoc., Alan is a nationally known writer, speaker and business leader.

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