When we talk about setting goals, it can often sound silly because everyone knows that yes, you need to be setting goals otherwise, it’s like running around like a headless chicken. Trust me, nobody likes an agency owner that runs around like a headless chicken. So, what do you do when you aren’t reaching your agency goals? Well, you don’t need to hit the panic button because that’s what this article is about. You’re welcome.
Why Set Goals?
You’ll be surprised at how many digital agencies have goals, but lose track of them and ultimately, fail. Goal setting is crucial for any digital agency. If you don’t set your agency any goals, then what are you aiming for? Goals help you to maintain the standard and help with accountability, traction and growth. Many agency owners just want to follow the money when in retrospect, they need to focus on their goals.
Setting goals is something that you need to think long and hard about and you should use this template. Yes, I’m going to give you the SMART layout.
- Specific: A goal should be specific and clearly defined. It should answer the questions: What exactly do I want to accomplish? Why is it important? Who is involved? Where will it happen? It helps to have a clear focus and avoid ambiguity.
- Measurable: A goal should be measurable so that progress can be tracked and evaluated. It answers the questions: How much? How many? How will I know when the goal is accomplished? By establishing specific criteria for success, you can objectively determine whether you have achieved your goal or not.
- Achievable: A goal should be realistic and attainable. It considers your current capabilities, available resources, and constraints. It should be challenging enough to motivate you but not so overwhelming that it becomes impossible to achieve. Setting achievable goals increases the likelihood of success.
- Relevant: A goal should be relevant and aligned with your overall objectives and aspirations. It should be meaningful to you and contribute to your long-term vision.
- Time-bound: A goal should have a specific timeframe or deadline for completion. It adds a sense of urgency and helps you prioritise tasks. A well-defined timeline also provides a sense of structure and allows you to track progress along the way.
Identify the Problem
Firstly, you need to identify the problem which is easier said than done. Let’s take a look at some ways to identify the problem.
Dive into your analytics, performance metrics, and any available data related to your goals. Look for patterns, trends, and anomalies that may shed light on potential issues. Analysing data objectively can provide valuable insights into where things might be going wrong.
Seek Team Input
Your team members are on the front lines, working towards the goals. Gather their input through open discussions, brainstorming sessions, or anonymous feedback. Their firsthand experiences and observations can uncover obstacles or bottlenecks that may have been overlooked.
Honesty and Objectivity
During the problem identification process, it’s essential, to be honest and objective. It can be challenging to acknowledge that your agency may be falling short, but facing the reality head-on is crucial for progress. Encourage open dialogue, create a safe space for feedback, and avoid defensiveness. Remember, the purpose is to identify the problem, not to assign blame. Embrace a culture of learning and improvement, where everyone is encouraged to share their perspectives freely.
Re-evaluate Your Goals
Once you have identified the problem, it’s essential to take a step back and re-evaluate your goals. This process involves a critical examination of whether your goals are still relevant and attainable considering the identified issues. By re-evaluating them, you can ensure they align with your current situation and set yourself up for success. Here’s what you need to consider:
Ensuring Relevance and Attainability
Goals that were initially set may no longer be suitable due to changes in the industry landscape, client preferences, or internal capabilities. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess whether your goals are still relevant and achievable. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are our goals realistic given our current resources, skills, and expertise?
- Are there any external factors, such as market trends or regulatory changes, that are preventing us from reaching our goals?
- Do our goals align with the evolving needs and expectations of our target audience?
Examples of Questions to Ask
To guide your re-evaluation process, consider asking the following questions:
- Are our goals specific and well-defined, allowing for a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved?
- Are our goals measurable, enabling us to track progress and determine success?
- Are our goals attainable, given our available resources, capabilities, and constraints?
- Are our goals relevant and aligned with our overall strategic vision and objectives?
- Are our goals time-bound, with specific deadlines or milestones for completion?
Emphasising SMART Goals
As you re-evaluate your goals, consider adopting the SMART goal framework to enhance their effectiveness.
For example, instead of setting a generic goal like “Increase client base,” a SMART goal would be “Acquire 10 new clients from the e-commerce industry within the next three months through targeted marketing campaigns.” This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, making it easier to create actionable strategies and measure progress along the way.
With your re-evaluated goals in place, it’s time to refocus your efforts and prioritise tasks that will propel you towards goal achievement. Here are some valuable tips to help you refocus and prioritise effectively:
Breaking Down Goals into Smaller Tasks
Large goals can often feel overwhelming and daunting. To make them more manageable and actionable, break them down into smaller, achievable tasks. By dividing your goals into manageable steps, you can create a clear roadmap and track progress along the way. Each smaller task serves as a building block towards the ultimate goal, providing a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
Delegating Tasks to Team Members
Recognise the strengths and expertise of your team members and delegate tasks accordingly. Distribute responsibilities to individuals who possess the specific skills required for each task. Delegation not only lightens your workload but also empowers your team members and fosters a sense of ownership and accountability. Effective delegation allows you to leverage the collective capabilities of your team, leading to more efficient goal attainment.
Staying Focused on High-Impact Tasks
Not all tasks have equal importance or impact on goal achievement. It’s crucial to identify and prioritise the tasks that will have the greatest impact on your digital agency’s growth. Focus your time, energy, and resources on those high-impact tasks that align most directly with your goals. Avoid getting sidetracked by less critical or time-consuming activities that do not contribute significantly to goal attainment.
Use prioritisation techniques to ensure that you’re focusing on the right tasks. Some effective techniques include:
- Urgency and Importance Matrix: Categorise tasks based on their urgency and importance using a matrix. Focus on tasks that are both urgent and important and consider delegating or eliminating tasks that are neither.
- Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule): Identify the tasks that will yield the most significant results or impact (usually around 20% of your tasks) and prioritise them over less impactful tasks.
- Time Blocking: Allocate specific blocks of time to work on important tasks, limiting distractions and interruptions. This technique helps you maintain focus and ensure progress on essential activities.
Review Progress Regularly
One of the most important things to do is to review your progress regularly. This will help to keep track of goals and make adjustments to them where necessary.
Make those Goals Count
When your digital agency isn’t reaching its goals, it’s essential to take proactive steps towards addressing the underlying issues. By identifying the problem, re-evaluating goals, refocusing efforts, and regularly reviewing progress, you can make strategic adjustments and propel your agency towards success. Remember, the path to achieving your goals may have obstacles, but with a diligent and adaptive approach, you can overcome challenges and unlock the growth and potential of your digital agency.