Starting a Small Business: Goal Setting

By Naomi Gora

This year I thought it’d be a cool experiment to write a weekly blog about setting up my small business from scratch. It’ll include the ins and outs of what’s working, the new things I’m trialing and the moments I want to put on a fake moustache, pretend my name is Pedro and run away to Cuba. To be clear, I won’t be including any details of my clients unless they whole-heartedly approve because, you know, secret squirrel confidentiality stuff and all that.

So, where to start? As the million dollar small business owner, Leonie Dawson, says “Only 1% of people actually write down and regularly review their goals, and they are among the most successful people in the population”.

So here I am, officially writing down my goals…

Goal 1: Turn over a revenue of $70,000 a year


You’ll come across a thousand stories about how much you can earn in your first year of business. From ‘I hit 6 figures in my first six months’ to ‘It takes at least two years for a small business to be successful’. Both could be true. What is true for you depends on: 1. Your experience, 2. Your industry and 3. Your mindset. If you’re a contractor with a huge network of contacts in a specialised industry, you could hit your target pretty quickly. If you’ve developed a new product that the market isn’t familiar with and/or you have no prior business experience, it could be a longer ride.

So I’ve picked the figure of $70,000 for a few reasons:
1. So I don’t have to fluff around with gst
2. Women starting their own businesses are on the rise so my expertise is in demand
3. I have sixteen years experience in design and marketing
4. Calculating my amount of billable hours each week (taking into consideration admin and business development time) it works out about right based on my hourly rate.

That means I’ll be need to work with around 21 small businesses. We’ve just rolled over into February now and I’ve already worked with 2 clients, so that’s now 19 new souls I’ll be aiming to work with over the next 11 months.

Goal 2: Create things with no end goal

When I’m designing a logo or a website for a small business client, it has a creative element, but there’s so much more strategy involved. A pretty logo just ain’t gonna cut it… there’s business values to think of, the business owner’s personality type, marketing strategy, brand strategy, all those things have to be balanced with creativity to create a compelling and financially viable brand.

But if you’re a creative person, creating without boundaries and time limitations is where you learn and grow…and sometimes, how you feel normal in the world. And it’s just fun. This year I am making the time to see where my unbridled creativity takes me.

Goal 3: Take my son, Jim, on a working holiday to New Zealand

One of the big reasons, I always wanted to work for myself was so I could be location independent. For reasons out of my control I can no longer do that, so I thought ‘How else could I have the experience of living overseas while not actually living overseas?’. By going on a working holiday! I love the cold and I love snowboarding, so the plan is New Zealand in the ski season. Snowboard in the mornings. Work in the afternoons and evenings.

So, How am I planning to do this? Well, I’m starting with 4 strategies…

Strategy 1: Setting simple and achievable daily rules

For years now I’ve achieved my goals by starting out with small daily habits that will help me reach the big kahunas. In 2013 I blogged every day for 365 days… that habit ended up with me founding an online magazine which I’m now selling. In 2014 I started walking 1 kilometre a day, then did a half marathon carrying my little boy and last year a group of us took our kids trekking in the Annapurnas.

So here are my daily rules for 2017:
1. Commit to income producing activity for a minimum of 1 hour a day
2. Track my income daily
3. Be creative, in any way, for a minimum of 5 minutes a day
4. Turn off my phone between 9am-1pm and 5pm-8pm
5. Do 20 minutes of back and core strengthening physio so I’m super fit for snowboarding fun

Strategy 2: Having experienced mentors

Having a mentor is essential when you’re running a small business, no matter what level you’re at. And they need to be people who have been where you are and have done what you want to do. I’ve come up with my own version of Charlie’s Angles For The Business World to be mine for the year:

• Denise Duffield-Thomas AKA Lucky Bitch and her Money Mindset Boot Camp
• Dr Kate Byrne AKA Betty Means Business and her Betty Booked Out Formula course
• Kate Toon AKA The Head Chef at the SEO Recipe for Success and her 10 day SEO Challenge

Each week I’ll be implementing a minimum of one of their business building strategies.

Strategy 3: Having a clear offering

There’s a temptation when you first start out in your small business to have floppy boundaries and try to service everyone for everything so you reduce the risk of failing in a huge steaming pile of small business poo. But being known for one thing and doing it well is not only easier to communicate, but also, to execute (think Gordon Ramsay when he goes into restaurants and trashes three quarters of a menu offering). So based on my brand framework (which I’ll talk about in later posts), I’ve created two signature packages I’ll be offering this year:

1. A small business start up package which includes:
• A comprehensive brand framework to guide marketing decisions
• Logo design
• Business card design
• Two social media profiles of choice
• A five page website design and build including SEO set up, Google analytics and security and back up plugins

2. A book production package which includes:
• Front and back cover design
• Page layout
• Guidance to purchase an ISBN
• Print ready file set up

Strategy 4: Promoting said offering

I’ll be using an inbound marketing strategy for this business… so lots of content, SEO, opt-in email lists, a referral program and maybe some video content. The platforms I’ll be using are primarily Facebook, Linked In and writing for other people’s businesses.

So here we go…can I do it? We’ll see! As Helen Keller said ‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”… so peeps, strap yourselves in. It’d be totes balls of the awesome variety to have you along for the ride.

See you with more small business progress next week!

Splendiferous! Check your inbox for the link to the video