eCommerce Lifestyle

What Gets Measured Gets Managed: Advice on Goal Setting


In this episode, Anton talks about goal setting and shares the one thing that has made all the difference for business growth in 2018.

Mentioned in this Podcast:

How to Achieve Goals

goal setting

What’s up guys? Anton Kraly here and welcome to the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. First thing I’m gonna say is I’m actually recording this as I’m driving into my office right now, so I’m on the phone and hopefully it sounds okay. I haven’t done this from the car before, usually at the computer. Its funny, I was actually planning on working from home today. It’s the Tuesday after Memorial Day and sometimes the whole team just works from home or a cafĂ© or wherever, because why not, but the past few days, I have been working from home, and I found myself slacking a little bit, and whenever I’m in the office, I just feel like I get 100% in the zone and can actually accomplish a lot more in a smaller amount of time. So, I’m gonna go in for a few hours and see what I can get done today.

But, what’s exciting is the reason I’m going in, the reason I have so much energy and motivation and really wanna focus today is because when I woke up this morning, I had some coffee, I was going through some spreadsheets, and I realized that we are very, very, very close, and when I say we, I mean the team and I, to hitting a big milestone in terms of one of our goals. We are super close to achieving it. Today is May 29th, so there’s two days left in the month, and knock on wood, but all things considering, moving the way have been, there’s no way we won’t achieve our goal, which you know, I probably shouldn’t say, but again, we’re super close to, again, a little push and we’re there.

It really is awesome, because it means a lot, not just to me, but to the whole team. The way we work is pretty much on an incentive program, where we’re all part of the same goal. Everyone’s role interacts with each other, and the more that we can work together, the more that we could focus on singular goals together, the better chance we have of reaching them.

The reason I wanted to talk about goal setting today and share it with you is because sometimes I forget that and sometimes we don’t focus on goals and sometimes we don’t have clear objectives that everyone is pushing towards. So, the things that I can recommend that everyone does, because if you have things you wanna achieve, this doesn’t just apply to business by the way, it applies to anything in life, but if you have things that you wanna achieve, you have to have a way of measuring them.

There’s a quote I love, and I’m not sure who first said it, I think it’s Peter Drucker, but probably been said a million times by a million different people, but the quote is “What gets measured gets managed” okay, “What gets measured gets managed” so again, even in life, if you’re trying to lose weight, and you know that means you can only have 2,000 calories a day, guess what? If you’re not measuring that and tracking all the calories you have coming in, you’re gonna eat more than that, and you’re not gonna lose weight.

With business, if you wanna reach whatever, X amount of revenue in a month, if you’re not measuring that, if you’re not tracking it, guess what? It’s not gonna happen. Same thing with lead generation. If you want X amount of leads every month and there’s not a place where you can go and check in and see how things are working out and see if you’re getting there, guess what? It’s not going to happen.

You have to measure all these things and do it in a way where it’s very accessible and something you can look at every single day. That way you can know if you’re actually getting closer to your goals or not. So, for the last, I wanna say the last year, think back to 2017. We were trying a whole bunch of crazy things in my companies, like different things for lead gen, different advertising sources, different promotions, different products. We were just like all over the place.

Goal Setting and Tracking with Google Sheets

goal setting and tracking

Now, there is a time and a place for that, but the problem is for us, when we were doing that, we were trying all these new things, we didn’t have clear goals because we weren’t sure what was actually gonna stick, so we didn’t have, picture a centralized dashboard that anyone can just tap into and see how we’re doing as a business. And because of that, I’ll be the first to admit, lead generation suffered, revenue suffered and clarity, which is the most important thing when you’re working as a team, suffered.

So, we got back on track, and we made a conscious decision as a team towards the end of December of 2017, that in 2018 this is the year of simplicity. Everything we do is gonna be calculated and more importantly than that, we have clear targets that we’re aiming towards, and they’re all gonna be tracked in very clear easy to understand dashboards that anyone can access at any time to see how we’re moving towards them.

Now, if you don’t have something like this in your business, my biggest piece of advice, my biggest tip I can give to you today is implement goal setting. It’s, and just to let you know, it doesn’t take a lot of time. It’s super basic. Obviously it starts with identifying where you wanna go. So again, it could be revenue, it could be amount of leads you wanna generate, whatever that is, and then go ahead and put together, honestly, ours looks like it’s the most simple thing ever. We use Google Sheets.

Put together a simple Google Sheet that has tracking (including goal setting) month by month and day by day. So, picture this, because again, I’m doing this as an audio podcast right now, so I know you can’t see it. But the way ours works is if go into our Google Sheet, it’ll have different sheets along the bottom. So, it’ll have starting December 2018. I’m sorry, not December. It started in January, so January, February, March, April, May, each month has it’s own sheet on the main Google Sheet. And then, each of those month has a breakdown by days. And on those, right now, what we’re tracking is leads per day and revenue per day. So we can look every single day, see where it’s at and we can go back historically to see how we’re advancing over time.

Now, we do some more things that maybe are relevant to you, maybe they’re not that are a little more advanced with tracking on different aspects of the business. That’s kind of like the highest level thing that everyone should have, no matter what. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you should have that dashboard. But, if you want to break it down further, as far as content creation dashboards and different marketing effort dashboards and creative dashboards, you can have them as well and it makes sense as you grow and as you work with more people.

A framework that I use for all of them that I found just to be so, so helpful is from a book that I could highly recommend and the book is called Traction. So, if you go on Amazon or Barnes and Noble’s or where ever you buy books and you look up Traction, make sure you get the one by Gino, I think it’s Gino Wickman, because there’s a bunch of books with that name, but the one by Gino Wickman really dives deep into this process of tracking. He doesn’t call them, I don’t know, tracking sheets. I think he calls them report cards, but same kind of concept where you have a few things in your business that you know you have to focus on, that you know are gonna get you to where you wanna be. And then, they just get updated regularly, so you could check in and then basically grade, not just yourself, but your business and employees on if everyone’s working towards the same thing. So, highly recommended.

This year, I’ve gotta say, we’ve done a lot of things right in 2018, but having these dashboards that are updated every single day, I think have been the biggest reason we’re actually hitting our goals, getting to where we wanna be and setting ourself up for future success. Because again, “What gets measured gets managed”. It’s not good enough to just have analytics on your site. It’s not good enough to just look at your Shopify dashboard every once in awhile and see where things are. Pick the things that are gonna make your business work. Picture those one or two things that you have to focus on. Look at them every day, so you could see if you’re actually getting towards your goals or not.

Don’t Deviate! Work as a Team

hawaii retreat

Keep it clear. Don’t deviate. That’s the only way you’re gonna find success in the short term and in the long term, is if you know where you’re going and you have ways to actually follow it, check in on it and honestly, one big thing that I like to do is make sure the whole team knows exactly what’s happening as well. That way, everyone can work together, even closer, to make sure the business gets to where it needs to be.

So, that’s my message and advice on goal setting guys. I’m actually at the office. I never realized how close I live. Turns out it’s an eight minute drive from my place here in Austin to the office. But, hope you got value. If you did, definitely let me know. I would love to hear about what you guys do with this, what …