I’m seeing a lot of business activities, expensive activities, where the goal is never defined. It’s never asked.

Not asked before the money is spent. Not after the money is spent. Not ever.

Should we run that ad? How much is it? $2,000. At this point, all the discussion revolves around cost. Should we spend $2,000? How big is the ad? How many people will see it?

Damn it! The question, the only question, is what should we expect to get from it?

Note: with advertising, you should be able to expect a return of at least 100X your cost. A $1,000 ad should generate around $100,000 in sales. Yes, this varies by industry. Yes, a service is more profitable and therefore a $20,000 return would be quite adequate. That’s not the point. The point is about determining the goal. Have a goal. If it’s totally unknown, don’t do it.

Advertising has bled away the working capital of many businesses. Goal.

But this isn’t just a post about advertising.

Are you going to call a client you have not spoken with in a while? What’s the goal? (Mushy nonsense like “checking in” doesn’t count!) The goal might be to find out when his next order might be coming your way. It might be to find out how her business is going. The goal should be specific.

Buying a new laptop? What’s the goal? Often we just ‘want’ a new laptop. If the goal is to get a laptop that can handle video so you can process customer testimonials, you have a winner. “I just want a new laptop,” isn’t a goal. can you see an IMMEDIATE return on your investment?

Going on a sales call? What’s the goal?

Ordering a new sign? What’s the goal? Improve business? Okay, by how much?

Stop with the mushy goals and you’ll see solid results.

Chris Reich