Happy New Year!

Written by: Kendra Cumberland

If you are like most people, you spend time at the beginning of a new year making resolutions for the year to come: work out every day, never eat sugar, don’t spend money on anything other than necessities, make time for family every day… the list goes on. These are all admirable resolutions, but oftentimes the specifics end up creating impossible standards we know we cannot attain. Let’s face it, we aren’t perfect. I’m not perfect. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t feel the need to create resolutions. Since we are not perfect, we will never be able to perfectly meet every resolution, every day, for an entire year. Essentially, when we set resolutions we are setting ourselves up for failure.

This year, instead of setting resolutions, I am setting goals. While some of my goals are repeated daily the long-term goal in each area is to improve – not to achieve perfection within the first week (refer to my lack of perfection). Goals mean that I may not always hit the mark, but I can correct when I miss and get back on track quickly. Goals mean that I acknowledge my starting point and plan for short victories (growth) along the way. Goals mean that I am establishing habits rather than simply completing tasks. Goals mean I change my mindset to focus on growth rather than a single outcome so I don’t give up along the way.

white ceramic mug with coffee on top of a planner

Mindset errors show up sometimes in our businesses as well. We expect perfection instead of growth. As small small business owners, we want to see immediate growth in the form of new clients/customers/sales but we often forget to build the habits of successful business that lead to those clients/customers/sales, especially in advertising.

As a small business owner, you want to run an ad to increase revenue by $20,000, but want to spend only $100 for that ad. Unless you are Jeff Bezos, this is quite unrealistic. Consider this: if someone messaged you and offered to give you $20,000 in exchange for a $100 investment, you would know it was a scam from a Nigerian Prince! Yet sometimes, as small business owners we have an unrealistic view of the expected return on advertising spend. $100.00 in ad spend will not magically turn into $20,000 in revenue overnight (even though 2020 is over). 

Instead, a more realistic approach, with short and long term goals, ad campaigns, and planned increases in ad spend can help you realize some excellent returns on investment. When I hear business owners lamenting only seeing a 135-150% return on investment for their ads, I am astounded — if someone offered to pay me $150 in exchange for $100, I would give them as many $100 bills as I could find! The challenge is often that the results are not immediate – it takes time to build an audience that will come to know, like, and trust you. It takes time and commitment to build a client/customer base that is loyal and will continue to purchase from you or partner with you long term.

At the start of 2021, as you set advertising goals for your small business, I would encourage you to look at both the large, long-term goals (client/customer retention) you are working toward as well as the short-term goals (increasing initial sales) that lead to the long-term. Short-term goals such as increasing engagement, generating a client/customer list, and setting up advertising procedures allow you to grow toward the point where monthly ad spend generates a return on investment that will far exceed your expectations and goals.

Happy New Year! May your business grow and flourish in 2021!

If you are interested in learning more about how to set realistic and achievable short- and long-term advertising goals for the new year, contact me at kendracumberland@visualoom.com for a free informational call and proposal, or visit www.visualoom.com to schedule your appointment.

About the author:

Kendra Cumberland, EdD

I started VisuaLoom to help small businesses connect with their ideal customers and clients through social media advertising and to help them build sustainable growth. Coming from a family of small business owners, I recognize the importance of small businesses in local communities and I love to help support those small businesses. With more than 14 years experience in the field of education I have a passion for training and educating others, and a lifelong love of learning.

You can reach me at kendracumberland@visualoom.com or 336-517-7083.

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