Your chances of striking it rich with a few hours a week of work are pretty much the same as winning the lottery, but that doesn’t mean all online businesses are scams. You just need to know how to set goals for a website that are realistic and attainable.
Goal-setting is one aspect of online businesses that most people overlook. It’s easy to read about someone who earned $XYZ in 6 months, but that’s not necessarily in line with how much you can make marketing online.
How to Set Goals for a Website
I think about financial goals in two different ways.
- Minimum ROI. This is the amount you need to earn in order to keep investing your time (and money) into the business. By setting a minimum ROI before I begin creating a new business, I’m able to look back a few months later without being biased by overly-optimistic thoughts of how I “might” soon improve. My minimum ROI usually includes any hard costs I have to invest in the business plus a nominal stipend for my personal time spent.
- Realistic Goal. Once I know the bare minimum of what I need, I think about what my goals really are to consider the site successful. This goal is usually 3-5 times higher than the minimum ROI, and factors in a more realistic wage of what I would like to earn.
I know a lot of people like to put in a “dream goal” as well, but personally I don’t find that very effective. Of course I would absolutely love to earn $4,000 per day, but that’s extremely unlikely to happen, so why would I waste my time thinking about it? I prefer to stick to realism.
Building an online business shouldn’t be only about money. Too many people start a new blog with the sole purpose of earning a few extra dollars, only to wind up failing misreably.
Here are a few personal goals you might have for your business:
- Expand a hobby. Hobbies are a great place to start when thinking about personal goals for a project. If it’s already a hobby, you probably already have the knowledge and connections to start to make your business a success from day 1.
- Learn a new skill. From a practical standpoint, learning a new skill while creating your business will make your success ramp a little more slowly, but there is immense personal value in doing something you’ve always wanted to do. Earning extra income on the side might simply be an afterthought!
- Share your experience or expertise. Personally, I find a lot of value simply in the act of sharing knowledge. I know what it feels like to be frustrated trying to pick up a new skill, and so I like helping others learn about the skills that I have.
- Join a community. Whatever your niche is, chances are there already exists a community around it. If your topic is something you enjoy talking and writing about, you’ll gain a ton and meet new people just by getting involved in the online network.
- Have fun! Yes, having a web project can and should be fun!!! If not, it’s just like any other job, and no one wants that. Pick a topic you enjoy and the process of building your website won’t seem nearly as tedious. Your natural personality will come out, and you’ll probably even have more success as a result.
Whatever your personal goal is, it’s important to have one. Only considering the financial side of the equation makes you more likely to lose interest when results are slow.
Most importantly, it’s important to write down your goals at the beginning of a project. Having concrete expectations not only gives you something specific to work towards, but also helps you evaluate your progress.
What goals do you have with your business?