Monday, May 5, 2008

TheLarger View ~ Part 1 : Goal Setting Basics

In my last post on 'the larger view' I talked briefly about setting a goal. Re-reading I realized I had not done what I was suggesting you do! This was a very uncomfortable discovery.

This blog is written for people myself and others like me, small sellers who used to have a comfortable home on eBay making maybe 100 sales a month. Many of us decided that we were no longer happy and voted with our feet, scattering to different venues which were waiting to welcome us with open arms. Some of us made venue choices which with hindsight are not working out. Rather than running back to eBay we need to look at what we are doing and why we are doing it so we can make informed choices and move on.

Part of setting a goal is giving yourself a target, once you have a target you can measure progress towards your target.

Step 1: Think about what you want. It sounds like a 'Duh!' question but really is not. An easy answer would be "I want to make 100 sales a month", but that isn't a total or truthful answer. I can make 100 sales in a day by pricing $100 items at 99 cents, goal achieved! Was that $10,000 loss what I wanted? Why do I want to make 100 sales a month? What was the process that led me to that statement?

I need income
I don't want to be an employee
I like choosing my own hours
I want to work at home
What can I do at home that will give me income? I can sell online.

Most statements lead to a question & questions lead to another question or a definitive answer. The definitive answer is a goal. I have always believed it is better to set a series of goals starting at an achievable level than to set an impossibly high goal. If I have a realistic goal it is attainable. I might ultimately want a lifestyle like Martha Stewart but I need to set goals that I can meet next week, next month and by the end of the year or I will be overwhelmed by my fantasy.

I have decided I need income and I can make that income selling online. Probably the next questions would be "How much income" followed by

"How do I define income" I can define my goal setting income as Gross Income, which is everything, or Net which is what I have left after deducting taxes owed, cost of the item and overhead which would include all the expenses of the sale, selling fees, packing materials, etc. In the process of figuring sales goals be sure to break it down based on what you have sold in the past at that time of year for your initial goals. Be realistic, make a goal for this week, this month and the year.

Write down your goals. Studies have shown that people who write down their goals are much more likely to achieve them than those who do not. You don't have to pin it to the wall, although some find that helpful, just the act of writing it down seems to focus the subconscious.

Once you have your initial goals defined you should identify and list what you need to do to get the ball rolling. Don't try to define everything for the next year, without a functioning crystal ball it would just be a waste of time. Just pick the first few steps, possibly tasks for this week. They might include taking photographs of your product, researching titles, polishing descriptions and setting a listing goal. Remember, if you are off eBay your overhead has gone down, tell your potential buyers and price accordingly!

Next post . . . Shameless Plug! . . . Y'all come back and be sure to click VICTORIOUSLY on any interesting links in the sidebar!

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