Today our Louise is sharing news of an exciting challenge she set 280 Bakes this month. Let's see how we got on!
This month I set a sales target.
Now, in the past I’ve been sceptical about using targets in personal and business life, mostly to avoid stressing myself out trying to hit, and possibly failing to hit, said target, and not really seeing myself as a salesperson. It’s good to dream big, but was there much point in pushing so hard when I already work so much to gain customer leads? And is there too much at stake for my personal confidence and wellbeing in working so hard and potentially failing?
Encouraged by a business coach I’m seeing, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try to hit a sales target just once and see how it went…
So, one month ago, I set myself a target of generating 50% more cake orders than in the four weeks previous. Maybe that sounds a bit ‘finger in the air’, but the previous four weeks (May 13th – June 14th) was a good month for us in terms of order generation, and 50% extra would push our orders to 28 orders in 28 days. It had a nice sound to it, and I liked that.
What did I do to help generate extra orders this month?
Well, most of our orders come from Facebook – hail Facebook! However, our email newsletter list is growing, as is our Twitter and Instagram following, so these were all useful to help show potential customers the delicious cakes we are baking, and in turn, encourage new and existing customers to order our products. Added to this, we had Father’s Day orders to promote and we got a fair bit of attention online from replicating the lemon and elderflower recipe from the royal wedding. Tying in with national events sure can help!
Interestingly, a large portion of our orders during this period were made by phone this month. Normally the contact comes in via email or Facebook in the main, so I wonder if the new attitude to marketing influenced this…
What was the result?
Today is the final day of the challenge.
Yesterday we hit the target of 28 of cake orders in 28 days – with a day spare!
Needless to say, I am over the moon. I may even enjoy a slice of cake tonight to celebrate. And all this happened in a month featuring a week of torturous hayfever, and three weekends away. Who knows what I could have achieved without a social life! (Kidding)
Celebrations aside, well done us, what did this mean for 280 Bakes?
All of this will hopefully lead to more business growth, more baking, and more happy customers!
Has having a target helped?
Undoubtedly, yes. As expected, pressure built a little on myself to work harder, smarter, and to be more creative with thinking of things which people would like to see pop up in their busy lives. However, achieving that goal of 28 orders in 28 days – and a day ahead of our deadline – has given me more confidence and a real sense of achievement.
Honestly, if we’d been a few orders off hitting the mark, it still would have been an amazing achievement to increase orders by almost 50%. Setting a goal, I have realised, is not only about achieving specified things; it’s also about having a way to measure how successful your tactics are and how effective your communications planning is. Even if you ignore the detail in the numbers, knowing there’s been an X amount of extra custom over a defined period of time due to some hard work is a real boost.
I may even set another target for later in the year.
Sod it. Let’s nail that down. I am going to try to hit 28 orders in 28 days again during the month of September.
You think I’m putting it off? No apologies there. July is going to be a bit crazy in my personal life so I may need some space, and August is generally a slower month in the business. The kids are off, people are on holiday, and I figure (totally anecdotally!) that some parents take the time to bake with their kids. Plus, September is statistically the month with the highest number of birthdays – go figure – so birthday cakes may be in high demand.
Our bakers didn’t attend any local events this month, but potentially, when I run this challenge again, this could boost sales further when people try our cakes at a festival or market and decide to order more in the days or weeks.
Of course, now, I realise I am in fact a bit of a salesperson and it’s always been that way. It’s essential the good of the company. I’m not pushy, but I’m driven, I know our target market and I want to make my company a success. If that makes me a salesperson, so be it!
I want to say some ‘thanks’ before I sign off. Thank you, of course, to my bakers – you’re fab! Hard-working, creative and passionate, couldn’t have developed 280 Bakes to this level without you. Secondly, thank you to my husband for his patience / ability to ignore me and get on with it when I am working on the laptop or elbow-deep in flour. Lastly, thanks to Robin, who made me try this whole target thing out – inspired!
Do any of you have small businesses? Do you ever set goals like this? I’d love to hear about your experiences – just comment in the box below.
Enjoy your weekend,
Owner, 280 Bakes
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