In Part I, I covered the importance of knowing why you want to start a pizzeria. Now, you need to turn your reasons into goals so you can make intelligent business decisions that will progress you toward the fulfillment of those reasons.
Immersing yourself in the day-to-day operations of a startup pizzeria can be overwhelming, so much so that it’s easy to get sidetracked and divert off course. That’s why it’s critical to set goals and routinely assess whether you’re on the path to achieving them. Every business decision you make should help you get one step closer to achieving your goals.
What are good goals? First and foremost, they need to align with your reasons for starting a pizzeria. If one of your goals is financial independence, for example, you need to determine what income level will provide it and how soon you want it so you can set sales milestones that will help you achieve that income level.
Many businesses incorporate the acronym “SMART” into goal-setting. SMART stands for:
- Specific: You have to name exactly what your goal is.
- Measurable: You have to be able to measure the goal so you know how close you are and when it has been achieved.
- Attainable: It has to be something you can actually achieve. Know your limitations.
- Realistic: Is it something you can realistically expect to happen? Selling a billion pizzas by noon on opening day is not a realistic goal, for example.
- Timely: Your goal must be able to be achieved in a timely manner; this varies by goal.
Goal ideas for pizzerias can be related to:
- Sales figures
- Growth (new locations, etc.)
- Size of customer base
- Website and online marketing
- Social media and fan engagement
- Community outreach
- Equipment and expansion
- Customer service
- New revenue streams, such as delivery, events, mail order, and catering
Once you set your goals, write them down. Create a five-year plan and set your milestones along the way, so that as long as you’re meeting your milestones you’ll achieve your ultimate five-year goals.
Next, break down your goals into smaller sub-goals that will help you meet each milestone, and so on and so forth. The further you break down your goals, the more control you’ll have over them on a daily basis. Sub-goals might be broken down into daily sales figures, for example, or even tasks that when routinely performed let you know you’re on track.
Review your goals regularly – at least each month, and even better each week – to make sure you’re on track. If you’re not, make adjustments to put you on the right track and pace.
Once you’ve completed your goals, review them to make sure your expectations align with reality. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big and swinging for the fences, but you can’t expect to make a million dollars during your first week of business.
Talk to other pizzeria owners, read industry blogs and magazines, or hire a consultant who can offer realistic expectations. A consultant will even review your goals with you to not only help you set realistic expectations, but also put you on the path toward goal achievement.
Don’t get discouraged if you miss your milestones; rather, make adjustments so you can meet the next milestones. Even if it takes you six years to achieve the goals you set in your five-year plan, you’ll still have ultimately achieved success.