Set measurable goals for a fantastic new year


December 18, 2023

Getty Images: Pict Rider / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Getty Images: Pict Rider / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Are you tired of repeating the same year over and over? Do you want to grow your business, but you’re unsure how?

It all starts with a plan. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

In my November column (p. 72), I discussed using a “Vivid Vision,” which is a definition of what your company will look like in three years. This month, let’s turn your Vivid Vision into an actionable plan. Don’t worry, you can still create a plan for the coming year if you don’t have a Vivid Vision yet. What follows is an easy example, using round numbers.

Last year, we earned $1 million in revenue. Of the $1 million, we did $200,000 in one-time services, leaving $800,000 on the books to be serviced in the new year. Our goals include:

  • We want to grow by 10 percent, or $100,000, to end 2024 with $1.1 million in revenue.
  • With $800,000 on the books and a goal of $1.1 million in revenue, we need to grow revenue by $300,000.
  • To grow revenue by $300,000, we must sell $600,000 of new business — both recurring and one-time. That’s an average of $50,000 in sales per month. In most of our service markets, we sell more in the spring and summer, and less in the winter. Our monthly sales goals will vary, but should total $600,000 for the year.
  • Per my colleague and fellow Pest Management Professional columnist Dan Gordon, CPA, of PCO Bookkeepers & M&A Specialists, the industry average marketing spend is between 4 percent and 8 percent of revenue. Therefore, we need to set an annual marketing budget of $44,000 to $88,000 to generate enough leads to sell this amount of business. This will also vary monthly, spending more in busy months vs. slow months.
  • If each technician can conservatively do $250,000 in production monthly, we will need five technicians to do the work by year-end. Planning to hire and train before you need more technicians is critical. You’ll also need to plan for additional vehicles and equipment — everything required to complete the work.
  • If each salesperson can sell a yearly average of $400,000, we will need 1.5 to two salespeople to achieve our sales goals. If you don’t have salespeople, now is the time to hire and train to hit your goal.
  • We will need one office staffer per eight technicians to schedule and handle office tasks. We’ll also need one office staffer per four technicians to handle phone volume. Inside sales can be counted as office staff because they help answer the phones.

As you can see, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial. Monthly, quarterly and annual numbers guide the creation of realistic goals. Once your goals are set, you must measure and track results daily to identify where to adjust or step up your game.

The Game Plan

Once you have your yearly numbers as outlined in the example at left, breaking them into monthly and daily numbers makes achievement much easier. For example, when one year is 280 workdays:

  • Growing by $100,000 requires daily growth of $357.
  • Selling $600,000 requires selling $2,142 per day.
  • Producing $1.1 million requires producing $4,000 per day, or $800 per technician per day if you have five technicians.

About the Author

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Spencer Bachman is a second-generation pest management professional, and owner of the Pest Control Business Coach consulting firm based in Canton, Ga. You can reach her at

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