The importance of goal setting

Number of paintings in a week.  Number of likes on a post.  Amount of traffic on a website.  Total sales.

As a small business owner, I am more aware of the metrics of success than ever before.  Paying attention to the numbers gives me tremendous insight into the business cycle, cash flow, expense management, and so many other things.  My entire professional and volunteer life has prepared me well for many aspects of being an artrepeneur, especially around creating opportunities.

When I was a theatre publicist with Keyano Theatre, my favourite daily activity was tracking ticket sales, watching for trends, and being able to make reliable predictions about how certain shows were going to do, revenue-wise.  After three or four years of building that sales tracking spreadsheet, I began to see patterns and was able to respond in real time to improve results.

As the volunteer president of a visual and performing arts festival, I was a part of balancing actual and future revenue with expenses.  If we saw a shortfall early enough, we were able to drum up extra support or make appropriate cuts in expenses to make sure we ended up on the right side of the balance sheet. 

In our first year of business in Okotoks, I'm into the steep learning curve of trying to figure out the business model that going to work with this new location.  I was in a very predictable groove in Fort McMurray after five years of painting and 25 years of living in the place.  I'm slowly learning, but recognize that these first few years in southern Alberta will provide many lessons.


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