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Maggie Harlow

Sign Managers Should Be Specific in Setting 2023 Goals

Specificity is the key to helping you decide the actions you need to take.




IF YOU’RE ANYTHING like me, every year-end you spend some time contemplating the next year in business and setting some goals. We work on revenue targets, new equipment purchases, changes to our processes and employee development.

It’s a pretty ordinary process that many sign company managers go through.

For me, a secret ingredient that helps make my annual goals stickier, more vivid and more passion fueled is the simple addition of being specific, and envisioning exactly what reaching those goals will look like, feel like and do for the company.

For some, being specific and visualizing details come easily. For others, it takes effort.

Here are some examples of what this specificity could look like:

  • Your goal may be to increase sales to $100K per month. By being specific, you might write out thoughts like this:
    • At that sales volume, we will need another person to answer phones — someone able to handle $20,000 in orders per month, primarily banners and decals. They should be very friendly and accommodating to customers to win the sales and process them quickly.
    • We will need someone to drive these additional orders, marketing through our website and social media. We’ll hire a part-time employee to post three to six times per week and improve images on our website to drive traffic.
  • Your goal may be to improve your installation processes. Here are some specific thoughts:
    • We will need a full-time installation coordinator to help manage the schedule, gather photos from the installers and distribute them to the project managers.
    • They’ll work a unique shift, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., to be available to prep materials for the installs that day and be sure each installer has their schedule information.
  • Maybe your goal is to be a “more organized” CEO. This one really requires specific actions to make it possible.
    • Spend time thinking about what eats up your day and how to get things off your plate. Get granular about what actions you need to take to reduce your responsibilities.
    • If your calendar or email is the problem, many techniques for how to better manage both are available. Pick one or two new habits and commit to them.
    • Hire a business coach, even on a short-term basis, to help examine what habits are getting in your way.

Getting specific about what your 2023 changes look like will help you pinpoint what actions to take and what signs to look for that change is happening, making the plan more methodical in nature. Step-by-step action items will move you in the right direction.


And don’t forget to bring your team along with you! Share your specific goals, draw the vision, show them the steps as well. They will be aligned with you, help you generate new ideas, and can even help you specify their roles in the vision.

The “secret sauce” to creating your ideal 2023 is to really see and feel exactly what you want it to look like!



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The Sign Industry Podcast is a platform for every sign person out there — from the old-timers who bent neon and hand-lettered boats to those venturing into new technologies — we want to get their stories out for everyone to hear. Come join us and listen to stories, learn tricks or techniques, and get insights of what’s to come. We are the world’s second oldest profession. The folks who started the world’s oldest profession needed a sign.

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