Everyone has a dream, but few people have a goal. What’s the difference? Using the IMI Outcome Intentions process, you can learn how to turn your eCommerce dreams into reality to experience the level of success you desire.

If you’re like many of the eCommerce entrepreneurs we’ve met, you probably have big dreams for your business but haven’t figured out exactly what they are and how to achieve them. Setting achievable and meaningful goals is how we measure improvement each day and hold ourselves accountable for our progress.

The most famous quote from author Napoleon Hill is, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Making your dreams come true requires that we break our work down into attainable goals that move us closer to our dream. Learning how to set realistic goals is something that successful entrepreneurs do regularly. Without a deadline, these goals are nothing more than a vision that will eventually escape us. However, many entrepreneurs need more than a deadline; they need clarity about what they want to achieve and the pace for reaching their goals.

What is CRO?

Clarify your intent by using the three steps in the IMI Outcome Intentions. 

I – Ideal Desired Outcome

M – Minimum Desired Outcome

I – Intermediate Desired Outcome

The first step is to define the ideal outcome that you want. What exactly do you want if everything worked out perfectly? Why is this important to you? Describe in vivid detail the result that you would get if you could wave a magic wand and fully achieve the goal to your highest standards. The ideal outcome might also be called your stretch goal and should include a realistic deadline.

Step two is to determine what the minimum desired outcome is. What are the non-negotiable things that must happen to make progress? You achieve what’s essential and don’t sweat the other stuff when defining the minimum desired outcome. Anything less is considered inadequate and undesirable. The minimum desired outcome is the safest goal to shoot for but might significantly slow your progress. 

Step three is to define an intermediate outcome. The intermediate outcome is a middle ground between your stretch goal and your minimal desired outcome. You’ve achieved more than enough to be satisfied, but you’re not quite getting your ideal result. The intermediate outcome is attainable and will likely be the goal you work towards most often. 

Choosing an appropriate goal can mean the difference between feeling like a winner and a failure. The temptation to always go for the ideal outcome is powerful. Sometimes circumstances at work and home can keep us from dedicating the necessary time and effort needed to achieve the stretch goal, and that’s okay. Being okay with the intermediate or minimum outcome is often appropriate at certain life stages and demonstrates a level of maturity that many entrepreneurs don’t have. 

Here’s an example of the IMI goal-setting exercise:

  1. My ideal outcome is to have between 450-600 orders this month on higher-margin products that afford me a 12-20% gross profit. This outcome will put me in the best position to grow the company and expand into the new product line necessary for diversification. This outcome will also put me in a cash flow position to hire an assistant so I can focus on higher priority tasks and projects. 
  2. My ideal outcome is to have between 450-600 orders this month on higher-margin products that afford me a 12-20% gross profit. This outcome will put me in the best position to grow the company and expand into the new product line necessary for diversification. This outcome will also put me in a cash flow position to hire an assistant so I can focus on higher priority tasks and projects. 
  3. My ideal outcome is to have between 450-600 orders this month on higher-margin products that afford me a 12-20% gross profit. This outcome will put me in the best position to grow the company and expand into the new product line necessary for diversification. This outcome will also put me in a cash flow position to hire an assistant so I can focus on higher priority tasks and projects. 
What is CRO?

Once you’ve defined and chosen your desired outcome, then begin to work backward from the deadline date and determine the tasks you’ll need to accomplish each day to reach your goal. 

Hopefully, this simple guide will help you as an eCommerce entrepreneur, set realistic goals, and clarify your desired outcome. If you’d like help with your eCommerce so you can focus on your goals, contact us today for a free consultation. We’d love to help you achieve Optimized eCommerce™.