As a new year begins, it is a natural time for a business’s focus to turn inwards. January signals a fresh start and an opportunity to reflect on your business’s accomplishments and how the next 12 months can match or improve on these successes. Setting goals is one of the most important things your business can do to ensure you are always moving forward. When present in every plan and operation, they will act as steppingstones to the desired end result, ultimately moving your business forward. Without them, you have no explicit purpose and nothing to strive for, subsequently stagnating meaningful achievements. Here, Justin Nihiser, CEO of Code Ninjas, discusses the importance of goal setting in maintaining the success of a franchise and how the brand has used goals and targets to ensure a successful 2022 that they look to emulate in 2023.
When formulating your business plan, goal setting is not a one-and-done operation. Since landing in the UK in 2019, we have revisited and reviewed the strategy that informs our way forward and builds on our success year after year. One of the main achievements we have seen in the four years since launching on British soil is the level of expansion we have witnessed across the country. From launching our very first location in Watford, we have expanded to over 30 locations, reaching communities in England, Scotland and Wales, with more to come throughout 2023. We always knew the Code Ninjas franchise model would be well received, but nothing could have prepared us for the rate of growth we have experienced in the UK and internationally. However, if we had failed to revise our initial business model and projections throughout the years, I doubt we and our franchisees would be seeing the success that we are today.
The business landscape is ever-changing, and the challenges everyone has faced over the last three years have proven why business plans need to be updated to respond to these changes as regularly as possible. Our long-term growth strategy, which has seen us launch in locations previously untouched up and down the country, has been continually reassessed as our franchise has grown and moved forward. Whilst many of our original targets are just as relevant now as they were when we first launched in the UK, a lot of the logistical actions have changed to respond to industry trends and economic instability.
For a franchisor setting goals, it is easy to be overly ambitious. But the secret to establishing goals is that they must be feasible. A franchisor is setting itself up for failure if its ambitions are never achievable and will only demotivate its network by giving them unrealistic objectives to strive towards. Having practical, well-defined and attainable goals can help you take control of your business’s direction and increase the chances of achieving your larger business targets. Once these are set, it is then essential to communicate these with your network, so they are all working towards a common goal. Every year, our international network is brought together for our annual conference, NinjaCon. Here we celebrate our franchisees for achieving their targets over the last 12 months whilst communicating our ambitions for the future to ensure our whole network is on the same page.
Beyond our goal to expand in the UK and internationally in 2023, one common goal has remained at the heart of everything we do. Code Ninjas’ focus on encouraging kids to learn to code whilst building confidence, logic and resourcefulness is a goal that is recognised amongst all franchisees, prospects and children alike, and is the basis of our success. When franchisees share this mission and passion for children’s development, and customers recognise this commitment, we see more student sign-ups and an appetite for more studios to open their doors.
Setting goals is, unsurprisingly, the best thing a franchise can do if they want to achieve big things. It helps you and your network mutually focus on what is important, build motivation and, ultimately, help to achieve and measure results. If our success seen in 2022 and the goals set for 2023 are anything to go by, we look set to have another bumper 12 months of kids coding education and franchise opportunities for budding entrepreneurs. I cannot wait to see what this year has in store.