SMART Goals Achieve Business Success!
As a small business owner, you are always striving to find ways to achieve more. Maybe you made a New Year’s resolution last year or are now thinking forward to what you would like to achieve in 2020. You might have resolved to make more money, find more clients, or grow your business. It’s always great to have an idea of what you want to do, but how will you know whether or not you’ve succeeded?
That’s where SMART goals come in. SMART goals help you identify what you want to do, when you want to do it by, and how you’ll get it done. They give you a systematic way of deciding what goals are important—and realistic—and evaluating whether or not you’ve attained them.
SMART goals help you plan for success. They turn your resolution into action.
What are SMART goals?
SMART goals stand for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Here’s an example of a goal that is not SMART: “I want to grow my business.”
Why isn’t it SMART? It says nothing about how the business will grow, how long will take to grow it, how it will be attained, or how success will be measured. It’s vague, so you have no idea if you’ve been successful.
Growing your business is a great starting point for a SMART goal because you know there is something you want to achieve.
Now you need to use SMART goal setting to lay out your plan.
How to use SMART goals
To use SMART goal setting you need to ask yourself important questions. Let’s take the above example of growing a business.
Specific: Ask yourself how you want your business to grow. Do you want more clients? More income? More employees? What does “growth” mean to you?
Measurable: What number of clients do you want? How much more money do you wish to earn? How many more employees do you want to employ? Numbers work best here.
Achievable: How do you plan to reach your goal? Do you have the resources to realistically make it happen?
Realistic: Do you currently have one client but want 100 within a week? It’s great to have goals that challenge you but, asking yourself to do the impossible sets you up for failure.
Timely: How long will you give yourself to find new clients or employees? Be specific with your deadlines. Don’t just say you want something done ASAP or within the year. Set a reasonable, firm deadline that gives you a chance to review your goals and determine how successful you’ve been.
Here’s the same thought above, but written from a SMART perspective:
By March 31, I will have signed three new clients for my services by posting an advertisement on LinkedIn and Facebook, attending networking events, and posting on my blog once a week.
As your deadline approaches, you’ll know to review your client list and check if you’ve signed your three new clients. If you have, great! If not, review your action plan and see where changes could be made.
It’s great to have an idea of what you want to do, but without SMART goals all you have is an idea.
The great thing about SMART goals is you’re not limited to one goal at a time. Let’s say you want to grow your business both in terms of clients and employee size. You can set SMART goals for both those areas and work toward both at the same time.
Once you’ve achieved your goals, you can look forward to setting more and more successful goals for yourself.
Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you reach your business, financial and lifestyle goals.