SMART Goal Setting For Small Business Owners
Today I want to talk about how to set goals in business? Goal setting is a powerful process for every business owner in every industry.
But not all goal setting is created equal. Your goals have to be SMART to be effective. SMART goal setting refers to a small business planning process that measures five individual criteria that evaluates a goal and determines its viability.
It’s a defined process that takes your goal from the general idea stage and puts it into action. That brings us to the question.
What is goal setting in business?
Goal setting is the process of deciding what you want to accomplish and devising a plan to achieve those desired results.
For entrepreneurs, goal setting is an important part of business planning. For many people, it’s the second part of the goal-setting definition that’s problematic.
In my opinion, though all businesses are different we can still identify broadly the most common goals for small business owners.
2 Most Important Objectives of Small Business Owners are
- Profit Earning: Let’s face it however altruistic your goal was to start a business at the end of the day you need to be profitable to continue.
- Creation of customers: If you are just starting out as a small business owner getting your first customers is your main focus.
- Regular innovations: Small Business Owners that don’t adapt to times dont survive.On the other hand business that come up with innovative ideas to grow earn big time.
- Best possible use of resources: Free & paid resources help small businesses grow but they need to access them whether its SBA or your local SCORE.
What are the 7 steps of goal setting in business?
I have found these 7 steps most effective when setting my goals in personal & business. Start from the end.
Think about the results you want to see.
Create SMART goals.
Write your goals down.
Create an action plan.
Create a timeline.
Re-evaluate and assess your progress.
How to set and achieve professional goalsHow To Set Goals In Business Click To Tweet
There are a number of different words that have been used with the SMART acronym, but one of the breakdowns that fits business goal setting most closely is described below.
S = Specific
When you are just getting started with goal setting, you may only have a vague idea of what you hope to accomplish. As you get further along in the process, however, you will need to be as specific as possible about your goal.
A specific goal should clearly state what you want to accomplish, why it is an important goal, and how you intend to accomplish the goal.
M = Measurable
You need to be able to determine, without question, whether or not you are successful in achieving your goal. In order to do this, you need to create a way to measure your progress and your end result.
A measurable goal should include a plan with targets and milestones that you can use to make sure you’re moving in the right direction during the process and should clearly tell you when you’ve completed the process.
A = Attainable
While business goals may often pull you out of your comfort zone and challenge you, if the goal and the parameters you have created are not realistic, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
An attainable goal should be realistic and include a plan that breaks your overall goal down into smaller, manageable action steps that use the time and resources available to you within the timeline you’ve set.
R = Relevant
The relevancy of a business goal will often determine the likelihood of achieving it. Goals that do not mesh with all of the other factors that directly and indirectly impact your business are often unachievable.
Ultimately, a relevant goal should make sense when measured against your business model, mission statement, market, client base and industry.
T = Time-Based
Business goals cannot be open-ended; every goal should be limited by a period of time. The timeline may vary by weeks, months or years depending on your goal, but a defined timeline is vital in order for you to commit to the goal.
Having a deadline can also create an urgency that will motivate you.
To determine if your goal is time-based, it should include a defined period of time as well as a specific timeline for each step of the process.
Not every goal you initially set in your small business is worth your time and energy. These SMART goal setting tips will help you measure your business goals against the SMART criteria in order to determine if your goals are achievable and worthy of your time.
Review these SMART goal examples to see if you’re on the right track with your goals.
Broad Goal Example: I Want to Start a Business
- Specific: I will sell handmade cards through Etsy.com.
- Measurable: I will be ready to take my first Etsy order within four weeks, and I will aim to sell a minimum of five cards per week.
- Attainable: I will get set up on Etsy first. Then I will build an inventory of 30 handmade cards to sell. Finally, I will promote my business and build customer relationships through word of mouth, referrals, and local networking.
- Relevant: Selling handmade cards will allow me to benefit financially from my favorite hobby.
- Time-Based: My Etsy store will be up and running within four weeks, and I will have an inventory of 30 cards to sell within six weeks.
Setting business goals example
- Broad Goal Example: I Want to Grow My Business
- Specific: I will acquire three new clients for my consulting business.
- Measurable: I will measure my progress by how many new clients I bring on while maintaining my current client base.
- Attainable: I will ask current clients for referrals, launch a social media marketing campaign and network with local businesses.
- Relevant: Adding additional clients to my business will allow me to grow my business and increase my revenue.
- Time-Based: I will have three new clients within two months.
Personal Business Goals example
Broad Goal Example: I Want to Write a Business Book
- Specific: I will write a book about social media that is a minimum of 150 pages.
- Measurable: I will write one chapter per month or three to five pages per week.
- Attainable: I will work on the manuscript first, and once that is completed, I will begin to search for a publisher or explore self-publishing.
- Relevant: Writing a book on social media will help me establish myself as an expert.
- Time-Based: My manuscript will be completed and ready to be published in 10 months.
Startup Business Goals example
Broad Goal Example: I Want to Become a Well-Known Expert
- Specific: I will become a well-known expert on the topic of small-business accounting.
- Measurable: I will be successful if I am asked to speak publicly on the topic at least once a month, receive interview requests every week, and write one article per month for a top industry publication.
- Attainable: I will accomplish this by acquiring the services of a PR or publicity firm and launching a publicity campaign.
- Relevant: Establishing myself as a small business accounting expert will reinforce my 20+ years of experience in the field and allow me to reach more small-business owners who need accounting advice.
- Time-Based: I want to be considered a small business accounting expert in two years.
To conclude ‘goals’ are important for individuals & business alike. There are different ways to set ‘goals’ in business & personal life.
SMART goals help us achieve results faster and keep us accountable. Like everything else in life it takes practice & commitment to write & stick to your goals.
But the business owners that have goals have more chances of being successful than those who don’t. After all what is a ‘business plan’ but the explanation of business goals that the business owner has.
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