Setting good goals is one of the most basic ways to achieve small business success, but what can we do as business owners to set the best goals?
We’ve talked about how important it is to achieve our goals and how best to accomplish them, but we haven’t talked about setting them. We recommend learning to create SMART goals in order to foster the most successful outcome in any business endeavor. So, what does SMART stand for?
S for Specific
Your goal should state exactly what you plan to do. Don’t be vague when setting your goals– otherwise, you’ll have an unclear path when working toward your goals. Make sure you use action words, verbs, to paint a picture of your next steps.
M for Measurable
Implement milestones or targets to keep yourself on track. Whether it is that you’ll produce fifteen company newsletters or host ten webinars by the end of the year, know the “how many” of whatever you are working toward.
A for Achievable
Make sure your goal is attainable. If you cannot physically accomplish sending out one thousand packages by the end of the week, then do not set it as a goal. Setting yourself up for failure from the get-go is unnecessary. Create a goal that is physically, fiscally, and mentally achievable.
R for Relevant
Your goals should, of course, be relevant to your business’s overall mission. Also, consider ensuring that the goals you set for your employees are relevant to their own jobs so that they are capable of succeeding. Working off-task or out of scope and ability is just a waste of time.
T for Time-bound
Don’t forget to give yourself or your team a time frame to complete your goals. Deadlines often facilitate a productive process, and knowing that, for example, you’ve got two weeks to accomplish your goal will encourage you to plan better. Planning for a specific date and time will help waste less time and push for greater results.
How do you implement this strategy into your goal setting? Easy. Just think of a goal you want to accomplish and see if it breaks down into these five factors. Then, you’ll know if you have a strong, SMART goal. For example:
Garner 1,500 new site visitors per month by December 23rd, 2018 through implementing weekly website content and optimizing SEO.
This goal is specific in which it sets out exactly how many visitors the company wants to gain, when they want to see the results, and how they will set out to achieve it. It is measurable since the small business can use website analytic software to seek the exact numbers of how many views their site receives. The goal is attainable for a small business to receive a few thousand hits to their site in the matter of a few months. This goal is relevant because optimizing SEO gets more traffic to the site, which gives the business more exposure, which augments the potential clientele. Finally, the goal is time-bound: if the goal was set on the day this article posts (September 23rd, 2018), then the small business has three months to garner 4,500 new site visitors.
SMART goals are just one way business owners can set about accomplishing their goals. Utilizing this acronym makes the goal setting process easier so that you know you’re setting accomplishable goals to foster success.