SMART Goals for Business Owners
Goal setting isn't just a fancy way of task-setting or a checklist; it is so much more. The power of setting goals can be the difference between moving forward and standing still in your personal and professional development.
Goal setting is like mapping out a journey from A to B and placing stepping stones for you to get there. It is true that you should aim high in areas of your life but it takes time and consistency to accomplish them. A way to help us achieve our ultimate goals are through 'sub-goals' aka S.M.A.R.T goals to help us get there.
S.M.A.R.T stands for:
Realistic or Relevant
S.M.A.R.T goals are a perfect solution for achieving long and short term goals. S.M.A.R.T goals also help us to:
Build a clear vision of what you want to achieve
Make your goals achievable
Remind you of your development strategy
Keep you focused
Now, let's dive straight in and explore how we implement the elements of S.M.A.R.T goals to further our personal and professional progress.
Be specific and ask yourself 'what do I want to achieve?' You want to have clear goals with action verbs like 'I want to increase my engagement'. This is so we don't go too broad and really hone in on what we want to achieve.
You can have a broad end-goal like 'I want my business to be profitable' but now we want to dissect that end-goal into smaller 'stepping stones' aka sub-goals so you can reach that ultimate goal. A sub-goal example of this could be 'I want to gain more website visitors per month,' which would ultimately lead to more enquiries and hopefully, more sales or clients.
Now we have a Specific goal set, we want to add a form of measurement which makes it easier to track our progress and have a target number in place to, again, to keep us focused and to motivate us.
For example this can be 'I want to increase my following by acquiring 100 organic followers on my Instagram'. Applying a measurable factor means that we can be more accurate with our goals making them more achievable, which leads us nicely onto the next S.M.A.R.T factor...
Set a goal that is challenging yet possible. Setting a goal that is too challenging can create unwanted pressure, cause anxiety and be detrimental to your development as well as achieving your goal.
If you are a small start-up shop or service, you should avoid setting goals that are like this: 'I want to achieve 10,000 online sales a week' unless you KNOW you can achieve this through your current sales records. But the point of this example is that you want to be able to reach your goal so that you can end up aiming a lot higher than when you started setting them.
Realistic or Relevant
There's a discrepancy as to the 'R' acronym so I'll go through both meanings:
'Realistic' is exactly what it says on the tin - be realistic with your goals similarly to attainable, it is vital that you set yourself a goal which is obtainable and that doesn't set you up for failure. Remember the aim of this is to positively reinforce your capabilities and use them to gradually move your personal or professional business forward through stepping-stones / sub-goals; so be realistic when setting your goals.
You'll want to set a goal that is relevant to your business or to your personal state, so it slots in nicely with what's happening at that current time for you to move forward.
A S.M.A.R.T goal is never complete without a timeframe! As these are sub-goals to your end goal, you'll want to incorporate a deadline to work towards which keep us motivated. We also want to make sure that these are also realistic timeframes - give yourself time to complete them so you don't rush, but also so you don't fall behind.
A lot of the time especially on Social Media we forget that those big brands, businesses, influencers etc had a journey too and likely had a few set backs along the way. But with your S.M.A.R.T goals you can avoid these impacting setbacks by taking your time, having a clear vision and not apply unnecessary pressures that don't help you move forward.
There we have it - my S.M.A.R.T goal guide for you to get goal-getting right away.
Yasmin @ Aloha