Running a small business isn’t easy. Running a small business and having no measure of success is downright horrible. I made the mistake when I first started my business of not having thresholds of what success looked like. I would get the end of each month and feel like I wasn’t getting anywhere, when in reality, I was! I just didn’t have a good benchmark of what I was aiming for each month.
When setting goals the acronym SMART is often used to set realistic, attainable goals.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Results-Oriented, Time specific.
Specific-You can’t just say ‘I want to grow my business this year’ and expect to feel accomplished on December 31. There have to be specific steps in place. ‘I want to grow from 5 clients to 10 clients this year. Reaching 10 clients will be success!
Measurable-This is where the numbers come in! If you don’t have financial statements from last year, get those done! (If you need some help, you can apply here to see if we would be a good team!) Once you know your numbers, you can see how much you made and be able to know what you’re aiming for. If you are looking to grow your business by 20%, wouldn’t it be helpful to know what last years sales were to measure it against?
Actionable-At some point, the planning has to stop and you have to just do the work. This is where some people fall short because they plan for years and years to make it perfect, but never actually do what they want to do. No plan is perfect. You have to get to work and tweak your plan along the way.
Results-Oriented-A goal with no results is stressful for me. If I don’t know what I’m aiming for, then I definitely feel like a failure when the ‘goal’ doesn’t turn out like I thought it would. Do you want more clients? That’s a result! Do you want more followers on social media? That’s a result too!
Time specific- You need a deadline! If you have your deadline as ‘someday’ then it’s probably not going to happen. If your deadline is in two weeks or six months, it’s more likely to happen! Put a cap on how long you will work on your goal and evaluate as you get closer to that deadline.
Making SMART goals takes more thought and effort than just wishing for things to happen. Put these in place and I’m sure you’ll find yourself amazed at what you can accomplish!