Originally written and posted on our blog in 2010 and revised in 2014. This information is still relevant and important, so we are sharing it here as well..
Now that you have some New Year Resolutions for your business, it’s time to turn those resolutions into business goals. This is how you actually get things accomplished.
Here is the SMART method of goal setting. It’s quite simple.
Specific – Make your goals specific. Vague resolutions will get you nowhere. Make it well-defined and focused. Maybe throw in some numbers and percentages. Write down exactly what you want to achieve.
Measurable – This goes hand in hand with being specific. You need to word your goal with a measurable outcome. You need to see that you are achieving your goal.
Attainable (Action-oriented) – I’ve seen this both ways. Obviously, making goals that cannot be reached will be useless. Not to burst your bubble, but you probably won’t become a billionaire making soap or candles in one year. Goals should be attainable. Dreams can be anything. What actions will you use to be successful?
Relevant – Make goals relevant to your situation. My goals will be different in a poor economy as opposed to a booming one. Think about your business’ current situation and what is relevant now.
Time-oriented – Probably the most important part of SMART goal setting. You need to set a deadline or timeline for your goals to be accomplished. Don’t you achieve more when you have a deadline?
Here’s a resolution: ‘Get more customers.’
Here is a SMART goal for that resolution. I will obtain 3 new customers per week during the first quarter of 2014 by networking and marketing at local events.
Here’s another: ‘Get organized.’
SMART goal: I will establish an organizational system for paperwork by Jan. 15th. Each week, I will follow a written schedule for filing, paying bills, and completing all paperwork. Eg. Monday – Pay Bills, Tuesday – File, etc.
See how the vague goals are changed to be more specific, relevant, attainable, measurable, and time-oriented? Now turn your resolutions into SMART goals. Be sure to right them down and begin your statements with “I will”. This is the first step to success.
It goes without saying that goals should always be ethical, and you should always write them down – even post them, revisit them, and revise them if something isn’t working. You should plan with your goals in mind and not just forget about them while they sit in the bottom of your paperwork pile.